My boss and IÂ have made a commitment to file sales taxes on time.Â Yes, I’mÂ one of the ones inÂ charge of filing the sales tax for the business I work with, and each month ofÂ January, April, July and Oct, on the 31st, (actually circa the 30th of each of those months) I get the tingles, just thinking about the hundreds of thousands of individuals toiling at their offices, just like me, making sure everything adds up. Before… way before…Â in times long gone, IÂ used to makeÂ sure I got into my best, highly energetic mind-frame, RIGHT ON THE 31st! I will muster all my energy on the 30th and 31st I told myself.Â Thank God for sometimes one or two of those thirty-firsts fell on a Sunday, or even better, a Saturday.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “Don’t we all thrive under pressure?”
used to be my motto. While in that mind set l would easily fall prey to the evil spirits of deadline lateness. When I left things for the last minute, Murphy’s Law got impatient on me, for some reason, and it would act in the creepiest of ways.Â Add to that, kids in trick-or-treatÂ outfits marching the streets, andÂ my entireÂ day would have been bleak and gloomy, except for the self-imposed pressure to beat that deadlineÂ that kept me in my toes and alert.Â But my blog is not about things past, but of the present.
Nowadays, I find myself filling in and typing the infamous boe “bo” “ee”"Â form, days, if not weeks, prior to its deadline. The form,Â which descriptively is calledÂ ”Sales and Use Tax” (boe401a2.pdf for short) has, for no coincidental reason,Â HalloweenÂ as its due date… The founding fathers of California taxdom must have thought it well and hardÂ to chooseÂ 4 of the 7– including the scariest–Â Â (longest months with 31 days)Â of each year to give tax payers ample time to make their payments.Â I downloaded my BOE401A2 form from the California Board of Equalization’s web site.Â On this July 31st, 2007, I can proudly proclaim I filed not just on time, but early enough that I didn’t have to be mindful of what day of the week it was. It never crossed my mind to worry about getting to the God-oh-blessed Hector G. Godinez main post office in Santa Ana, CA,Â on time to beat the 8 P.M. deadline.Â Starting a couple of months back, someone who has authorityÂ at the Godinez post office got anal, or perhaps maybe the post office branchÂ restructured and the new managers want to darn make sure that gate closes at exactly 8 p.m or else it will cost them their job? I’ve tried to find a reasonable explanation why this so-important-in-my-life post office decided to change its laid back schedule and policyÂ of allowing late-comers through its back bulk-rate truck gate.
Beating the deadline under pressureÂ like I did in about half a dozen past instances was exciting but not for the faint of heart.Â No more having to bribe the entrance guard. No toÂ having to plead clemency for being 5 minutes late. No.Â Procrastination is hopefully a thing of the past.Â This month of July, I was able to finish the tax chores in a few hours because I had prepared all the documentation and gathered all the information thatÂ our accountant taught me to collect. The $100/hr. rate that Clara Marï¿½a, our in-house-MBA, gets, is well justified. And she is unexpensive, too, I think.Â E-Filing shouldn’t cost 2%, though! I was so deeply stung to learn of this fee, that I didn’t even check if they capped the feeÂ at all.Â This is the first time I e-file, but next time I may as well use eFileSalesTax for only $4.95 a shot.
My boss surprised me with a personalized keepsake award of our own.Â
Patting me on the shoulder, sheÂ said theÂ sweet words…Â ”Thanks for beating Murphy!”.Â That sounded surreal.Â How had she known I had a bit of Irish blood in me? but most astonishingly, how could she have guessed about my inner resolutions?