As it turned out I ended up preparing 39 GD extensions (7 more than last season) – plus I know of at least 3 others that will be prepared directly by the client. Of the 39 that I filed, 25 were the result of client lateness – their “stuff”, or all the information necessary to complete the returns, was not in my hands by March 31st. Of the rest, 4, while in my hands by the 31st, arrived at the tail end of March and I did not have enough time to get to them. The rest consist of real projects that I kept putting off till the end of the season (“my eyes are bigger than my stomach” syndrome) and, as is always the case, a few that literally got “lost in the shuffle”.
I noticed a few common items on 1040s this season. Interest income was up substantially – a result of “more better” CD rates. So were capital gain distributions from mutual funds – a sign that the market did pretty good in 2006.
I have always said that for a tax preparer, like the 7 stages of grief, a tax season has 3 stages. The first is “the hunger” – there is plenty of time, bring on more 1040s! The second stage is “panic” – oh my God, how am I ever going to get all these returns done in time? And the third is “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” – basically f**k it all, if it gets done it gets done.
This year I curbed my hunger by, for the most part, standing firm on my pledge of “no new clients”. I only took on a few. I actually did not panic to any real degree. And the moment of “f** it all” did not hit until the morning of Friday the 13th.
Contrary to my usual policy of heading to Ocean Grove for a few days of recuperation on the day after the deadline, I will be working through Saturday on the more simpler of the GD extensions and those that got “lost in the shuffle”. I will leave for the shore on Sunday, and return to my desk on the following Thursday morning.
It feels good to once again be able to rise in the morning after the sun!