SPRINGTIME USHERS IN ‘HOLIDAYS’

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For most of us who work in the public accounting profession, the time from February through April 15th is known as “Tax Season”.

Tax Season can be both an exercise in long hours and too much time looking at computer screens. But looked at positively, it is also a time when we are re-united with many long time clients who have become old friends. I always look forward to meeting with one particular client who always knows the latest jokes.

Looking over the calendar for the month of March, I was also amazed this year by the number of holidays. These are holidays of the spirit: religious, ethnic, athletic and in one case, academic.

Let’s start with sports. Two major happenings are occuring that have become like religious observance to many Americans: Spring Training and March Madness. For baseball fans, going to Spring Training is like a visit to Jerusalem, Mecca or Lourdes. Hope springs eternal for all baseball fans, especially for those of us who happen to be Cubs fans. Here at Sassetti, we also are keenly interested in March Madness and will have our own bracket fun like many other American offices.

Then there is the middle of March. On the day corporate tax returns are initially due, March 15th, lovers of classical civilization and history remember the Ides of March; that notorious day when Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by the Roman Senate for forgetting the concept of balance of power. Two days later, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, an especially big holiday here in Chicago, where the bars and pubs balance their books for the year. And don’t forget St. Joseph’s Day, celebrated by many families with special foods. Only a few days later we will celebrate the first day of Spring.

Next comes both the celebration of the Christian Holy Week and the Jewish celebration of Purim.  Once Easter finally arrives, lent observant employees can begin to eat their favorite sweets again and our office gets a whole lot happier. The Girl Scout cookies come out of the refrigerator and tax returns seem a little easier to prepare.

April Fool’s Day reminds us not to take anything too seriously. Then comes April 15th. This year, federal offices will be closed as Washington DC celebrates “Emancipation Day” on the 15th, so tax filers will have an extra three days until April 18th to file their returns. Most of us in the accounting profession would probably not want tax season to last another three days. At Sassetti, the end of tax season is one more holiday as we celebrate our hard work and another successful season with our big employee barbecue.

Then it is time to enjoy my beloved Cubs!

Jeff Schroeder

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