Tax Time and (money) Tender-Bending Practices

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tax time

It’s time to get my taxes done.

I need to make an appointment with my accountant / tax preparer. I don’t know why, but I dread this every single year.  it has to be done, I know, and the sooner it’s done, the better. I ‘m not sure why I fear it, for every year I seem to just scrape by. I think it is the dredging up of the past year and realizing that there is now accountability for my spending. “Where did it all go?” is usually what I am left saying as I drive away.

Year to Year

There have been very lean years and there have been mediocre and good years. It is almost a“Coming to Jesus” moment for some people. All year long, you have the opportunity to be cognizant of spending, to gain control and set aside funds should necessity arise. But, if you are anything like me, it can be pretty difficult to do during a recession or when your accounts payable outweigh your accounts receivable. And I, like many others, haven’t had the best experiences when it comes to income or moneys owed revelations by an ex- spouse, so I am sure you can understand or at least have empathy for my somewhat cynical view of tax time.

Day to Day

We each face accountability when it comes to our workday. Whether we put this on ourselves or a supervisor hovers close-by, keeping us in check depends upon each of our individual circumstances. I am lucky enough to have workday autonomy but, of course, there is accountability for that time.  However, no one really has total autonomy, for there is also accountability to whomever you owe services or product(s). And there is accountability to bill collectors and if you are lucky enough to have a family, you have a whole ‘nother level of liability.

Self Check

Personal responsibility and accountability keep most individuals in check. Staying inside the lines isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Ask any former exec at a major mortgage lender about that, if they still have their jobs. I receive a notice or request at least monthly asking if I would like to be a part of a lawsuit against a former lender. So, sometimes, even having strict rules to adhere to or morals’ clauses or ethics’ guidelines – those regulations may become blurred from too much line crossing or tender bending practices.

Who is Responsible?

When it comes down to it, the onus ultimately falls on you, the “by law” responsible party.  I had not idea that a former employer wasn’t paying the state taxes for most of the employees even though our paystubs were reflecting that deductions were made and paid. A friend of mine didn’t know his girlfriend had opened multiple credit cards in his name to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.  I have another young friend who discovered upon buying a car, that she had been frauded by someone using her name and social security number to open credit accounts, spend and then not pay.  But, sadly, answerability falls upon the unwitting parties.

Be aware. Be conscientious.

Know your liabilities and the liabilities of those around you – up close and personal.  It is ok to be attentive and conscious – aware.  It’s ok, but it isn’t easy. And again we come to, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.  And sadly, they aren’t.

 

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