I’m an accountant and you may have heard the profession referred to as “bean counting.” Now, this implies something serene and quiet, maybe done by yourself in a room with soft music in the background. I imagine Bob Cratchit sitting at his desk with his quill trying to warm his hands around a candle flame while snow falls silently outside. Accounting is anything but serene. And the amount of stress and frustration can be astronomical. There are many days when actually counting beans would be preferable to what I have to deal with. I realize that most people don’t know much about taxes or payroll and I wouldn’t if it weren’t my job so I try not to be too hard on them. But sometimes it’s just too much. Here are some of the better ones.
The first week of April when the partnership return is due on the 15th and I have been begging this guy since February 1st to bring me his bank and loan statements, he tells me that he’s on vacation and he’ll bring them next week. And this is after he has brought me a plastic tub full of shit I don’t need.
After being rude when I ask this woman important questions about her personal tax return, she calls up and asks if I’m a CPA. I say no. Then she says, “Then why should I pay the CPA price if you’re not a CPA?” Then don’t. Go to H&R Block and let them overcharge you, bitch.
This guy brings in his tax return the first week of April knowing it’s due the 15th after having a divorce finalized and says, “We got divorced last year but we’re okay with filing joint.” Sigh. It doesn’t work that way. You have to file single and you have a whole bunch of messy things that have to be untangled and you want a model of how your tax return will look if you claim your kids or if she does. You’re going on extension, asshole. Bring it in earlier next time.
It’s April 6th and “I’m going out of town in two days so could you have my tax return ready so I can pick it up before I leave?” I wish the answer to this question was no. But sadly, we accommodate these douche bags. Yes, there are several and they do this every damn year. And, just for the record, we know you’re lying.
I call someone and tell him I need more info for his personal return. He says he’ll get it. A week later he calls and says, “Is my tax return ready?”
I call this woman an hour before the payroll has to go through and ask where the info is. She says, “Oh, I sent it yesterday.” I haven’t gotten it. “Oh, I meant to send it yesterday. I guess I just didn’t get that far.” Really?
The same woman as above calls me in mid-March to ask why the IRA contributions aren’t going to the new company handling it. What new company? “Oh, we switched on January 1. I thought they were supposed to contact you.” So I’ve been sending money to the wrong company for two and a half months? You didn’t think it was your responsibility to tell the person who processes your payroll that you switched retirement plan companies? What. The. Fuck.
A client who got a refund on his personal tax return calls to say he thinks he needs to pay capital gains tax. Um, no, the thing you sold that you were told may be subject to capital gains has already been taken into account on your tax return. You’re getting a refund. “Now, I need to understand this because I was told when that was sold that I would have to pay capital gains tax on it.” It’s on your tax return and it’s been taken into account with every other income item and deduction. So, you don’t owe anything. You’re getting a refund. “But I was told this was going to generate capital gains tax…” We went around and around. I finally told him I’d get the partner to call him and explain it. And he’s lucky I even did that. This guy has been rude and obnoxious every year I’ve done his return. He’s rude to our receptionist and demands that the partner call him back within a specific time frame. The partner even told me right after that phone call that if I felt the need to smart off to this guy, he didn’t care. You better watch out next year, buddy.
Last year, our receptionist got fired and I had to sit on the front desk until they hired a new one. This guy calls up and wants to know how much he owes. I tell him 401.73. He replies, “Well, 400. I’m not payin’ y’all no interest.” Okaaayyy… It appears we accommodate this as well. Interest accrues when you don’t pay your bills and then it’s written off when you do pay — five months late.
So, in conclusion, I just want to say, if you have an accountant please don’t be a stupid, demanding, self-obsessed asshole like the people above. We really appreciate it.