Becoming a Tax Preparer ... by C.L. Beck

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 I know, I know ... tax time is over. It's been over for almost 3 months. And being the obsessive-compulsive housekeeper that I am (not), I straighten my stack of 2011's receipts and Form 1040 Tax Return every time I stumble over them... er, I mean, walk past them.

The other day, as I once again tidied the pile--after twisting my ankle while tripping on them--my hubby raised one eyebrow (in a poor imitation of Mr. Spock, the Vulcan from Planet ABC Reruns) and said, "What's that stuff on the floor?"

"What stuff?" I asked innocently, yet with great alacrity, all the while trying to shove the twelve-inch stack into the three-inch space under the couch with my foot.

"All that ... that ... paperwork." He pulled out a rumpled 1040 that peeked from under the sofa and waved it at me.

Being fast on my feet like I am, I thought up a lie. Oh, wait. That doesn't sound good; religious people should not lie. So, for the sake of my faith--but mostly because I do not wish to end up in outer darkness where brimstone hisses and fires roars (no, that would not be Colorado, that would be hell)--let's not call it a lie. Let's call it a very large exaggeration.

"I'm taking an income tax course," I said, batting my baby blues in a most flirtatious manner that was designed to throw Russ off the track.

He leaned closer, concern crossed his face, and he peered at me. "Do you have something wrong with your eyes? Why are you blinking like that?"

So much for flirtation.

"Nothing's wrong with my eyes." Then a truly ingenious lie thought tumbled into my brain. "They're just tired. And strained. Very strained because of all the studying I'm doing to become a tax preparer. Which means I really need for you to do the cooking and cleaning."

Russ cocked his head. Years ago, a lock of dark hair would have fallen appealingly over one eye when he did that, but now all that fell was a little dust from the top of his bald head. He smoothed out the 1040 still crumpled in his hand and read it.

An accusing look flitted across his face and then took up permanent residence. "This isn't homework from a tax class, this is last year's tax return. You haven't filed it away yet." The accusing look got more accusing-er.

"Yeah, well ... um ... just because it's from last year, that doesn't mean I'm not studying it." I paused while my brain put together an explanation, and then I continued, "You know how we wanted to pull up the old carpet and replace it with new?"

Russ's eyebrows shot up (possibly in disbelief, but I prefer to think of it as admiration) and he said, "What does learning about taxes have to do with replacing the carpet?" Then he sighed. (Possibly in exasperation, but I prefer to think it as astonishment over my beauty.)

I grinned a coquettish smile of victory. "Well, as everyone knows ... before you can take up the carpet, you have to take up the tax (tacks)!"


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"Becoming a Tax Preparer" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck  
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