I Got a CPA

I’m not the kind of person who likes to ask for help.

Nor am I the kind of person who likes to pay for help.

I’m also not the kind of person who likes to have people in authority tell her that she is doing every single thing wrong. (Even though I voluntarily went to grad school, which is basically three years of that.)

This should tell you why it took me until last week to finally meet with a CPA and talk about my finances.

I wasn’t going to do it, either. I was going to use my online tax service and solve the tax problem on my own, like it was the SAT. I did great on the SAT.

Then I got an email from my online tax service. The CSR essentially said “I looked at the tax forms you tried to submit to us. Please take my advice. Your taxes are now so complicated that you really need to be working with a CPA.”

When your online tax service says please don’t work with us, you know it’s time.

The first step in swallowing my pride and working with a CPA was requesting an extension on my taxes. I have never requested an extension on anything, in my life. When I was an undergrad, and my senior honors thesis was due right after we all returned from Spring Break, I spent the entirety of Spring Break in a tiny room typing out 100 pages on Maurice Ravel’s experiences during World War I. Everyone else requested extensions. My honors adviser actually asked me, “Why didn’t you request an extension? You were supposed to.”

So now I have an extension on my taxes, and, as of last week, I have a CPA.

He is really nice and not scary at all. He didn’t spend any time telling me that I was doing anything wrong. Instead, he showed me how he could make my life, or at least “my life in relationship to my business finances,” easier and better.

I highly advocate getting your own CPA, should you need one. Even if it means swallowing your pride and admitting you aren’t clever enough to understand the intricacies of self-employed finances and taxes on your own.

Also, I highly advocate one of you making a time machine, going back to Spring 2004, and telling me to spend Spring Break with my friends instead of sitting in a tiny room, alone, sweating over a thesis and hitting “refresh” to see if Strong Bad had posted his 100th email yet.

Photo: Alexander Baxevanis

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