Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Plus Tax

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Thursday October 11th, 2012 – Mt. Prospect, IL

   Whew! What a sense of sheer relief it was to bring my box of tax receipts into my accountant’s office this morning. I felt like I just got a clean bill of health after a complicated biopsy and went to the dentist and only needed a cleaning both on the same day. It was like walking on sunshine.

   I really worked hard at getting all those records in order, and my accountant looked at what I’d done and nodded in approval which is a major accomplishment as he’s a pretty quiet guy. “Well, you’re getting better,” he said. “Now we just have to work on getting you to do it a little faster.”

   He’s totally right, and the good feeling I had standing there knowing I’d done my due diligence really put me in a great space. I know it was right, and I felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders as I walked out of his office. I didn’t cheat anyone, and I did the best I could with what I had. I saved my receipts, and he’ll take care of the deductions. If I owe anything, it will be paid.

   I don’t know how I’m going to pay, but I’ll do what I need to do and that’s all I can do. At least I got the wheels in motion, and I can’t feel any better about it. I’m not going to make any shallow promises, as I’ve been down that road before. But I know I fully intend to overcome this problem once and for all, and that will start by just being smart and keeping my records more organized.

   Why I didn’t do this before is still a mystery, but I don’t want to go over all that painful ground again and again. I want to start completely new, and I told my accountant my goal is to become a model customer and the example he uses to the rest of his clients on how someone can transform. I want the head of the IRS to call me on April 16th and comment on how stellar my return was.

   This is an amazingly important part of show business, business in general and American life in general. Like it or not, (and nobody does) income tax is part of our lives. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon and fair or not that’s how it is. Why make it worse by bungling the process yearly?

   I remember hearing horror stories from comedians over the years who hadn’t filed their returns in decades, if ever. Two prime examples have now died, and I guess they ‘won’. But I know a lot of entertainers have had big problems with the IRS from Willie Nelson to Redd Foxx to so many others. Wesley Snipes comes to mind and I’m sure there are a lot more. It’s all a needless waste.

   Dealing with what isn’t fun is just that – not fun. But it is necessary, and the true greats always find the way to do what’s best in the long run even if it sacrifices pleasure in the short run. I have seen the light after today, and I really do feel like a new man. I believe in my heart I’m changed.

   I believed that after I got my diabetes diagnosis and completely changed my life as far as what I ate and how regularly I exercised, and I’ve stuck with it and feel better than I ever have. I don’t see why I can’t do the same and completely transform the way I handle my tax situation as well.

   This way, when I do eventually hit that windfall I’ve always dreamed of I’ll handle it correctly and not have to feel that lump in my stomach I’ve felt so often before. This was a breakthrough.

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