The relationship budding between me and my accountant bares similarities to that between my beloved Pam, and her own very talented accountant, Cyril. Let’s watch, shall we?
Once again I sit in Mike the CPA’s office to talk about why I should have to pay taxes on the art and information I offer the world. This time I’m much more conscious of my fantastic bosom and that it is rude to keep sighing and plopping it on his desk whenever I feel overwhelmed, which is just, every time he says anything. So I keep my Taiwanese fish-packaging-material purse clasped over my chest through-out.
Mike had lured me here with the promise that we could deduct things, and I wouldn’t have to pay the full 30% self employed people have to pay. He is now telling me, same as last year, that since I spend almost nothing to “run” my “small business”, I don’t have any good deductions.
I get flustered and shout, “Everyone says you’re too stickler-y!”
“Who says that? And what does that mean?”
“My friends who have their own businesses. They deduct EVERYTHING. Whole rooms in their houses and childcare and everything and frankly I think you’re not very creative at this.” Then I pointed accusingly to his framed CPA diploma, the declaration to the world that he’s well-adjusted and has not experienced nearly enough pain and scarring in his life to develop the desperate coping mechanisms that nurture creative money managing. “But who would expect you to be?”
“I’m not going to just make things up,” he said.
“But you said it was almost impossible that I’d be audited!” I said, unaware that this was not an appropriate response nor a constructive use of our time together.
“I’m not going to make things up!” he repeats.
I slap my breasts on his desk and glare at him.
“What about that really expensive dress I bought for New York?”
“You cannot deduct clothes unless they’re uniforms.”
“But I had…”
“Therese!” he said. “I looked it up.”
I asked him if he could…ehh…by the way…double check that I’d paid my last year’s state taxes.
“Because there was one set of taxes that you gave me the paperwork for and said for me to send off the check on my own at home which, I think we’ll both agree, was a very poor choice on your part.”
“What? 2014? Poor choice?”
“You’re the accountant! I appreciate you prepared all the forms and did all the math but then leaving the coup de grace to me when I’ve time and time again proven myself fabulously incompetent because if I weren’t I wouldn’t need YOU in the first place! Poor show, Mike!!”
“I am your accountant, I’m not a personal assistant. If you hadn’t paid your state taxes by now I’m sure they would have notified you.”
I covered my face with my hands. We’ve been through this. Why is he so insistent on these delusions? But I’ll walk him through it again.
“Notified me in what way?”
“You would have gotten a letter from Oregon Revenue which…I’m….sure…”
I was glaring again, through my fingers. I don’t know how many ways I can explain to this man that I do not open mail unless it’s hand addressed or if I expect it to contain a check for me. I’ve had the same Netflix envelope by my TV for 15 months.
“…would have triggered a….red flag?” He ends in a hopeless question mark.
I’ve collapsed back on the desk again, and am speaking into my fish purse.
“You keep on thinkin’ that, Mike.”
….no. Those state taxes never got paid. But my 2015 checks go off tomorrow! One less thing to worry about.