I Love Tax Season (and Why It's Like Christmas)
I have a confession to make: I love tax season. Not just the days when I do my taxes or file my taxes or get a chunk of change deposited to my account, but the entire Tax Season: from beginning of January when you're allowed to start filing until April 15, the big due date.
Turns out I'm not the only one who loves tax season. Surprisingly, Google returns over 700 others who proclaim the exact same thing.
Honestly, I think Tax Season is a lot like the Holiday Season. Don't believe me? Check out their similarities:
The Early Birds and the Last Minute Rush
I have an aunt who gets all her Christmas shopping done by Halloween (which is apparently a great night to go shopping because no one is out). But my brother-in-law runs to Target each year on Christmas Eve to buy presents at the last possible minute.
Yep, during tax season there's that guy in your office who e-filed his taxes the first day the IRS accepted returns. And we all know how slow the TurboTax website is on April 14th...
A Hot New Toy
Like Tickle Me Elmo or Guitar Hero there's always a particular aspect of tax season that's new, a bit special, and adds a last minute rush to find answers. This year we've got the first time homebuyers credit and the recovery rebate credit if you didn't get the full stimulus check last year.
At Least One Surprise
As much as I hate surprises and seek to avoid them, come Christmas morning there's always at least one surprise -- even if it's "the best pancake spatula ever" (thanks, Mom).
When the final refund or taxes owed number reveals itself on line 76, it's always a little surprising. Even if you're geeky and run the IRS tax withholding calculator during the year (which you should) you never know what the final dollar amount will be until you've completed your tax forms. I'm particularly proud of the year I owed $7 to the IRS. Who manages to withhold their taxes within $7? I knew I did a good job withholding that year, but the bottom line was still a bit shocking.
Something to Talk About
Come Thanksgiving, the water cooler question becomes "So what are you doing for the holidays this year?" And during tax season you can make small talk with anyone about taxes. You know, something like "Yeah, I gotta work on my taxes this weekend." or "Boy, a tax refund this year sure would help."
Everyone Loves to Hate It, But Secretly Loves It
There are so many gripes during the holidays -- visiting in-laws, expensive gifts, holiday office party drama. But if the holiday season suddenly disappeared you'd miss seeing family, receiving presents, and the gossip induced by the office open bar.
Considering that 70-80% of Americans get a tax refund each year, I'd bet that more people love tax season than are willing to admit to it.
What do you think?