I’ve been wanting, since January 1, to write something hopeful about the new year. 2016’s passing was, by and large, welcomed by all. For reasons I’m sure many of you share, I couldn’t muster the strength. But then, just this week, I spied Lady Liberty on a street corner wearing sunshades and sneakers, twirling a sign promising fifty quick bucks — hers a promise of resumption and, weirdly, normalcy — and so I knew it was time. Time to muster, time to try. Time to start thinking about getting on with it all.
Time to start thinking about taxes.
Two years prior, when a little freelance web-design work I forgot to file got me a stiff rate with no losses to claim against it, we had to pay. That was also the year our accountant left H&R Block and someone else took over, and the friendly-neighbor discount we’d been receiving for their services dried up. Last year, I turned to TurboTax and our finances resumed their usual ebbs and flows. I like it best like that: no surprises. This year, however, I am once again a pilgrim in the unholy land of the freelancer status with additional income to report.
Anticipating trouble, I’ve started early, sorting through a pile of receipts related to twelve months of writing expenses, all of which I’ve long been been stuffing in a cracked Winnie-the-Pooh cookie jar in our kitchen (Pooh slurping honey from a broken honey pot, I don’t know, seemed kind of funny). Over the last few days, I’ve sorted and reviewed all of these, unfolded and pressed each one flat, ordered them by month and day and time, and out of this ragged little nest of bother, an unexpected thing emerged.
A truly momentous year.