Friday, April 17, 2015

If it seems too good to be true . . .

I tried to go the cheap route, use a tax guy that wasn't really "certified" ~ he was an accountant of sorts, said he worked for the IRS in the auditing department for 4 years and had done thousands of returns. Never having one client need an amendment or get audited, or so he said.  Sounded good to me.

I waited till the 14th of April for him to do my taxes, knowing that I was going to owe the government a nice chunk of change (or actually bills, in my case) ~ So what a surprise it was when he told me I owed nothing! My first thought was, this can't be. My second thought was that I could take the money I had been saving to pay my taxes and gift it to my daughter, to buy the wedding dress of her dreams. But then reality grabbed me by the throat, with two hands, and shook me hard. I think reality even yelled at me "Sucker!"


My gut instinct told me this just didn't make sense. I owed a substanial penalty to the government ~ there was no way around it. But he said that there was, and that he had found it. All legit. So I trusted him, for a few hours, because I so wanted to believe that it was true. But logic set in and I started to panic. It was April 15th and I wanted him to do an amendment. To make it right. To pay Uncle Sam the big bucks even if I didn't have to (which I was still trying to convince myself could be a possibility.)

So I called him, I emailed him, I texted him. No response. Except for one email that finally came in and cost me a "Distracted Drivers" citation to the tune of $300. I had been waiting and watching so frantically for some communication from him, that I admit, I read his email on my phone while driving. Damn. Damn. The email said he knew all his figures were correct, he had no doubt he had done everything right, but if I truly felt the need to amend, he could meet me between 6:30 and 9:00pm ~ he had a full day. I wrote back, Yes, 6:30 sounds good. I waited all evening and never heard back from him.

I spent a restless evening, tossing and turning, stomach feeling sick, unable to sleep, getting on TurboTax at 11pm, only to give up before midnight. It was just too complicated. I woke feeling queasy, scared, with a swollen eye (don't really know where that came from) afraid of what April 16th might have in store and now what added penalties I might be faced with. I regretted my decision to go with this guy who was just starting out on his own and  "trying to build" his business.

It dawned on me that this applies to all things in life. Whether it is the way we want to obtain good health, climb up the career or corporate ladder, or be in a loving relationship, they all take time, they all take doing the right thing, they all require us to walk the walk ~ take the long way, if you will. And while I like to remain an optimist, to believe in magic and miracles, I am a realist at heart and still believe more in the old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."