Posted by: cassymuronaka | March 15, 2010

In case you missed last year’s advice on how to do your taxes

Step 1: Every time you buy something or pay a bill, throw the receipt in a giant, glossy convention-goer booty bag (the Macworld bags are best). Push bag to a corner in your dining room where it is vaguely accessible.

Step 2: On the first business day of the New Year, decide how long you can realistically put off seeing your tax accountant, and then call him and schedule accordingly. Whine a little about having to do this to anyone who will listen to you.

Step 3: One or two weeks before the accountant appointment, fit all the leaves into your dining room table, extending it to its fullest length. After that, go find yourself a black Sharpie and a large box of Ziploc gallon bags. Start pulling receipts out of the MacWorld bag and sort into appropriately-labeled Ziplocs (utilities, mortgage, automotive, etc.). Do this until you get really really sleepy.

Step 4: Continue Step 3 until all the receipts are bagged or until you cannot contain yourself any longer and are compelled to begin shouting about how many times the family ate out at restaurants this year for no good reason.

Step 5: Before taking Step 5, make sure that all three of the next Netflix rentals are your choices and are scheduled to arrive right when you need them. Now drag your laptop or DVD player onto the dining room table and insert a DVD, as you begin totaling how much you spent last year and how much money you are probably going to need this year. Note: do not rent foreign language or action films because you’ll never have time to read the subtitles or know what is happening in the plot. Talky British movies with witty people like Hugh Laurie or Emma Thompson are best. Work like the devil for the next several days.

Step 6: Go to bed early the night before the accountant appointment and thoroughly enjoy the fact that your husband, who has heretofore not laid a pinky on one receipt, will stay up all night checking everything because he is a terrible procrastinator and because he always complains about how you do the taxes despite the fact that you always get a refund.



  1. Hey, this sounds like it might actually work!

  2. Such a good method…wish i had the extra person in the house to yell at/have check over my bads!!!!

  3. Reading this made me want to watch “Sense and Sensibility” again

    • Indeed, “Pride and Predjudice” is a very good do-your-taxes movie. I think I will opt for “Sense and Sensibility” next year (“Miss Bennett, give me an occupation…please!”)

  4. Did you remember to include all of your pets as dependents? Not my plan, but it worked (as far as I know) for a couple of friends–one of whom
    made it to the grave without being audited for the four-legged offspring.

    • I like that, but since every breath I take is deductible, I try to be fairly careful about not skirting the rules, thus endangering “My Precious,” the annual refund, however small it might be.

      Lola might skirt by, but I think they’d figure out that I hadn’t named my older daughter, “Red Dog.”

  5. This is eerily similar to my own method of book-keeping. Only instead of the bag, I’ve got a box!

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