Audit. I almost fear typing the word, as if saying it out loud will place some sort of financial curse on my house. “Audit” is pretty much the “Voldemort” of government bureaucracy.
Here to dull the pain of tax hell is the audit survival kit, made by branding company Element Three for the accounting firm Jameson & Company. It’s sort of like a Birchbox for tax season. This solid wood, laser-engraved box was sent out to Jameson & Company clients, and it contained a series of provisions for an audit, if one were to occur.
It included flashcards, complete with an elegant copper foil printed pack, that you could use to test your CPA, and see if he or she could answer basic questions about an audit. It also included a series of amusing trinkets, like tea–labeled with the question “are you in hot water?”; a worry stone to squeeze; and, most importantly, a giant bottle of Audit Headache Relief pills. (They were actually Tic Tacs, but it’s fun to imagine the other possibilities.)
The boxes cost $150 apiece to produce, but as an alternative to flying across the country and visiting clients over dinner, Element Three argues that they’re actually an economical way to retain clients. For the rest of us, the boxes are a not-so-gentle reminder that tax season will be over soon enough. Until then, there are plenty of tea bags and Tic Tacs to go around.