The much-dreaded April 15 tax deadline is here and I’m sure millions of Americans have waited until the last possible moment to file their earnings. While this was a better tax season for me than past years, I still have to pay money back (not having dependents hurts this time of year). It’s not a whole lot of money and it’s mainly due to my lack of health insurance. Yet, as I sat there chatting away with my tax preparer, letting the news that I would have to pay sink in, I couldn’t be mad at the situation for one reason: the tax preparer is my godmother/aunt.
My Tia Beti (aunt Betty), has been filing my parents’ taxes for as long as I can remember. As a result, she is who I immediately went to when receiving my first ever W-2 form from Mount Saint Mary’s College. Ever since I graduated high school and was hired as a janitor, my godmother has been keeping track of my yearly earnings, making sure that I don’t end up like Wesley Snipes: in jail for tax evasion.
So this year, as we sat in her office looking at receipts related to work that could be written off, I knew right away that I was going to have to pay the IRS. Still, in the middle of adding totals, sorting and organizing receipts, I was having a good time hanging out with my godmother. We see each other regularly at family functions and random visits to my mom’s house, but that once-a-year visit that requires math and focus has always been something I look forward too. It is an enjoyable experience because I get to hang out with my godmother. In reality, filing my taxes is fun for several reasons: my godmother is easy going, works in Huntington Park where there are great coffee shops, eateries and bakeries all over the place and she is a jokester. However, she is also a born again Christian, which means that I, and the rest of the family, like to push the comedy limits around her. Luckily for us, she takes it all in stride.
In all honesty, we are never offensive and she’s not over sensitive; she just shakes her head and smiles at some of the comments we make. Along the way, she’ll crack a joke or two but keeps it clean. It’s a unique bonding experience during a time of year that many people tend to stress about.
It is safe to assume that tax season is not one of the most anticipated periods of the year. Yet, I do look forward to the hour or so that I spend with my godmother as we complete the filing process. So even though Uncle Sam is digging into my bank account, my Tia Beti continues to have a positive impact on my life.