A year or two ago I discovered Fox Tax, a young, family-run business specializing in financial services for performing and visual artists and musicians. I made a mental note to call them once I took the plunge into freelance work and needed help with my assumably messy taxes. 2007 was the year of said plunge, and the 2007 messy tax reporting season is upon us. Call made.

Their office was pretty sweet – a re-purposed storefront in North East with hardwood floors, exposed ceilings, white walls, and a visual art gallery for their lobby. Their CPAs know their stuff and are informative to boot; one of the Foxes worked through my Federal and State taxes (including my renter’s return) in under an hour and taught me tidbits about reporting practices and deductions and reasoning along the way. And, while he was at it, recommended a book on creating theater with teens. You read that right.

The downside: I owe The Government money. For the first time. Ever. Hundreds. On the large side of hundreds. For an artist, “hundreds” is code for “a Big Deal.”

In all honesty, it’s not terrible once my renter’s return is factored in, but that won’t come until August – a long, long four months after the April 15 Big Deal due date. I’ll just chalk this up to dirty little life-lesson learned about freelance work and savings and withholdings and all of that. And with that lesson learned, I am now prepared to be a stealthy ninja unto next year’s taxes – I will go in, free my captive money, and silently return from whence I came.

I’m holding off actually filing my Federal Big Deal until the last minute – in the interim I keep randomly shouting a particular Beatles lyric, startling people and making me laugh every time.