Foolproof Advice for Filing Late Tax ReturnsPublished April 13, 2010
Photo Credit: Flickr April 15th is almost upon us again. Boy does time pass at breakneck speed when you are having fun! As one of the most "taxing" days on the calendar, most of us become anxious. Of course I am hoping that everyone has already completed all their forms, dotted all their "i's" and crossed all their "t's", and are on their way to the Internal Revenue Service. However, I realize that some of us are procrastinators, waiting till the last minute, having to stand for hours on long post office lines. We all wish that we had kept that promise to ourselves that we would not repeat that stressful last minute rush. Every year, my husband and I commit to get all our paper work ready months before the taxes are due, but somehow we seem to manage to keep putting it off. We rank high amongst the folks who excel in procrastination. But we have a good excuse! Since we are not getting a refund, why not hold onto our cash and get the interest rather than gifting the Feds with extra cash. The other day, my husband Marty and I went to our favorite diner to grab a bite of lunch. Our conversation turned to the subject of our yet unfiled tax return. Worrying that we might not get the job done in time, we began to explore some rather creative excuses for our tardiness in case we chose to opt out for an extension. Of course the penalty this request incurs loomed before of us like dark clouds which precede a tumultuous tornado. We had to figure out a rationale that might inspire the I.R.S. to commiserate with our plight, take pity on us and give us a "pass." As I munched on my crispy French fries, savoring my juicy cheeseburger, I was instantly struck by a cartoon-like golden lightning bolt over my head. It was so clever and devious that I was actually amazed at my ingenuity. Of course, my husband noticed my huge grin and became extremely curious. "What's up?" he inquired. From the expression on his face I could tell that while part of him was eager to listen to my creative cop-outs, he was also quite skeptical. "Let's blame it on the cats!" I giggled. "Since we had all our paperwork stored in a cardboard box on the floor, let's tell them that our confused kitties mistook it for a new litter box. After all, it would not be polite to send in our forms stinking of cat pee, would it?" As I began elaborating on the idea of blaming pets for tardy tax-form returns, I was flooded by a myriad of catchy hypothetical rationales so pet owners might obtain an interest-free extension. Much the same as "The dog ate my homework," (that tried and true hackneyed excuse) I began to generate many other possibilities which certainly were much more feasible. How about, "My gerbil had a litter of pups while nesting on the forms"? "I was so excited that the moment I was finished, ready to mail in the return, I didn't notice the completed tax return fell into my fish tank when I was inserting it into the envelope"? I mean that is such a bizarre excuse that no one could fabricate that story. I am sure that our dear gentle readers can add other resourceful ideas to help your fellow pet owners escape paying interest on necessary extensions. Come to their aid by leaving a comment.