Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tax Tips

1. If You Ate It, It's deductible - A lot of people miss this. Income is what you make after expenses. Some people will tell you that you can only expense food and meals that you consume in your capacity as a businessperson. But logic dictates that if you only ate when you were working then you'd starve and die. Your dinner out with friends, the beer and dog at the game, the 3am extra large supreme pizza that you binge and purge because you're fat and no one loves you, these are the meals that sustain you and make it possible for you to go to work in the first place. Without them you wouldn't have the strength to get that phone to your ear and put that person on hold while you contemplate how long you could lie dead in your cubicle before someone discovered your body. In short, food is what makes you the important asset to the workforce that you are. A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips, but all of it comes off your taxes.

2. Receipts? Who Keeps Receipts? - Only losers and pack-rats keep receipts. The rest of us dispose of them immediately in the hopes that they'll be recycled or returned to the Earth. Some people see this love of nature as presenting a problem come tax time. How do you know how much to deduct for all the food you ate and cars you gave to charity? The answer is to 'guesstimate'. This is an estimation that's also a guess. The IRS frowns on guesses and estimations and prefers exactness. So when you guess, try to avoid round numbers. Real numbers are not usually round and the IRS has computers to watch out for them. Try sharp and unruly numbers like sevens and especially thirteens which are haunted and will usually scare the computers away. Also, use those decimal places. Anyone who can remember what they spent down to the decimal place can't possibly be lying.

3. A Lot Of People Depend On You - What would happen if you didn't come in to work tomorrow? Probably nothing. But eventually you'd have to be replaced, either by a machine or some sort of trained mammal, possibly a German Shepard or a monkey. And what about the crazy guy on the corner who calls you Jim and offers to sell you his left foot everyday? He'd be forced to find a new Jim and flip him off. All these people (or animals) depend on you. And as dependents, they qualify you for some quality deductions. While there may be any number of people who are dependent on you, claiming more than eight often raises eyebrows. Also, if you forgot to claim them last year, start with a small number, one or two. And try to give them trendy names, like Caden and Briana that lend credibility to the idea that they just joined you in the last year. And never mention that any of your dependents might be monkeys. The IRS has a thing about monkeys.

4. Appropriate - It hardly seems fair that you do all the work generating the tax dollars and don't get a say in how it's spent. So make use of the memo section on your check to give suggestions as to how you'd like your tax dollars spent, such as: Not for use on statues or Alaskan bridges, or Please put this in the crater sized pothole on I-10. This is also a good place to have a little fun. Remember, in addition to computers that are afraid of the number thirteen, your return is being read by people in cubicles who probably think about suicide as often as you. So fun notes like: Don't spend it all in one place, or Buy yourself something nice, can really brighten someone's day.

5. Audit Starts With A - And so does Arson. And in the inevitable event that you're audited you'll want to remember that relationship. Burning down you home and all your 'records' is your best defense against any sort of investigation, be it the IRS or some other agency. Always take precautions to get pets and dependents out of the house as they will come in handy on future tax returns. As for your food, let it burn. You can rebuy it all and deduct it later along with whatever you spent on the gasoline or other combustibles you used in your audit defense.


Jerry Bowley said...

Definitely one of your funniest posts yet!


Unknown said...

I just hope you're able to apply what you've learned.

Anonymous said...

Great post! - LMLGAOSAMDAW. Figure that one out!

(Okay, I'll help: Laughing my little green ass off, sitting at my desk at work)