Archive | 11:45 PM

Seven Days, Two Guats, Twelve Boxes, and My Dad’s Taxes.

15 Apr

The Mission: Seven days. 

Seven days of what?

Hostility. Tension. Dirty Looks. Sassiness. And a lot of coffee. All due to the IRS.


Tax (Photo credit: 401K)

Gas receipts, Costco receipts, plumbing receipts, accounting, pay check stubs, invoices from Diestel Farms and Zacky Farms, deductions for knife sharpening and laundry services, list of tax-deductible donations, and inventory count. Massive inventory count.

Seven days to complete a year’s worth of accounting services always culminated on April 15th. The dreadful April 15 tax deadline. Where was my Dad at 11:59 p.m. on April 15th? At the post office mailing his taxes, probably coming out on the news as one of those people that procrastinate during tax time. Years later when taxes could be filed online, where was he at 11:59 p.m. on April 15th? In front of his computer, hitting the enter button.

My Dad. The Master Procrastinator.

This year the 15th landed on a Sunday, so technically tax deadline usually extends to Monday — a “business day”. If this was the case he’d wait until Monday to file. Somehow time would still escape him.

I used to hate tax week. Every year these seven days haunted me. I’d say the same thing every year.

How come you just don’t do this every month during the year, so we don’t kill ourselves with this paperwork? This pinche paperwork! Why? WHY!

His response was always the same:

It makes it more exciting. But don’t worry next year, next year.

Lies. All lies. Come January, I’d see box one.  He was the Master Procrastinator.

Most people don’t really think about their Dads on tax day. It’s just a day that most Americans paying taxes dread. If you’re getting a refund, well it’s awesome. But if you were like my Dad, a small business owner, the month of April was an unatural disaster wreaking havoc on your sanity.

Sometimesdaily "TAX DAY"

Sometimesdaily "TAX DAY" (Photo credit: oxmour)

I had 12 boxes, each filled with  monthly binders of daily transactions and business accounting stuff for the shop. My Dad was old school. He did not believe in computerized accounting files. He did not believe in Microsoft Excel until the year 2002.

I did not major in business, economics, or accounting. But I got Guat lessons on the subject matter for over twenty years. My Dad did taxes, my uncle did taxes, my cousin did taxes, my sister did taxes, and I did taxes. We were not an H&R Block office, but we learned how to do our own taxes, courtesy of my Dad. He took a course or something and learned all the ins and outs. Ever since then it’s been twenty. Twenty years of 12 boxes with binders.

image via

I’d have to complete two boxes a day for mission pay-taxes-on-time to be successful. That week was pretty stressful in The Guat household. I usually had to endure my Dad’s grumpiness and hostility for his laziness throughout the year.

Could I initiate any commentary? No. Not allowed. As part of The Guat Clan, it was my duty to help him out. This is what I did. So it was a tag-team effort. Seven days, two Guats, 12 boxes and my Dad’s taxes. Over twenty years. This was our chaotic routine.

So as I look around, I see no boxes overflowing with receipts and checks. I see no boxes filled with coffee-stained invoices. I see no calculators or No.2 Ticonderoga Pencils. I see no pay check stub book. I see no tornado of papers spread all over the kitchen table, living room, or couch. I see an empty coffee pot, nothing percolating but thoughts of my Dad. I hear no sassiness or hostility. I hear no laughter of two exhausted Guats cracking dumb jokes at 11 p.m. I feel no stress of the IRS. An accountant was hired when my Dad passed away.

Sometimes you miss the things you thought you hated. I miss the chaos. I miss those seven days. I miss those twelve boxes. I never thought I would, but I do. Mission pay-taxes-on-time no longer a go.