Taxing Issues

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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“Hi Dad..good to hear from you,” my daughter, Suzan, said when I called Saturday.
“How are you doin’? I asked.
“Well, I’m a little frazzled, she said,  because I haven’t gotten our taxes done yet.”
“You haven’t? You’re getting money back aren’t you..why wait until the last minute to file?”
“Daaaaad..you’re a fine one to talk to me about being late. I got the procrastinating gene from you, ya know.”
 
Yes, I do know.
 
But in my younger days, the reason I was always late filing taxes wasn’t so much due to my being a procrastinator but because…even though my income was laughably low… I inevitably wound up owing the government money; money I didn’t have.
 
There were a couple years I had to go into the IRS office before the deadline to try come up with a payment plan that would keep me out of prison.
Well, maybe they wouldn’t have actually locked me up but I got the distinct feeling they wouldn’t think twice about taking their chunk out of my check..lowering even more the paltry salary I was getting working at the shoe store.
 
Things eventually got better but I’ve never forgotten those times when I was right in there with those people racing to get to the post office before midnight of April 15th.
 
When I got into TV, I wanted to end, once and for all, that knot I’d get in my stomach every Spring over income taxes so I consulted with my old pal, the late Ken Hirsch.
He was not only a success on television but in business too and I figured he could offer some sound financial advice…which he did.
I wished I’d followed all of it but I did start going to his tax guy who, all these years later, still manages to find a way for us to make it more blessed to receive than to give.
 
So, my taxes are done; have been for several weeks!
There was even a little refund which went directly into our checking account and has already been spent to help pay down the credit card balance which somehow got out of control during our month in Arizona and Texas.
 
Now that Linda and I are retired with pretty uncomplicated incomes, I’ve been thinking about the possibility of doing the taxes myself and save the money we shell out every year to our preparer. How tough can it be?
Ooooh, wait a minute; I’m starting to get a knot in the gut again; one I haven’t felt in a very long time.

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