The Springtime Quest: Filing an Income Tax Return Springtime is a period of rebirth of nature, the promise of warmer weather, and a sign that an impending deadline to file my income tax report is at hand. Yes, once again I will wade through mountains of paperwork, dig out the "important papers" file, and spend hours deciphering government jargon that is worded in such a way that anyone with a high school education could understand it, at least that's what they claim. So, with nervous energy, I rise to the occasion and seek to conquer the annual quest and put the beast to rest for another year. My first stop on the quest is to the local library. The library is a distribution center of tax forms. Upon locating the display of forms, I am overwhelmed by the sheer number of different forms.

As I have fought this battle before, I know that I must take at least one of every form or I will find myself traveling back to the library to get the form that I should have obtained on the first trip. Heaven forbid that they run out of the form that I need! Once I have my paper treasures in hand, I depart to complete the second leg of my journey. At home, I dust off the file cabinet and empty the drawers that contain my important personal papers that will be needed to file the income tax report. The extensive important paper inventory consists of medical receipts, records of interest paid, and literally any other kind of record that may or may not be a factor in the tax filing. In the past, I have thrown away receipts only to find that the receipts were vital in completing the tax report. I now own a spacious four-drawer filing cabinet for important papers.

My next stop in the tax filing process is to set up camp at the dining room table. My preparatory measures include a sharpened pencil, sever a erasers, a calculator, and a stiff cup of coffee. I spread the mountain of paper work out before me and locate the instruction book for filing a personal income tax return. Now comes the hard part. Do I go long form or short form There is only one way to find out which method to file, complete both types of forms. Long into the night, I labor over the government jargon and referencing, that I am sure is intended to confuse the average intelligence.

After many hours of focused energy, I complete and compare the two methods of filing. The one that nets me the most return or causes the least amount of loss is signed and stuck in the mail. I realize that income tax supports many worthwhile programs and I enjoy many of the benefits that are funded by taxes. But, I can't help but think that the government, in their effort to cover all the angles, developed a tax filing system that is intimidating and cumbersome. There must be a better way. My solution to the problem is simple, next year I am going to pay a professional tax service to prepare my income tax return..