The April 15th deadline looms.
We used to be tax overachievers who finished filing our taxes by, like, the second week of February. Don't hate us. That was back when we had fewer kids and more time. It was also when we were a dirt poor grad school student family, so the refund waiting at the other end might've had something to do with our enthusiasm.
Now it's a completely different story. We've become the stragglers, the masters of procrastination when it comes to filing our taxes.
I think this is naturally what happens when life becomes so hectic you feel genuinely proud of yourself for remembering to apply deodorant more often than not.
If any of you haven't yet reached that magical place in your lives, allow me to share a few of my favorite strategies for procrastinating e-filing your taxes:
- Start out by telling yourself you have plenty of time. P-l-e-n-t-y of time.
- As W-2s and interest statements from your bank start to roll in, tuck them in a safe place. Promptly forget where that safe place is.
- Okay, so now it really is April 14th so you'd better find them and get cracking.
- Sit down to your computer and internally debate whether you need something to drink while you file your taxes. No, a snack. No, both. No — just a glass of water.
- Get back up to fix yourself some nachos. You made the wrong call about not needing a snack.
- Stare blankly at your keyboard, then check Facebook. Look up old boyfriends to see who's gone bald.
- Re-watch old Jimmy Kimmel skits on YouTube.
- Gah, what are you doing? Open up your tax software and get started.
- Ask spouse for his social security number and end up arguing about which one of you is putting the forks and spoons in the dishwasher upside-down.
- Check to see if anyone has emailed you since you started filing your taxes.
- Realize your inbox is a total mess and tackle organizing it right now.
- Tidy up your computer work area.
- Round up your children and clip all their toenails.
- Pin some motivational quotes on Pinterest before you get back to work.
- Visit a news site, but skip the important headlines and only read articles like "25 Crazy Facts About Your Favorite '80s Cartoons."
- Okay, taxes.You're filing taxes. Consider Tweeting that you are filing your taxes.
- Vow to get right back to work after you Google the lyrics to "Smells Like Teen Spirit." You've never understood a single word of that song and it's been bugging you since 1991.
I think you get the picture.
But like it or not, it has to be done because the only certainties in life are death and taxes. And laundry. In fact, I think we only have a few days before hitting the "Mom, I don't have any clean underwear!" deadline. I wonder if I can file for an extension.