2020 has been a year. We have seen the rise and fall of the economy, we have seen more legislation introduced and not passed than any other year. In fact, our congress has been the least productive this year of any in recent history. However, to us sitting in the tax advisor’s shoes – we have had more legislation that affects us and our clients to sift through. And these bills have been pushed through before the congresspeople even have time to review them start to finish. The latest bill – sitting on the president’s desk for signature as I write this – is 5593 pages long and the Senate had about two hours to review it before it went to vote. Our government is no longer legislating in a productive manner and are belabored by opposing forces in truly helping the people and the businesses that keep our economy producing. The tax code has further become a tool for political means.
This is all exhausting. I have not spoken to a tax advisor that is not exhausted from the marathon of a year we just survived. Clients have been calling me all day requesting updates on a bill that has not even been signed into law! And I know this is rampant across our profession. We are expected to know everything occurring in Washington and how it will affect every business and individual immediately. The expectations for immediate feedback, advice, and strategy are unrealistic. We are human tax advisors and until the robot uprising, we need to take care of ourselves.
Our brains need a break. Our bodies need rest and nourishment. Our computers need to be updated and rebooted and turned off. Our eyes need a chance to absorb the beauty of the world. Our hands and wrists need to perform a different action than continuous typing. Our backs need the support of something other than our office chair. Our families and pets need our attention. Our books need to be read for enjoyment. Our souls need a moment to regroup.
Turn off this holiday season. Tell your clients that the tax code is in a constant state of flux and our planning is not going to be much use in the last week of the year. Pick up again in January and calculate out expectations. No one could have predicted the PPP expenses would be deductible, then not, then deductible again. No one could have foreseen the tax credits for sick leave, or the additional unemployment benefits that created taxable events for people. This year was a giant rollercoaster that we rode continuously in a death loop. Join me in exiting the rollercoaster and sitting on the bench overlooking the beauty in this world. Join me in pressing pause for the last few days of the year so I can come back in the beginning of January and give my clients 100%.