7 Emotional Stages Of Not Having Filed Your Taxes

by Courtney Kocak

Hey guys, it's April 15 and your world is officially ending because you forgot to file your taxes. Maybe you didn't actually forget, but got stuck somewhere in the first eight emotional stages of doing your taxes short of hitting submit and, like a bad acid trip, never fully recovered. Smooth move, Ex-Lax, you got bested by a one-page, two-sided document! You're really killing it on this whole adulthood thing. See you again never, because soon you'll be locked up in a Guantanamo Bay-style debtor's prison mwahahaha!!

OK, I'm done with the hazing, but that's how it feels to realize it's April-freaking-15th, America's most looming deadline, and you still haven't filed your taxes, right? It is emotional. It makes you wish you could control time and certain government agencies (eh hem, the IRS) like a mutant Marvel character breed specifically for the purposes of tax evasion. (Hey, a girl can dream.) The truth is, no matter how shredded you feel after your Pilates double-header, you’re not the Hulk, and taxes are due today whether you like it or not, so by 11:59 p.m. you need to have either sucked it up and e-filed (but be careful because last-minute filers are more likely to make a mistake), or submitted your extension. However, in the meantime, I predict you'll experience some version of these seven emotional stages of trying to pull out an April 15 buzzer-beater.

Happy Tax Day! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Stage 1: Petrified

A morning quick glance at your affirmation calendar (who are we kidding, you love that thing) confirmed that today is THE day you've been dreading/trying to pretend doesn't exist, and you instantly stressed yourself into a prostrate Statue of Liberty, too overwhelmed to even move (oh, irony).

Stage 2: Anxiety

You had to chug the remains of all the half-drunk coffee mugs scattered around your office to wake yourself up from the initial paralysis, and now you're mid-panic attack FREAKING OUT. You ask yourself the following questions in warp speed succession: Why did I wait until literally the last day? Do I have everything I need to file? I have like three meetings this afternoon, when am I going to find the time? OMG, why are all the restroom stalls already taken?! I mean, that was a lot of old coffee...

Stage 3: Beer

Beer on your lunch break is an emotion, OK! Especially when you're already dehydrated and in the middle of a terrible day. Beer creates a diametric symbiosis where you're simultaneously hyperaware that you're a lazy pile of dog turds who has failed to meet an important national benchmark, and yet you simply don't care. It's basically a warm, tingly form of denial. No, beer doesn't mean you've actually completed your taxes, but why not let yourself indulge in WGAF just a little bit longer.

Stage 4: Nap

After beer comes a nap, that's just science. At work? No problem, that's what the space under your desk was made for. Sorry boss, just adopting the traditional Spanish siesta because I'm a grown-ass woman-child worn out from the constant avoidance of something that happens at the same time every year and I had nothing short of months to accomplish! Catch ya at the water cooler when I'm sobered up and ready to face the world.

Stage 5: Slaphappy

Alright, you're well-rested now, but instead of buckling down and finishing your Form 1040, you woke up on the weird side of the desk and took Darrell who sits next to you up on his year-old offer to show you his toy collection. You are both super into it — doing voices, the whole bit. It's unclear which of you is enjoying this more, you ecstatic in your ability to delay the Tax Reaper for even 15 more minutes, or him for finally acting out this fantasy. Your other coworkers are taking cell phone videos to blackmail you with later.

Stage 6: Craigslist

Darrell had to finish a report, and you are desperately seeking distraction. What's your move? Craigslist, natch. Anything on this site will do: a potential job, a weird free bike rack you have no use for because your bike got stolen in Central Park last year (don't even get you started about that), a few quick searches to see if you might have missed a connection with anyone lately, and, of course, a casual browse through the sex stuff.

Stage 7: Dogged Determination

You are fully rapt in dick pics when you get a text from your BFF. Tickets to something sweet. An invite to a dope house party hosted by that guy you've been crushing on forever. Pizza anything. Whatever, the point is you want to accept, and that's great because now you have external motivation! You cruise through TurboTax with blinders on. Nothing's going to stop you now. You're done in legit 30 minutes — and wondering why you spent the day acting like a psychotic Cowardly Lion — which is great because you have a lot of work to catch up on.

But hooray, you're finally done, and it wasn't that hard! Just try to remember this cycle when tax time rolls around next year, and maybe don't wait until the very last day. LOL, I know... good one. ;)

Images: Fotolia; Giphy