The deadline to pay for your taxes is just a couple of weeks away and if that’s a surprise to you, perhaps you should stop reading now and start looking in the phone book for an accountant who owns a calendar (or at least gives you a free one when you pay him).

Fortunately, it’s not too late to tell if you need to hire someone else to handle your 1040 this year.

1. The home, office and cell phone on his business card all go to his mother’s house.

2. He insists the money that he spends on paternity suits counts as a legitimate deduction.

3. You keep your receipts in a shoebox, which is ironic since that’s also where he keeps all of his clients’ files.

4. When you tell him you got a notice that you’re being audited, he advises you to move all of your money into cigarettes and soap-on-a-rope.

5. His face has a look of shock when you snap at him, “Well, money doesn’t grow on trees.”

6. He apologizes for the brief interruption during your phone conversation when the SEC’s SWAT team showed up at his office for a “conflicting appointment.”

7. He lost your paperwork, the keys to his car and his pants.

8. Rick Santorum is better at math than him.

9. The IRS has promised him a gift certificate to Omaha Steaks for his 20th audit.

10. He asks if you have children that you can write off and when you say no, he offers to lend you one.

11. He insists he knows all about accounting because he’s seen every episode of ‘The Practice,’ which is weird because that show was about lawyers.

12. He believes that just owning a briefcase makes him a legal accountant.

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