Archive for June, 2010

Taxes & ADD/ADHD

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

TAXES? Is he kidding? I don’t have to think about that until next April. How about something useful like relationships, school, relationships at school, stress from relationships & school. How about fishing or hiking? Exercise? Why this now?

Why this now? Because now is the time to catch up on getting taxes for this tax year organized. We’re already halfway through it and you don’t know where all your receipts are, haven’t kept the checkbook balanced and/or haven’t entered everything into your accounting program that you haven’t updated, etc.

The simple fact is that taxes are a year-round reality, not just something that happens in April and, as Inspector Harry Callahan said, “Man’s got to know his limitations.” Sure, you’ve been downloading all your credit/debit transactions into your accounting program, but what about the cash purchases that you can’t download? Does your accounting program properly itemize or hasn’t it been set up to do that properly? What about the receipts for the donations of clothing, etc. to your favorite thrift store? Do you know where they all are?

ADD/ADHD comes in different “flavors:” Disorderly/energetic, distracted/daydreamy & highly structured. These aren’t distinct categories and hardly anyone is all one “flavor,” but knowing or recognizing what type you are can lead to different strategies for dealing with taxes (and money in general.)

The highly structured kind has the easiest time with taxes, right? Everything is in its place and everything is OK. But is that true? I did ask about “all” the receipts for expenditures, tracking of income, donations, etc. All means just that: ALL. One missing receipt can throw the highly organized person into a frenzy of activity, holding up everything until that one missing piece of paper is found, often just before April 15th, with all the resultant anxiety and recriminations that go with not having everything under control and in place.

The disorganized and distracted types often have the opposite problem. Instead of everything being in “its place” everything’s place is everywhere and anywhere. Receipts were put away to keep them together only now that location is forgotten and so others get put in another place or nothing was really “put away” but was left to sit where ever a wallet or something got emptied. Stuff is all over and the end of March/beginning of April is a frantic search to assemble a year’s worth of documentation, enter it somewhere, and get the taxes completed in time.

Any of this sound familiar? Many people go through this same scenario, whether they are diagnosed with ADD or just not thinking about money & taxes until the subject is shoved in their faces. It’s stressful, can lead to problems in relationships, takes time away from other things and can take over your life for a while. So what can be done?