March 7, 2016

Belaying death

and taxes

By Scott Morris 

As I fortify myself to organize our 2015 tax documents, I think back to the times I peered over a cliff while attached to a rappelling rope.

No matter how many times I jumped, I was always hesitant, always fearful, always dreadful this would be the time the experience would finally kill me dead.

But once I leapt off the ledge, rappelling exhilarated me. Can’t say the same for doing taxes.

I waste months every spring trying to psych myself into gathering all the medical receipts, charitable-giving papers, mortgage interest statement, W2s and other stuff. And every spring, I invent reasons to postpone the task another day.

Haven’t received the bank interest statement. Don’t have our daughter’s W2 form yet. Sunny outside; think I’ll ride my bicycle. Need to take out the trash first. Hey, look what’s on TV! This box of doughnuts won’t eat itself. Distracted by squirrels. And so on. And so forth …

I wish we didn’t have to pay taxes. I wish we could get smooth roads, police and fire protection, national defense, Social Security, good schools, clean air and water, and scenic parks without paying a dime in taxes. Judging by the number of people in Alabama who yell about taxes, I’m not alone.

I don’t hear too many folks around here complaining, however, about us getting $1.66 back for every $1 we send to the feds. I hear a lot about national championships in football, but I don’t hear anybody bragging about us having to take welfare from taxpayers in other states. According to the Tax Foundation, Alabama ranks No. 9 for receiving the most federal aid. Guess some things are best ignored.

Actually, I don’t mind paying taxes. But I’d rather jump off a cliff (with a strong rope attached) than go through the hassle of filing a tax return.

I suppose no one has ever died from preparing income taxes, but I’m not taking any chances today.

Maybe tomorrow.

Riding the South

The blog of Scott and Jenny Morris