Do You Procrastinate?

Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.

– Bill Cosby

Well, I was meaning to write a blog post this morning, but something else came up. I had to go outside and…I don’t know, sit for while.

I mean, writing these every week is a grind! Especially with barely one week left in tax season…I swear I’ll get to it soon though. I know how important it is. But it can wait–for now. Hey, now that I’m outside maybe I’ll go for a walk!

Hopefully by now you realize I’m kidding.

I truly don’t mean to mock procrastination. I’m guilty just as much as the next person, when it comes to things I don’t really want to do. And I’ve heard rumors that (for some unknown reason) people don’t like to file taxes?

It appears that people do NOT like to fill out reams of paperwork only to finally discover how much money they are really giving to the IRS!

This, of course, is why we work so hard–to make this process as painless as possible, and to ensure that you keep all the money you deserve to keep, legally and ethically under the current tax code.

And we’re in full “all-irons-in-the-fire” mode around here these days, with about a week left to go in tax season. Here’s my question–have you been in to see us yet? If you haven’t, give us a call now!

In fact, did you know that many tax firms (and “off the shelf” software companies) actually raise their prices on procrastinators? That’s not how I believe clients should be treated.

But, though I will NOT raise prices this week…I will have a little more fun at their expense (plus an update on an item I wrote about a few weeks ago).

“Real World” Personal Strategy

Procrastination Nation

We in the tax and accounting industry have sort of mixed feelings about Turbo Tax.

Sure, it’s a competitor…sort of. The reason I say this is that every year, we get a bunch of phone calls from frustrated Turbo Tax users who eventually throw their hands up in the air because of the complexity and/or the hassle.

And, of course, every year we get a few people who take us up on our No Charge “Return Review” service after tax season who used Turbo Tax, and we regularly find plenty of missing deductions and additional savings for these (new) clients.

But sometimes the company can be helpful, especially when they share their statistics. They’ve issued a new release which lists the Top 10 Procrastinating Cities in America for online tax filing in 2008.

I wonder how Sacramento County will do this year?

Anyway, since we’re so late in the tax season, I thought this little light-hearted tribute to procrastination was in order! Here’s the list… determined by the number of tax returns electronically filed online via the TurboTax Online service from April 13-April 17, 2008 (previous year ranking in parenthesis):

1. San Francisco, Calif. – (#5) Maybe it’s the fog?

2. Houston, Texas – (#3) For some reason, Houston is always near the top.

3. New York, N.Y. – (#2) The Big Apple likely has a bunch of complicated tax returns flying around this year!

4. Chicago, Ill. – (#1) The “Windy City” drops from number 1.

5. San Diego, Calif. – (#6) When it’s sunny and 70’s 330 days out of the year, do you blame San Diego?

6. Phoenix, Ariz. – (#13) Desert living does funny things to paperwork.

7. Seattle, Wash. – (#7) Too much coffee?

8. Los Angeles, Calif. – (#10) Too many movies to watch, people to see?

9. Dallas, Texas – (#11) Everything is big in Dallas, including procrastination.

10. Las Vegas, Nev. – (#8) Gambling winnings and losses can be tricky.

Remember that you still have until April 15th to contribute to an IRA and have it count against 2008 taxes.

Will you miss the deadline? File for an extension. Taxpayers will get an extra 6 months to file (to Oct. 15 2009). But remember…an extension to file is NOT an extension to pay taxes. If you think you’ll owe the IRS money, you still need to pay the bill on time, or you’ll face penalties.

The good news? We don’t penalize procrastinators!

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A note on something I wrote about a few weeks ago…

I got passionate about how we shouldn’t let possible changes in the tax code affect our giving to charity a few weeks back. But here’s even better news! Congress has decided against lowering how much charitable gifts deduct from taxes owed by high-income households. See below.

[http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aAKl4RpzgwpY&refer=worldwide]

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To more of your money in your wallet!

Jim OrnelasDo You Procrastinate?