04 Apr
It’s the Most Taxing Time of the Year

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband is a low-key guy, but whenever tax season approaches, he seems to lose his mind. Now that it’s April, and he’s getting the stuff to our accountant, I hear him muttering, cursing, and slamming stuff in his office and generally acting like a lunatic. I know there are a lot of receipts and forms, and I’ve offered to help him throughout the years, but he always says, “I GOT THIS!”

Short of joining the Tea Party, what can I do to make the  next few weeks more tolerable?

Signed,

Taxed by Tax Season

_____________________________________

Dear Taxed,

Oh, this sounds familiar. In my household, however, there’s only TurboTax and an ancient desktop computer to vent upon so I often hear the slamming of keyboards and things like, “NO, NOW IS NOT A GOOD TIME TO UPDATE WINDOWS!”

Depending on your husband’s personality, any number of things may help the two of you cope with tax season. Your personality and abilities will play a role as well, of course. Speaking for myself, again, offering assistance is really only offering my ability to stand beside him in the home office with a confused look on my face and occasionally shuffling papers to look busy. It doesn’t seem to help, is what I’m saying. So here are some other ideas off the top of my head:

1. Have a chat.

Is your husband the talk-about-my-feelings type? Many husbands are not, and often only seek to “talk about it” if it’s going to fix a problem. But maybe he just needs someone to feel that his efforts are appreciated. Let him know that you’re thankful for taking care of the paperwork and see if that eases his grumbling. Otherwise, maybe implementing some sort of organization system for the paperwork could help with next year’s filing.

2. Reward chart!

Okay, so maybe don’t pull out the one you used to potty train your toddler, but talk to your husband about maybe treating yourselves once tax season is over. Maybe you’d like to go out for a nice dinner or even escape for the weekend. If that doesn’t tickle his fancy, perhaps suggest you cash in your refund check and let him swim around in a kiddy pool full of $20 bills.

3. Stick it to the man.

While not a viable option, tax evasion is still on the table should you decide that federal prison or a lifetime of wearing disguises on the beaches of the Cayman Islands is something desirable for the two of you.

I’d suggest going with #1 or #2, however.

If none of them work, just try to maintain some patience, remembering that there’s a reason “taxes” are often lumped in with unpleasurable things like “death.”

Good luck,

Kristine, TMH

3 Responses to “It’s the Most Taxing Time of the Year”

04.04.13#1

Comment by Karin.

I’m the tax person in my house. It’s intimidating when things change (first year we were married, first year we owned a rental property) but I’m very organized about it and don’t have to go searching for things bc I’ve put all the receipts and papers in the same place. Perhaps after tax season, you can talk to him about it and help get organized for next year.

I’m a turboTax user as well and use It’s Deductable to keep track of my charitable deductions thru-out the year and I do it monthly when I pay bills. I also run a small business that i file with my personal taxes and monthly collect the info I’ll need for income taxes -income, COGS, itemized deductions – when I pay sales and use tax. The only thing that I have to do to prepare for tax season is inventory. If I did all at once, I’d be cranky too!

04.04.13#2

Comment by suburbancorrespondent.

Sounds like your husband isn’t very organized and that makes him miserable at tax time, but he won’t let you help him. Good luck with that. Maybe if you offer to take over the entire job?

04.07.13#3

Comment by Fragrant Liar.

I think distraction is key when a man is stressed about Uncle Sam. Which means strawberries and whipped cream, stilettos, and . . . um, oh yeah, nothing else. Afterward, while he’s snoring, do the taxes yourself or run them to your nearest CPA. Win!

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