Last-Minute Tax Tips

Name your yearly tax ritual

Marketplace Staff Apr 9, 2010
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Last-Minute Tax Tips

Name your yearly tax ritual

Marketplace Staff Apr 9, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

Tess Vigeland: Whether your taxes are simple or complicated, bizarre tax rituals abound at this time of year. We asked people around the country to tell us what they go through as April 15th draws nigh.


Leslie Helgeson: My name is Leslie Helgeson, and I live in Mayville, N.D. We teach at the university, and so, we sit down during spring break and sort out our receipts that we’ve stashed in paper sacks all year. And then we like to rent a bunch of movies on a certain theme. This year, we followed a World War II theme, so we rented “Band of Brothers,” which was an HBO series, and we stayed up late and have snacks all we want and just have that whole week together. It’s kind of like a little ritual we plan every year.

Gary Talbert: I’m Gary Talbert. I’ve been preparing taxes for 23 years in Mobile, Ala. Some people come in very prepared and very astute. Some people just don’t care, they say, “I’ll worry about that later” and “We’re about life today.” They come in with two boxes or grocery bags, so really what they’re doing is they’re causing themselves to create a larger tax bill, because we have to do a lot more to get their record organized, in order to prepare their return.

Robert Venegas: My name is Robert Venegas from Cottonwood, Ariz. Tax time every year, the first thing I think is that I need to get the children out of my wife’s hair, so that she can do the taxes. I take the kids out, and we’ll normally go shopping, anywhere between two or four-and-a-half hours. The kids have a game they like to play when the stores are crowded, where they grab each other by the arms and swing them around in circles. It’s just flailing the mass of bodies. And as they start acting up, I picture my wife at home with her feet up on the computer with a cocktail. It makes me wonder who’s getting the better end of the deal here.

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