Tax Time Means We’re On the Hook

By Patrick McNerthney

Ah yes, everyone’s favorite time of year: tax time. That’s right, NOW is the dawn of tax time, but I imagine not many of us are pouring over receipts and all those crazy forms and their unintelligible instructions: 1099, 1041, 1040, K1, S1711b but refer to subsection “A” line “V” and add columns 224b through 472xyz then divide by the coefficient of when the sun explodes…

(I wish my desk was organized all pretty like this.)

A scrupulous tax-payer myself, a few weeks back I got all our personal stuff at least organized. It took a solid two hours, meaning I had to time block my calendar on a Saturday to do it. Since that day, I’ve time blocked every single Sunday to finish it and send the whole kit and kaboodle to the CPA. Big surprise, this part hasn’t happened yet. Not because I’d rather lounge around on the couch and take naps (my wife would never let that happen anyway), but rather some other, more urgent stuff came up (never mind how dramatic or life-threatening, let’s just call it,“stuff”).

Which brings up an interesting point (I hope). One way or another, we’re always on the hook for lots of stuff. Taxes, projects at work, social obligations, supporting our families, walking the dog – it’s just a part of life. But we’re always calculating when to take action on these things, which has made it a kind of knee-jerk subconscious wheel that keeps turning. So how we do that is worth examination. Ok, now you’re excited!

(This is you right now–I know it!)

For example, let’s take a look at a work project. It probably doesn’t pay to book hotel reservations for a conference your company is considering attending four months from now. You don’t know if you’re actually going, and if you do, there’s no way to know who is going, how many rooms to book, what the budget is (which determines room rates), and all the other stuff involved.

On the other hand, let’s go back to taxes. Starting the work on January 7th is pointless as you certainly won’t have all those forms (W2, W9) employers are supposed to send by then. But, filing an hour before the deadline is a risk that definitely doesn’t pay off either. 

So, if something is unlikely to occur, easy to fix if it does occur, far off, or otherwise not sensitive to extensive planning (your company is just fine staying at a motel or a spot further outside of town, for example), last-minute execution is perfectly fine.

Conversely, if something is a certainty (tax day!),chock full of known factors (you have all the forms, pay stubs, receipts…), and cheaper to do sooner rather than later (finishing your  taxes an hour before they’re due costs both stress and money as we’re more likely to screw something up in a panic), then the discipline of advance planning, and doing the associate work, is in order. 

Yes indeed,and here’s where Fine Art Miracles (FAM) comes in, albeit in a unique way. Their services – like Art Therapy, Dance & Movement Therapy, Drama Therapy, ART2GO packages (March is all about Emil Nolde!), Multi-Sensory Sessions, and Music Therapy – bridge the gap between choosing the last-minute as a smart strategy and the discipline of advance planning. 

Here’s how: 

They know you’re trying to help your residents and loved ones fight the depression and anxiety that comes with social isolation. For caregivers of the elderly, children with challenges, or those needing help with the activities of daily living, this is truly an infinite game taking place in a variety of settings. You could be part of a private enterprise with multiple care facilities and lots of bureaucracy and budget planning, or you could be in your parents’ home taking care of your dad.  

Wherever you are, FAM’s services suit every need. All you need to do is contact them, and they can get the ball rolling. And the magic is simply in the making. Creative expression is a proven way to help challenged populations reconnect with self-worth, relevance to the outside world, a sense of mastery and control, importance, confidence, and joy. The perfect mix to counter anxiety and depression.

So whether last-minute, or as part of disciplined planning, reach out today. 

Well, can you guess what I’d like to do right now? Yep: take a nap. But alas, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, and I have a project due on Monday, and another on Tuesday. I could just wait till the last minute, but that’s potentially too expensive – mostly costing my sanity, and that’s not something I have in abundance!


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