Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why I love this time of year

Hey there friend/coworker! You're looking a little stressed. Everything alright? Allergies got ya down? Taking your Activia? Oh! You haven't done your taxes yet! I see. My my, you're running out of time. Only 9 days to go, by my calculation, aka the calendar. That would have me stressed too. Of course, I had mine done the first week of February, but I feel for you. Do I want to do yours? Ha, no! Goof! Unless you're a large corporation and you're paying sales taxes, I can't help you. Do I know about the deduction for your atypical random situation involving your investment boodeedo and interest diddliwob? Nope! Not a clue. Ha, you're right, I'm useless. Have a great day!

This is seriously a pretty typical occurrence this time of year: coworkers and friends come up to me and give me the "hey, wanna do my taxes?" spiel. I assume they mean for free, but either way, the answer is no. I suppose people in a lot of professions face misconceptions: I do tax at work, therefore I must 1. want to do tax at home (ha, no!) and 2. I must do personal income tax. Here's a hint folks - until 3 years ago, my parents' accountant did my taxes. Now I use Turbo Tax. And I pretty much don't question it unless it's way off from the previous year.

Despite the fact that I'm earning my graduate degree in the fun intricacies of taxation (of corporations, folks!), I've had one class on personal income, and it was in no way in-depth. I literally know 2 things about personal income tax: you're supposed to withhold, and you have to file an annual return, after which you either owe money or get a refund. Okay, I might know a few other things, but I don't consider myself a personal income tax expert in any way, shape or form. At this point in my career, I'm okay with not knowing more. I like what I do, and we all have our niche. Mine just can't help you out on April 14th, oh desperate friend. You really don't want me doing your taxes - spring for H&R Block, really.

I'm sure Mrs. ESPN can relate - we do the same job, essentially. Anyone else have face fun misconceptions due to their job?


Salt said...

I don't know how you guys do it around this time of year. It makes my head feel like it could pop off of my shoulders just to think about it.

BrownEyedGirlsMom said...

Well written sister! Mr. ESPN does our taxes - with Turbo Tax. Yeah that Masters of Tax is a big misconception to most folks!

JMJE said...

I work in accounting/finance also and my dad's accountant also did my taxes up until like 5 years ago. This year HR Block did them.

Anonymous said...

I know...right? What the hell is up with people when they hear that you do taxes? I love when they ask if you want to do their taxes. Why would I want to do your taxes on my day off when I come home from doing taxes all day? Do you want to come over and file my personal bills? Or maybe you want to come and fix my car on your day off? Yeah, I didn't think so.

The worst part is that I do personal taxes so everyone just assumes that I know how to do their returns. But I handle high net worth individuals...not regular normal people. And, trust me, it's different. Because I can tell you all about mortgage interest limitations for mortgages over $1M and I can explain how to read a K-1 for a hedge fund investment. But child tax credits? Nothing. You want to write off your college tuition? Yeah, I heard once about some kind of credit for that, but I don't even know what it's called. The people I work for aren't eligible for those kinds of credits so I'm pretty much useless to normal people who make normal amounts of money.

Sorry - rant over. It's been a bad day and this just totally struck a chord. I hope tax season isn't eating your face off as it's doing to me and Jess.

Amanda said...

You and my sister need to talk. She's in corporate accounting and really has very little if anything to do with tax. But she does my taxes every year! God bless her...she does it out of the kindness of her heart, but i'm sure she gets it from friends, too.

Here's the one I get (I'm a Web editor): Amanda, can you check my computer/phone/other electronic device? Because it doesnt' seem to e working and you do that tech stuff. Web editing does not equal tech support.

Sarah Mac said...

Oh, I hear ya!!! I have a masters in accounting and have only had 2 tax classes and everyone thinks I'm a tax expert! I always have to tell people that I work in corporate accounting/financial reporting...which involves no tax. We have our own tax department to handle all the taxes!! :)

KingstonsQueen said...

Who knew I had so many readers who were accountants/finance people? We should totally take over the world.