Saturday, April 16, 2016


2Q== (186×186)     Death and taxes. It's no wonder, Mark Twain put the two of them in the same sentence!
     There are few things that I like less than uncertainty! As those of you, who can define themselves as "not a spring chicken", know: the older we get, the less certain we are of the things that once seemed clear as a whistle. 
     The first time Taka and I were faced with the prospect of filing taxes, I said to myself: "there should be nothing daunting about it!" After all, all I needed to do was, follow the computer program and put right numbers in the right places!
0c832c380ef24941c90927f81acf627f.gif (540×304)     Ah, the naivety of youth (and I stretch a concept a little here, because at that time I was already 35)! The longer I spent, plucking at the keyboard, the more I began to realize the futility of that endeavor! The program would ask me a question, and as soon as I put a check in a box, another ten boxes would spring into view! What's worse, after completing a return, I tried to verify my results by doing it again. Different amount popped up! I did it once more, and got the third sum! Filled with dread, Taka and I had no other recourse, but to make our way to the H&R Block, where a cheerful CPA in no time at all whittled us a nice, hefty return!
     Ever since then we don't waste our time and use tax professionals, no matter, how much we have to pay them for dealing with our mess. 
zbZFRqd.gif (500×279)     Sometimes I think, though, of the fact that we expose ourselves to such a degree to a total stranger! They get to know all the details of our lives, from the money we make to the money we spend on: cars, learning, medicine, investing, business, travel, etc! 
     It took me about ten years to find a tax preparer, who didn't demand that I do all the work, didn't take too long completing her task and, from year to year, brought us very satisfying results. She also always manages to put my mind at ease, which is not a small thing during the tax season with a husband like mine, who gets hysterical, when our finances are threatened. 
     This year, though, Cherry got sick. When I brought tax documents to her, she didn't want to discuss her illness, but it took her much longer to finish her work, and, I suspect, if Taka didn't begin to question the results, she would've been satisfied to let us pay a considerably larger amount, than what we finally paid, after she put more effort in preparing the return. 
giphy.gif (500×280)     I feel bad. It seems, we'll have to take our business somewhere else next year, but that would mean, we used Cherry for all she's worth, while she was able to take care of our financial needs, and as soon as she lost some work capacity, we'd abandon her! 
     "It's just business" - you'll say. Nothing personal against her. Those are some of the most frightening words, in my opinion: "nothing personal"! When we stop seeing others as people with needs and feelings, it gets easier to treat them as things: spoil them, when they are beneficial to us, or get rid of them, when they are in our way. 
     I pray, God will help me balance out the needs of my family with my responsibility, as a member of human race. "Do unto others, as you want them to do unto you" is not just a nice quote, we like to remember at church. I'd like to have "heart smarts", so I can make wise choices in dealing with my friends and neighbors.
200_s.gif (483×200)     So, paraphrasing Mark Twain, you can't avoid neither death nor taxes. Can we avoid life? Life demands that we pay taxes - or just pay - for everything, worth experiencing. Life demands that we take care of the others, no matter, what it will cost us.
     How about you? What do you think of this topic? I welcome your comments and opinions!

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