Keith Mattson, of Mattson & Radziej Ltd. in Lakeville, Minn., originally wrote this poem, “Memo Home RE: Tax Season,” in 1990, and it was published in the Minnesota Society of CPAs’ Footnote at the time. A quarter century later, it remains highly relevant.



Memo Home RE: Tax Season

I’m working late, I won’t be home;

Don’t try to reach me on the phone.

Don’t expect me home for dinner.

Don’t expect me home this winter.

Don’t even try to use your pull.

Don’t talk to me or shoot the bull.

I don’t want you to think me cruel,

But until May, my slate is full.

Just tell me what you spend and earn;

I’ll put it in a tax return.

(I hope that you will never learn

You’re just another file to churn.)

I’ve got files on my floor,

And on my chairs and desk are more.

I’ve got them coming in the door.

That’s all I do — I keep the score.

So far this year, the feds are winning,

With clients behind before beginning.

Their tax returns show “Balance due;”

Their checkbooks show a scarlet hue.

Their life is on a downward trend,

And then they ask, “Can we extend?”

I pause a bit … I say, “Absurd!

Where did you learn that awful word?”

But it’s too late for rhyme or reason;

They’ve just extended busy season!

And so, my dear, I’m warning you,

Just when we thought the season through:

I’m working late, I won’t be home;

Don’t try to reach me on the phone.

I’ll try to write or maybe call.

I hope to be home late this fall.

Keith Mattson is the co-founder of Mattson & Radziej Ltd. in Lakeville, Minn.

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