Something that doesn’t appear in my freelance writing resume is the fact that for years I worked with my father selling real estate investments and tax shelters.
One day I went with my father while he attempted to sell a tax shelter to the richest man we knew. Although that gentleman did buy property from time to time, his comment that day was “bring me the money – I’ll worry about the taxes later.”
Truth be told, that’s sort of my attitude too, or it was for a long time. Even as my freelance writing business grew I did my best to ignore taxes until I had to do something, then I did it in a panic and with my fingers crossed.
Finally, as part of my commitment to my writing as a business, I got my income tax life together.
I almost didn’t.
One truth about me is I don’t add and subtract reliably. Give me a long column of figures and a calculator, even with a tape, and I’ll come up with a slightly different answer every time.
In spite of that strange lack of ability, I learned how to track my income and expenses.
Another truth is I find our US Tax Forms and the instructions that come with them impossible to understand – worse than that, they are boring in the extreme. I’m sure I could write their manuals in a way that would make them more understandable – but I’m not at all sure I could stand to listen to the explanations.
Even when I can make myself read them I still find myself confused and pretty certain I’m going to do it wrong. Which is why every year I’m willing to pay a professional to do my taxes – but that doesn’t mean I’m not curious about them.
I’m actually looking forward to our the tax-savings webinar we’re doing with a real expert as part of the webinars offered by About Writing Squared. It’s very possible I’ll learn something or several somethings I can take to my own tax preparer and save myself some money.
It’s pretty amazing, at least to me, that my attitude toward income tax has shifted from avoidance to curiosity. Who know, I may finally be growing up.
What’s your relationship and attitude with taxes? How has it changed over time?