Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.
TELLING TIPS: I’ve seen that several bloggers have been talking about the end of the world, so I thought I would put in my two cents as well. I mean, really, if the world is going to end in 2012, why file taxes?
For the past 12 years or so, ‘end of the world gurus’ have noted ‘reliable’ authorities including the Mayan calendar, which ends in 2012, as well as Nostradamus, Revelations, and the Buddhist Eschatology. Now add to the preponderance of authoritative voices, the rare planetary alignment this year, and the planet Nibiru (Planet X), which those in the know say is our definite demise. And lending credence to these is the History Channel’s dissection of the prophecies (Check out: The End of the World).
What should you do? Be conservative and file? Or shoot craps? You certainly could go onto an extension, which gives you until mid-October to send in your paperwork (but not your money, however). And if things really look dire, you could climb a mountain, or hold your breath from mid-October and see what happens by midnight, December 31, 2012.
If you choose the conservative road and file, you will not get a refund if the prophecies are correct. On the other hand, you will not receive a nasty letter from the IRS if the prophets are wrong.
If you decide to hold off filing and paying, and the worst happens, in my experience, you will not get out of paying the taxes wherever you go. I have it on not-so-good authority that many IRS agents are waiting for you — down there — to collect what you ‘rightfully’ owe, plus interest and penalty, of course.
If you do not pay on time this year of 2012, and the world survives, you really need to think about an excuse so you won’t be penalized. One explanation might be that ‘I shouldn’t be charged interest or penalty because I really believed in my heart of hearts that end of the world was at hand, and that the government wouldn’t need any money,’ or ‘I asked my Congressman for a bailout, and I was just waiting for Congress to agree on the amount.’
Whatever you decide, I hope your year is one of good health, of family happiness, and of financial prosperity.
Oh, and me? No matter which road you choose, we’ll be available for your tax preparation right up until the end.
Joseph Reisman, of Joseph S. Reisman & Associates, has been serving tax prep and business accounting expertise from his Coney Island Avenue office for more than 25 years. Check out the firm’s website.