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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taxing Times

Bill usually handles the Income Tax filing around our house. I’m not exactly sure why, except for the fact that when I was a single mom filing my own taxes it took three years, a letter to my State Representative, and a notarized document from the daycare to receive my refund. I can’t prove it, but I think the IRS secretly penalized me for correcting the grammar on their form. I personally think the word “short” is misused on that form, but they proved to be a little touchy about their paperwork.

Some years, depending how test comments are received, I offer to help Bill with the taxes. I probably won’t this year because I’m a recovering flu victim and I’m not up to the task of reprimanding the Sheriff for driving up on the rose bushes the way he does when he’s in a hurry. I only have the one live rose bush left, anyway. I’m almost as talented with plants as I am with taxes, except plants don’t give me any money back, even tomatoes which would save on my grocery bill if they didn’t attract unappealing insects, turn black, and die.

So, in the spirit of helpfulness and teamwork, I have devised a plan to help Bill out with the tax task without actually having to speak to him at all. I don’t like to converse with him directly during tax time because I feel responsible for the resulting medical bills. And hair loss. Besides, he has the Sheriff on speed dial.

I often compose lists for Bill to help him organize his household tasks. I know he is thankful because he immediately bows his head to pray when I hand him my latest composition. He is either thanking God for having such a helpful wife or trying to call Emergency Services on the sly.

This year, I have prepared a list of how not to get audited by the Internal Revenue Service. That should keep Bill on the straight and narrow and head off any trouble the IRS might be having in processing my refund. We’ve already seen how they can drag their feet over an extra dependent or two.

Anyway, the following is my helpful advice for avoiding an audit from the Internal Revenue Service:

1. Don’t tell the government if you make any money. That way they won’t keep trying to steal away with your meager paycheck. Honestly, it’s like two guys fighting over a muscle car with a bad head gasket. It looks good, but won’t get you very far.

2. Throw away all your receipts. The government can’t tax what they can’t find. Get rid of that pesky paper trail. Fire ants can’t bite your ankle if they can’t scale your foot.

3. Pretend to give money to charity. You have the best of intentions, right? Pledge a big ole number with a comma in it. You’ll get around to sending it someday. And when you do, be sure to remind the big guys about your gift of giving.

4. Send “Thinking of You” cards to the IRS every day during tax season. They're working hard. These folks need some recognition, too, right? It’s like a random act of kindness, only you get a check.

5. Send them an itemized bill for your refund. Keep all figures clear and concise. If there are important items that you don’t want them to miss, mark them in red ink to avoid confusion. These folks handle a lot of returns. Make yours easy!

And if you happen to see my husband wandering around the drug store with a fistful of BC Powders and a tub of Pepto Bismol, just send him back home. I have a list of things for him to do.


Melanie Avila said...

I might have to forward this link to a few friends. Especially my sister, who's husband is also a Bill. :D

wordsmith said...

Why is the Beatle's "Tax Man" running through my head? Hmmm...
Delicious as always. :)