With less than a week to go until the 17 April IRS tax filing deadline our online tabloid for US accounting and finance professionals, GoingConcern.com, takes a look at the stupid things clients say during busy season.
It happens every year around this time: some people finally start to think, "Oh, right! My tax return! I should really get on that."
For those people who don't just file an extension and forget about it for another month or so, the next few days are spent stuffing receipts into a shoebox and either running to Brass Taxes, HR Block or their accountant, sweating and out of breath, asking for the impossible and making idiotic statements. It's the cost of doing tax business.
Forbes blogger Kelly Phillips Erb (aka TaxGirl) hunted down the sort of comments US tax jockeys hear at this time of year. As GoingConcern.com put it, some of them may cause advisers to consider waterboarding their clients:
- I’m really busy this week so I’ll stop by on the 17th to do my taxes
- I owe more than I did last year. What did you do wrong?
- I took my girlfriend to Vegas when I was on business so can we say she was working and claim her, too?
- My ex and I have a divorce agreement about who gets to claim the kids but a lawyer wrote it and I can’t understand it. Can you figure it out?
- I had surgery in December but didn’t pay for it until January. But I could really use the deduction now. Can we just say I paid it in December?
- I have a really short tax question
- I can’t find my receipts but I can give you a pretty good guess
- I forgot my Schedule K/Form 1099-DIV/fill-in-the-blank. Can I fax or email it over later?
- But I don’t want to file an extension...
- I want to meet and discuss next year’s taxes. Can we do it on Thursday?
- Wow, my taxes are so steep, I can’t afford to pay you now
These are quite good, however, but it isn't an all-inclusive list - surely the UK profession can come up with even sillier utterances they hear during January's Self Assessment rush. It'll make you feel better.