My dad was an inveterate last-minute Christmas gift shopper. OK. Maybe he already knew what he was getting; he just didn't go pick it up until Dec. 24.
I used to have my gifts in hand by August so all I had to worry about was wrapping them. But for the last few years, I've found there's a certain rush to shopping a little closer to the big day.
Anyway, I still don't wait until the very last moment. But if you do, here are some ideas for the tax geek in your life.
Of course, at this late date you you'll have to print out the image of the gift, wrap it in a Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return, and deliver the actual present later. A true tax aficionado won't mind the wait.
For Counsel has several intriguing gifts. First, a framed reproduction of the original 1913 inaugural Form 1040. It's four pages long, including one page of instructions. The mahogany frame has a beaded edge and the ivory mat contains a brass plate identifying the document. Cost: $225 plus shipping.
Legaltease offers a wide selection of tax-themed T-shirts, mugs and tote bags. You can select from the always appropriate Albert Einstein quote: "The Hardest Thing in the World to Understand Is the Income Tax." Or pick an item emblazoned with the 1040 declaration "Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return." Prices for the items range from around $15 to $30.
What's the holiday season without goodies to munch? At Anything Unique you'll find an assortment of Belgian chocolate tax-themed treats. You have to buy them by the case, but that'll give you lots of tax sweets to share. Prices range, before shipping and handling, from $32.50 to $80.
Finally, there's the IRS action figure Irwin R. Shyster (or sometimes Schyster), based on WWF wrestler Mike Rotunda's former IRS tax collector character who harassed fans.
The doll is available on eBay for as little as $2.99 (with shipping costs adding another $5). Thanks to our "personal tax shopper" TaxProf, who tells us that Shyster's signature lines include "I'm gonna write you off!" and "You can pay me now, or you will pay me later!"
I hope this helps as you're rushing about today, looking for that last perfect gift to put under the tree. Merry Christmas!