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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tax Time…

It’s that time again.

It’s the time the government starts demanding a cut for every last nickel you “earned, found, gifted or eBay’ed” this last year. The 1099s, the W2’s, the K1’s, the DoWakka2’s will all start arriving in the mail so the arduous process of deciphering the United States tax code can begin.

I have a college degree in mathematics. I have successfully designed, coded, and programmed some pretty complicated, complex computer programs over the last 30 years. But for the life of me, I have a block when it comes to filling out tax forms.

I despise the process.

Not the actual writing the check which I also don’t enjoy, but the process of trying to decode the government legalese used in the tax forms. The “combining of lines 1 and 2 to enter on form SE10$orkU line 46”, the itemizing every last lint ball that might be considered income or a deduction. The whole process. Hate it, hate it, hate it, I hate it all!!

That’s why I don’t do it.

I let my friend, Gary, do all the heavy lifting. He REALLY, REALLY loves this stuff. The plowing through all the minutiae, the excitement of new tax forms, the installation of this years version of TurboTax Deluxe (plus state). The whole ball of wax.

If you’ve ever seen the TV series NUMB3RS, Gary is my “Charlie” guy of taxes.

I’m more like the detective guy sitting at the desk in the back whose eyes start to glaze over and head tilts back in a coma when “Charlie” starts spewing chalked tax equations and explanations in the analysis of crime patterns of crazed serial income earners.

If only the answers to real world questions were somehow made available in the tax preparation process, it might go something like what I found online at Consumerism Commentary:

Q. This year, I’ve been taking bribes to keep the caviar smuggling ring off the FBI radar. Do I have to report this?
A. Yes.

Q. I found an abandoned car and kept it while the person who lost the vehicle presumably wept. Do I have to report this?
A. Yes.

Q. I hosted a party to sell products to my friends (and use my social circle for multilevel marketing from some corporation), and my guests brought me gifts. Do I have to report this?

A. Yes.

Q. Do I really have to give the government a cut of my estimated $0.65/kid/hr substitute teaching job where I get to deduct absolutely nothing?
A. Yes

I can hardly wait till April 15 when it’s all over.

…until next year.

1 comment:

rattln along said...

I am very much in favor of a straight consumption tax. If you buy it, you pay tax on it. It will end this stupid job of getting deductions for lint balls. :)

Also the rater per person would go down due to that fact that EVERYONE would be paying their fair share. That includes the rich as well as the poor. Also, the person that is working here and sending money back to the family in the other country.