The first year I had to file taxes I heard everyone saying that it was something you could just do yourself. So I marched right in to Office Max and bought myself a nifty little box called “TURBO TAX” and went to work. Except my taxes had nothing to do with W-2’s and people were telling me things about self-employment and write-offs and it was just so overwhelming. I finally found a way for them to just to tell me I was finished. I sent in my money and hoped they would leave me alone. Then one year I wandered into H&R Block they day before taxes were due (today’s date) and nearly gave the poor be-speckled man a seizure. He just didn’t know what to do with me. I had a part-time job at the time but I also still had this track thing going on and it was obviously not his area of expertise. But we made it through and I bought the extra insurance just in case we screwed up royally and the IRS came looking for me. At least I’d have backup.
I finally found a friend who does the taxes for many other track athletes. She’s literally been a lifesaver because she totally gets it. She runs track herself and knows exactly what we are supposed to do, what we can claim, and what we “technically” don’t have to…it’s fabulous. She started helping me two years ago and it was great. So I don’t really know why I am a whole year late on last year’s taxes, but I still have remnants of fear left in me. Coupled with the fact that I am so unorganized when it comes to this stuff. All I have is one big envelope with 2007 written on it and everything that could possibly be needed stuffed inside. It’s daunting. Not to mention that for the past two years I have been to about 20 different countries per year. That’s a lot of bookkeeping. At least now I’ve realized I can do standard meal replacement and not try and add up every coffee and bagel I order at the airport while I’m traveling. To be honest, it’s really not that hard. It’s one of those things you dread, and then when you’re finished you say to yourself, “self, that really wasn’t that bad after all.”