Once upon a time, the number 13 bragged “I’m the unluckiest number of all!” Then 666 came along and said, “oh no, I’m worse.” Then 2020 arrived and said “hold my beer.” Between the coronavirus, the murder hornets, the hurricanes, the wildfires, and the ugliest presidential election in recent memory, it seems like 2020 is as bad as it can get. But if we’ve learned anything from this wreck of a year, it’s to never say things can’t get worse. (We’re convinced that when aliens fly past our planet, they lock their doors and turn out their lights.)

On October 14, the planet Mercury went retrograde for the third time this year, meaning the earth overtook it in its orbit around the sun. In astrology, Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology. The 70 million Americans who read a daily horoscope understand that when a planet is retrograde, those areas become chaotic and unpredictable. (Those of you who don’t follow astrology can be forgiven for thinking Mercury went retrograde on January 1 and never left.)

What does this have to do with taxes? Retrogrades call for re-actions like reviewing, revising, and reconsidering. This makes them a great time for proactive planning to rearrange your business and financial affairs to pay less. But retrogrades are a dicey time for filing actual returns. That’s because a tax return is a legal document, and documents you sign when Mercury is retrograde often come back for reassessment later. This could be as simple as an IRS notice that something is missing, or as complicated as a full-blown audit.

Mercury retrograde may not be the only celestial influence on taxes. From February 2008 through January 2025, the U.S. is experiencing its first Pluto return, when Pluto returns to Capricorn, which it occupied when the U.S. was born. Pluto is the planet of rebirth, widespread psychological turmoil, and transformation. Given that our country was born out of a revolt over unfair taxes, the years 2022-2023 could bring generational change to our tax and financial picture.

That outcome is even more likely if Democrat Joe Biden, who has promised to raise taxes on those making more than $400,000, takes the White House with a Democratic Senate. If that happens, he’s likely to spend much of his first year in office crafting legislation that becomes effective in 2022.

Finally, star signs affect how people manage their money in general — including the money they get back from the IRS. In 2007, the credit counseling agency Money Management International surveyed taxpayers to see how their sign affected their plans for their tax refunds. Believe it or not, they found real differences in attitudes and plans:

  • Water-sign Pisces were least likely to save their refunds.
  • Earth-sign Capricorns, known for practicality, planned to save their refunds or pay down debt.
  • Air-sign Geminis were most likely to over-withhold on purpose.
  • Fire-sign Leos, known as big showoffs, were most likely to splurge with their money.

If you’d like lower taxes in your forecast, you can’t just put your faith in the stars. Call us for a plan, and your horoscope will call for savings throughout the year!