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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Poem Written While Preparing to Pay Taxes

Destiny slices forward
Like a sloop in choppy water
But when she turns
She turns hard the other way
Another year has come
And gone with the paying
Of last year's tithes and taxes
Now with the wind square our back
We begin a new growing season
The sky a chalky gray
Earth still a blank slate


This has been a peak year for me (so far) when it comes to taxes.  It's not about how much money I'm paying in taxes.  Indeed, as my income has fallen precipitously in recent years, so too has my own tax burden. But this year is nonetheless a peak year for me as a taxpayer because I find myself in the midst of preparing to file five separate sets of returns -- more than double the rate of accountability from what I'm usually accustomed to.  This includes joint returns for me and my wife, another set for my younger son (no longer deductible but still he expects me to handle it for him), as well as another set for my mother (who no longer has the mental stamina to deal with it), another for our co-op building and still another set for a friend's estate that I'm responsible for administering.  So you can think of peak tax year as a function of being at a certain stage of life when you carry the responsibility for whatever property you have accumulated for yourself plus responsibility for a younger and older generation, as well as for friends of your own generation who have already passed on.  Whatever the sociological reasons for the phenomenon may happen to be, peak tax year has taken far too much of my attention the last two weeks and I am very much looking forward to April 16th!

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