Every year the competition is fierce.
There are e-mails exchanged and Facebook posts written. There is strategy, careful planning, and stealth calculating involved. Numbers are crunched and money is exchanged. Both federal and local governments are involved.
This may sound different from my usual posts about cookies or a cappella because I am talking about something very, very serious: the Annual Goodstein Family Tax Competition. Yes, you heard me. In my family, there is a competition among households (there are three) to see who can file their taxes first.
Some families may gather around the TV and cheer on a sports team together. In my family, we compete to see who can get their taxes filed first. And the prize? Bragging rights until the next year and the privilege to post a blog about your win.
This year, I was pretty sure Rebecca G. was going to win. You see, by the time my W2 arrived in the mail, Rebecca had already made her appointment with our tax man. Speaking of which, I should probably tell you about him. He is basically the best person ever.
His name is Dick Van Dehi and he works out of the H&R Block offices in Cleveland Park. Similar to my thoughts on manicurists and hair dressers, I am not endorsing just anyone at the H&R Block in CP, rather, I am endorsing Dick Van Dehi. He doesn’t work by e-mail and you need to call the store pretty far in advance to make an appointment (especially if you aren’t participating in the Great Goodstein Tax Race and you are, perhaps, doing your taxes now). He is thorough, dependable, trust worthy, and very patient. He never makes fun of me for asking unrelated questions (“What do you think of the font that H&R Block uses for their printed materials?” or “Have you ever had the hot chocolate at the Marvelous Market a few doors down?”) and spends the summers in Maine (where he lives on a tiny island) so what is not to love?
Okay, back to the competition. So, Rebecca G. was the front runner. I even convinced Dick V. to allow me to make my appointment DIRECTLY after hers (8:00 AM and 9:00 AM, we love the morning) so I could come in as a very close second… Then I received two text messages from Reb. The first read “FYI, I had to reschedule my appointment with Dick Van Dehi.” I was disappointed as I was looking forward to chatting with Reb while Dick V. crunched numbers and catching up on her recent trip to the UK. Then I received the second text, “…and this means you won the tax race this year.” All disappointment melted away and I became the proud champion of this year’s competition.
I will be signing autographs at the Cleveland Park H&R Block location between now and April 15.