If you're wondering what I've been up to, I've been swimming in a sea of receipts thanks to a fairly impersonal letter from the IRS I received about 29 days ago telling me that I'm being audited.
It's exactly as awful as it sounds, mostly because I remember that exact tax season quite well, with me wracking my brain at the 11th hour trying to find expenses to bring my down bill to a somewhat swallowable amount.
If only I hadn't been stuck with a not so savvy junior accountant who should have told me that having so many expenses with such a small income would scream "PLEASE AUDIT ME!" I would have done a shot, written the check, and eaten ramen for the next month or so.
Of course, I won't mention the fact that I paid a five figure tax bill that year. Way to squeeze a little more out of a middle class rock, Government.
At the beginning of every year, I vow to be better at my own personal record keeping, but then by the middle of the year, I'm wadding up receipts in drawers all over my hours. That means when tax time rolls around, I'm left to rely on a four-kid memory, credit card and bank statements, and bunch of ziploc bags full of crumpled receipts.
As my good fortune would have it, 2008 was the year that I bought a handy little receipt organizer that I found still stuffed with the receipts, and with the help of my bank statements, Paypal, and about four trees (plus my new accountant who dissuaded me from sending a friendly letter, a copy of my book, and some condom lollipops), I was able to print out almost everything that I wrote off under my "other" expenses.
Even good old Bank of America aka "Thorn in my em-effing side" came through and sent all my credit card statements that they mysteriously could not find and "might take up to 30 days to send."
Now I'm not so naive to think that I'm not going to owe anything. From what I've read in my crazed Googling of "Schedule C Audit OMFG," everyone ends up paying something after an audit.
But they've got to give me some credit for having the balls to write off my mattress as "research."
I figured that was much more reasonable than my kitchen table.