I spent yesterday afternoon and evening driving 200 miles to deliver returns. I spent yesterday morning nearly in tears because the return I rushed to complete for a new client was missing a form. No form, no return. And I had to explain that to the client yesterday. Yes, here is your return, no you can't file it. Instead, here's your extension. 'But I know how much income I got from this mutual fund.' But you don't know what kind of income it is and it will generate a computer notice if it's put on the wrong line of the return.
And then the very old client/friend who had pushed me more to the wall harder than usual this year (I finally received the input on Thursday night) dropped the other shoe when I delivered their return. Their daughter had a semester abroad and they paid tuition for it 'to another school.' Last night I find out it was another US school and qualifies for the tuition deduction. Re-run return required. She will come pick it up, at least. It's only a round trip of 110 miles, she says. And besides, she can buy cigarettes cheaper in Virginia.
And then I phone my favorite client who I always do at the very end, except he had to extend this year. And I unfortunately woke him from a nap and he thought I was his daughter and was playing a joke. No joke. I have your extension amounts, but I'm in the car. Want to talk tonight or tomorrow? Tonight, he said. I'll be home in an hour, I said.
Which is not to be confused with the client who realized last week that we needed to send the return to his ex-wife for signature. Because in 2006, they were still married and were filing joint. So last Wednesday I sent her the two top pages by express mail. And I hadn't heard from him, so I called to see if he had received them back. Yes, on Saturday. Want your refund? I asked. No hurry, he replied. (Because, you see, this client taught ME something a few years back. If the IRS owes you, there's no penalty for not making the deadline and not having an extension. But I can't go there. I'm a preparer and a CPA and I believe in extensions and deadlines.)
This was a year where I had more returns out in March, more returns out a week ahead of the deadline. But the ones in the last week were trickier than normal and have pushed the deadline harder than normal. And it was a year where I had returns sitting in my drawer all signed and ready to go, but no meeting scheduled. Still, I have my fingers crossed that everything that intends to rear its ugly head has done so.
And now to review and finalize my own return, which has been sitting in the computer since February.
Back to the siege. In the rain, the girls were left in the run yesterday. I don't think they minded all that much. Today we have wind and wind and wind. It feels like Nebraska, except there are too many trees being whipped about. The local observation (which is never right on the wind speed, Weatherdude says) is 26mph with gusts to 39mph. Forecast is gusts to 55mph. Deepening low off NJ and pressure gradient, Weatherdude says. But wait, that's not all. I'm surrounded by them. E says as we get out of the car last night, 'it's a front-wind. we must have had a front-cold.' Now how many 7 year olds do you know who can casually remark on cold fronts and their connection with windy days? I know, there are geeky kids that are into weather on tv and computer. But she's not. She's into remarking on weather as she experiences it. And as her 'Mahdi' comments on it. She's beginning to have a better grasp of the terminology than I do and I've been a Weatherdude wife for 25 years. When he talks about something 'bombing out' off the coast of NJ, I sort of glaze over. Like he does when I babble about what line something goes to on a tax return.
The siege will lift. I see the cavalry on the horizon. I'm no longer falling exhausted into bed in the spare bedroom and getting up in the wee hours to stumble into my office and work on returns. I actually shoved a cat out of the way and slept in my own bed last night. Buffeted by winds, wrapped in a down duvet.
The wind just calmed enough for me to hear a bird announcing the arrival of a new day. It's very welcome.