Don’t check your calendars, I haven’t turned back the clock to April. As an independent contractor-type person, I have until June 15 to file my taxes (Both Canadian and US, aren’t I lucky? I get to file in TWO countries!).
I have a love/hate relationship with tax season. I don’t mind paying my taxes (and it’s always ‘pay’), so that’s not necessarily where the ‘hate’ comes in, either. I just get stressed by deadlines and when you couple that with my chronic procrastination, well, it can be a bad combo.
The last couple of years it’s been moderately less stressful, because a friend recommended one of those handy Neat scanners, which helps me get all those little piles of receipts in control. If I were smart, I’d scan receipts religiously every month and create a spreadsheet to track my business expenses.
Let’s just say, I’m ‘street smart’ over ‘business smart’, but I’m getting there…
Add in the uncertainty of “did I pack everything I’ll need to send onwards to the tax preparer”, and you can see where I’m getting “hate”. But I’ve taken a solid running start at it over the last 2 weeks, and I think I’ll have everything organized by the end of the month, which was my goal.
You’re still puzzling over the “love” part of my taxes, aren’t you? Well, there is a part that I do love. It’s the walk down Receipt Lane.
Those little slips of crumpled, occasionally greasy paper remind me of all the fun I’ve had over the last year – where I ate, where I stayed, where I played… they prompt me to remember friends I’ve worked with but haven’t seen in a while and they give me a smile to think about the last time I saw those pals.
So as I scan and categorize each receipt, it gives me a chance to reflect on the year I’ve had, and how lucky I am once again to have the job that I do and how grateful I am that it’s taken me in so many interesting directions.
It’s always a big, gruelling job to get through all the receipts, invoices, statements and worksheets, but it means that I’ve had a pretty good year, so I’ll gladly trudge through it. In case you were wondering where I’ve been lately, the answer is “Under a pile of receipts, working my way out”.