Tax season ends: from boom town to ghost town

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

tax, refund, IRS, Where's my refund, tax seasonThe gold rush is over, how did you fare? Did you find yourself breaking even, did you get your gold back, or did you find yourself stuck in the mine shaft?

If you’ve never been around a public accounting firm during tax season, then you probably don’t quite understand my metaphor. Around the beginning to mid-February each year, people flood into the office. From then until the tax deadline, the office basically becomes a boomtown (some could argue that they do indeed live in the office during the rush). The hallways become roads full of traffic, noise and the occasional crash from someone taking the blind corner too fast. Accountants turn into mineworkers overnight – digging through tax receipts, tax documents, tax returns, etc.; carting out gold (refunds) for some and coal (amounts due) for others. (And trust me, as some may think otherwise, we definitely enjoy carting out gold more than coal, but we aren’t magicians; we’re miners and can’t magically turn coal into gold, unfortunately). Our support team then polishes it up to send off for processing. This is a day by day summary of life during tax season in the public accounting industry.

Now is that time though when tax season is officially over. And in my opinion, it is a bitter sweet moment, because if this isn’t your first tax season, you know what follows the weeks after deadline. The hallways and parking lots become vacant, offices dark and barren. We go from 11 to 14 hour days that feel like 4 hour to 8 hour days that feel like 20 hours. (following?). Sometimes you can literally go the whole day with no one coming to your office. And just like that, we go from boomtown to ghost town… until the next deadline, of course.

Anyways, I revert back to the above question: how did you fare – gold or coal? At this point, you should have a good idea of where you stand or where you fell, and if you don’t, ask us! We’re rested and back in the office after our self-declared “Tax Holiday” and as always, ready to help!

Chris Morrison, CPA