Death and Taxes

As usual I procrastinated on my tax return until the last minute, got it in with a couple of hours to spare thanks to H&R Block Tax Cut 2008.  Thankfully we got some of our annual contribution to the Federal Government back.

Taxes have always made me nervous.  I remember when I was a poor college student making almost nothing having to pay what was then the astronomical sum of $250.00. This was because my employer did not withhold anything since I made almost nothing.  When you are a college student working more than one job to make ends meet and not on any scholarships, even that now laughable amount was frightening.

I remember my parents always going to this old tax accountant in our town to get their taxes done every year.  I went with either mom or dad one year, probably around February of my 9th grade year.  It was a typical cold, foggy and dank California Central Valley day.  The guy’s office was in a drab, cube shaped brick building which had burglar bars on the windows.  The place looked like a jail.  The guy looked equally drab with “coke bottle” glasses, and I couldn’t imagine anyone actually working in such an oppressive environment.  He looked like a Troll. But year after year my parents would trudge down to this guy’s office to have their taxes done.  Of course this was way before the Internet and programs like Tax Cut or Turbo Tax were not even imagined.  I think it was seeing how depressing the tax accountant’s life was put the fear of God in me.  I never wanted to live like that, so I probably over-react.  I wait until almost the last minute to file frantically digging through my files, gift receipts and other documents to ensure that I file an accurate return and not end up in jail.  Doing things this way probably means that I will never get the full credit that I am do, but what can I say?  Instead of just blaming it on my parents tax accountant I can also use the stress of PTSD to explain my procrastination.  I do have to admit that the past two years have been more stressful in doing these things despite having things that make it far easier to do.

Today was also the day that I had to go in for my Periodic Health Assessment (PHA) mandated by the Navy. As far as I can tell I am doing a bit better than last year and appear to be pretty healthy, knock on wood.  I also got back up to about 4 miles for my PT run.  This made me feel really good because I have struggled a lot physically this year with various injuries to shoulders, ankles and joints in my legs. So Lord willing I think I should wake up tomorrow on this side of the dirt. I’ll check the obituaries when I wake up just to make sure.

Peace, Steve+

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