Bearer of bad news

Much like a doctor who has to tell the family that their son is dying of tumasyphilisitisosis, part of my job as a tax return preparer is to give bad news.

“I’m sorry, there’s no easy way to say it.”

“Just give it to me.”

“Well, sir, you owe $13,325 to the IRS.”

“What?! Noooooo!! How can that be?!”

“Well, you made so much money and your deductions weren’t enough.”

“Oh my Gad. I knew, I mean, I always knew this would happen, but deep down, I was kind of hoping it wouldn’t be true! *sob* How long do I have?”

“A month and a half. I’m so sorry.”

Some take the news well. For the most part, people know that they made so much more money or that they didn’t pay enough in taxes. But just because they expect it doesn’t mean it makes it easier for me to deliver the news. It just means that I get to sleep well that night.

When people don’t take the news well, they really don’t take it well. They lash out, use hurtful words and place blame on anyone but themselves. More often than not, they blame the accountant. I try not to take it personally and try not let it bother me. I try to remind them that it’s their money, not mine. I try to explain that the IRS makes the laws, I just bend them. I try to be patient, compassionate and polite.

But for fuck’s sake, I’m not going for sainthood (although I do know some card tricks*)!

Gad, I’m tired.

*50 points to the first person who can tell me what this is in reference to.


~ by Binibining Beth on February 28, 2008.

4 Responses to “Bearer of bad news”

  1. Blame the accountant? How about blame the government? They’re the ones doing all the stealing.

  2. SNL’s Father Guido Sarducci said

    “To be made a saint in-a the catholic church, you have to have-a four miracles. That’s-a the rules, you know. It’s-a always been that-a. Four miracles, and-a to prove it. Well, this-a Mother Seton-now they could only prove-a three miracles. But the Pope-he just waved the fourth one. He just waved it! And do you know why? It’s-a because she was American. It’s all-a politics. We got-a some Italian-a people, they got-a forty, fifty, sixty miracles to their name. They can’t-a get in just cause they say there’s already too many Italian saints, and this woman comes along with-a three lousy miracles. I understand that-a two of them was-a card tricks.”

  3. I have a love-hate relationship with taxes… I’m not saying let’s lay down and embrace all taxes but let’s be realistic… without taxes we wouldn’t have 911 or the fire department or highways or an army… I think how taxes are levied are unfair and let’s not forget the issue of how our tax money is spent. Let’s not consider taxes as a penalty… it’s our payment for services rendered.

    🙂 Way to go Meggy…

  4. So what are you trying to say? You’re too busy to blog? 🙂

    I used to work in the legal department of an accounting firm (not a big five. or four, or whatever they’re down to now), and since I was a legal secretary, I loved tax season, because I could get paid overtime to do reception on weekends.

    I’m sorry you don’t get overtime. Almost as sorry as when I found out two days ago that I could have deducted the thousands of dollars I paid in Cobra last year if only I hadn’t already sent in my taxes, dammit.

    Can we expect a post from you on April 17th? That gives you a day to recover.

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