make-a-game-out-of-filing-taxes“I got my tax refund before you did!”

Do you have friends that say that to you? Isn’t it annoying?

By now, a lot of your friends have probably already gotten their refunds or have finished filing their taxes. But there are still others dragging out filing taxes, just like you.

Do you want to have some fun while you are filing your taxes? Here’s how!

How to set up a tax-filing contest

Invite your favorite procrastinators, friends, family, or most detested critics to participate in this contest.

The goal: Who can file first—without losing data quality or integrity.

The prizes: Here’s where you can really have fun.

Establish two kinds of prizes:

1. A monetary prize.

  • Cash.
  • A meal at a favorite restaurant.
  • A favorite device.
  • A favorite delicacy, like gourmet chocolate.

2. A personal prize.

  • Give the winner three hours of your time to help him or her out around the house or the garage or to run errands.
  • Give the winner the right to choose the entertainment for a month. For instance, the winner will have the right to select the ball games, movies, TV shows, plays, or outings—even if it’s something you hate to do.
  • Require the loser to be the winner’s servant for a week and do things like shine shoes, wash cars, clean windows, and scrub toilets.
  • Provide massages, foot rubs, or other treats. (The level of intimacy for this prize depends on the relationship, of course!)
  • Listen. Give the winner your undivided, uncritical, and patient attention for at least two full hours (no matter how boring or whiny the winner might be).

Establish ground rules: No hiding the mail from each other, and no keeping necessary tax documents out of the hands of your competitors. You cannot call up partners or accountants and tell them to hold off sending important paperwork or accounting reports until after you win.

The tax return must be complete, with all relevant forms and schedules completed. If something is missing and the tax return will need to be amended, it will be disqualified.

Winner must be able to show proof of filing. If more than one person files on the same day, the time stamp will determine the winner.

Naturally, you can change the parameters of this contest and add your own personal touches. You can create graphics to cheer or boo each other. You can post your taunts and your progress on Facebook or Twitter. But use discretion. Remember, post it and the world will see it—including both present and future employers.

But most of all, have fun! (And enjoy your tax refund!)

READ MORE:
Money Management Tips: Storing Your Paperwork
Last-Minute Ideas for Saving Money on Your Taxes
Documenting Your Donations for Tax Deductions
Tax Deduction for Claiming Elderly Relatives and Dependents
Tax Tips: Tax Implications of a New Baby
Paying Taxes on Self-Employed or Side Income

Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including the new edition of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.