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Ever feel like life is full of hurdles? Just when days flow easily, simply, flawlessly—up pop needling issues that demand immediate attention.

Most recently the issue of income tax preparation poked a hole in my perfect days. I do not mind paying my share, yet the process of executing taxes is razor sharp. As a self-employed person, doing my own taxes is beyond my grasp. The IRS process is beyond tedious, with forms that boggle even the brightest entrepreneur. Computer software for the novice is just that—boring, inaccurate, and extremely taxing!

Years ago I found a family friend who adores tax forms and is employed by one of the country’s largest tax firms. Unfortunately, they charge by the IRS mandated forms and for my business, costs add up quickly, mounting to hundreds of dollars a year. When this company offered a “friends & family” discount two years ago, my annual fee plummeted to $25.

My 2012 hurdle began when this tax professional informed me that this offer was no longer available to “friends” only “family”. Therefore this year’s tax charge would be $504. GASP! Mind you, she had already completed my 2011 taxes…in less than an hour, as I am in the system…(and she is highly experienced.)

Hurled out into the world of what to do now…I spent a day with my gut in a knot, then decided to take the bull by the horns and picked up the phone.

massive hulk at restFirst, I tried calling the IRS office to see if they offered help. To date, they have not returned my call.

Second, I called the manager of the local tax office where my forms are processed. SHE offered me a mere $50 discount. I asked to speak to her supervisor. HE called me within a few hours and offered me a $100 discount, which I politely declined. I asked to speak to HIS supervisor. What is wrong with this picture???

I decided that I would continue to call supervisors until I got to the top of the heap. After-all, I had no prior warning about this price change, my income declined in 2011, and there must be someone out there who has a conscience!

Tax preparers are mere mortals who spend long hours at ergo-unfriendly stations, sorting through vast numbers and papers for clients and walk-in traffic. They are dedicated folks who handle a necessary part of life. Similar to trash collection, this task must be accomplished in order to keep this world on track. I would rather tear out my hair than face IRS paperwork. So I must pay whatever the cost, right?

Within the afternoon, the regional tax manager called me. He spoke with HIS supervisor, the national manager, and I was granted a reprieve for this year. I may have my “friend” discount for 2011…ONLY. My tax preparers bill will be $29.

I am off the hook for now. Yet have a mere twelve months to find another way to reduce IRS forms, or consider going out of business all together. Can the reality of US self-employment be too expensive to afford? Or should tax preparer costs be income driven?

Congress put this in your pipe and smoke it!

Just another snapshot fact from a hard-working American.

On to the next hurdle.

Copyright © 2012 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved