There are few things that are more dreaded than doing taxes—and with good reason! Taxes have a reputation for being complicated, time-consuming, and of course, difficult to get right. There’s always a fear that something is missing, that you won’t get the return you should, or (far worse) that you will make the kind of mistake that has the government releasing the hounds.
However, this year offers a surprise reprieve from springtime tax day, as the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the IRS to announce that the tax deadline has been pushed. This is a welcome measure to help people affected by the global pandemic, but it’s also left people wondering just what to do with what would have been Tax Day. Thankfully, we’ve got some isolation-friendly (and bookworm-friendly) ideas for you, so you can celebrate having another couple of months to enjoy before knuckling down to that dreaded task.
Read A Book
Okay, this one might be obvious, but this is the perfect time to catch up on some reading. There’s just something gloriously decadent about being able to put off paperwork and enjoy sinking into a fictional world. You could even read something with a bit of a taxes/financial theme, like Confessions of a Shopaholic (and at ten books long, there’s enough to keep you going for a while), or something a little more serious like The Panama Papers (which even has a film adaptation on Netflix).
Take An Online Finance Course
A slightly more responsible option is to use a little extra time (and a lot of extra free time, thanks to self-isolation) to learn how to better manage your money. Pick up a non-fiction book on financial management, or sign up for one of the many free (or reasonably priced) financial literacy courses available online. Many top universities are providing free classes through sites like Coursera.org, making this the best time to get a little more money-savvy. Then, when you do have to do those taxes, they may actually be easier than you expect!
It seems like everyone in self-isolation is spring cleaning (and baking bread), and it’s not just because everyone is stuck at home. Spring cleaning is a great way to make your home a little cozier and more organized while in lockdown, and it also helps get you moving and get your eyes off a screen for a while. If spring cleaning the whole house is a mammoth task that you can’t manage in a day, focus on cleaning and reorganizing your bookshelves (even experiment with sorting your books in a new way, like by color!), or clearing out your filing cabinet and handbags. You may find all the documents, receipts, and more that you need to actually do your taxes and get the best refund possible, so you can buy more books for those newly-organized shelves!
Volunteer Your Time
As much fun as it can be to find creative, enjoyable, staycation-style ways of coping with the global situation, volunteering can be even more rewarding. On a day where you would be dealing with taxes and paperwork, instead of just celebrating a day off from being a grown-up, why not use the day to focus on helping with the situation that led to the delay. Skype a lonely elderly person in a nursing home (call your local home and see if this is an option), sew masks for healthcare workers, contact local homeless shelters and ask what help they need. Giving back can be even more satisfying than getting a refund check!
Okay, this one might not be any fun, but remember: the tax deadline has only been pushed back. Taxes haven’t been canceled for the year! This is helpful for a lot of people, but no matter what, you will have to file those taxes eventually…so why not just get it out of the way? It may seem far more boring and responsible than doing glorious, glorious nothing, but this way, you don’t have to worry about tax day again in a couple of months. If you do taxes yourself (rather than through an accountant’s office, in which case you may have to wait), just go ahead and do them.
Then get on with spring cleaning and book reading.