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BY COLUMNISTS

| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Patricia Price | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


February 27, 2005

Hope Springs Eternal! Or Is That Spring Hopes Eternal?

Tom McLaughlin

It's tax time! Let's start gathering together, and not by the river, all those pieces of paper and W-2 forms and make a concerted effort to finish early. I would rather make scrapple or ponhaus you declare!

Wrestle that hog to the ground and stir those kettles! Pour the mixture into pans over a hot open fire! Sounds better than sorting through tax material where one argues with the better half and throws the whole mess at him/her and storms out to the nearest bar, drinks senseless and then comes back and does the taxes perfectly, stewed to the gills.

The birds of spring return in April, the sun becomes warmer and the grass begins to green up. Along with the sprouting tulips, daffodils and crocuses the yard sales begin in full earnest.

Littering driveways and sidewalks, thousands of items are hauled out and presented for sale. Many hold these events because they desperately need the money to pay the April 15 bill. They look for expensive items that hopefully the wife or husband won't miss. Articles that made the rounds on eBay and couldn't snag a buyer with a picture, background, sound and free shipping are offered at $1 or less. The Yorkshire terrier has sign around its neck proclaiming a great hunting hound dog.

In desperation, the yard sale earned a new name, Sother Bee's Antiques and Collectibles, as all proceeds are backdated, on Quicken, to the previous year, in order to earn a business deduction.

A family vacation to Disney World becomes a buying trip. The kids' school supplies change to an education donation. Past meals are designated as business entertainment expenses even though they are eaten at Burger King. The Happy Meal included in the paper work and disguised as a client on a diet.

Your partner, appointed as the chief financial officer and knows nothing about this scheme, will go to jail in case the IRS holds an audit. Airline reservations are on standby and you will be away in the Bahamas while the audit is proceeding.

Your next brilliant idea requires a trip to the Department of Vital Records. Your son, born in January, becomes an instant tax deduction if the arrival had been a month earlier. A plea on bended knee to the bureaucrat to change the birth date doesn't work. Copies of the birth certificate are obtained, and, with white out, the child becomes a Christmas baby without your wife knowing it.

The recreation room in the basement transforms into an office with the pool table as the desk. Your daughter's monumental cell phone bills are backdated. The high chair reverts to a client waiting area. The electric bills, a product of doors left open as neighborhood kids march through and could power the White House, are deducted as an expense.

Your partner's BMW car payments are referred to as a business expense. This auto hauls large furniture items from the basement to the end of the driveway, a distance of 5 miles, you attest.

The numbers are crunched for the millionth time and a large tax bill still needs to be paid.

Deductions were claimed for almost all of all the children at Boy's Town.

The four month old is placed on the payroll.

FiFi, the Yorkshire, who didn't sell, is now known as the first vice president at a salary enough to bring your taxes down to just above zero.

The thought occurs to file for a refund but a cooler head prevails. A promise is made to change the deductions from the payroll check but the idea recedes into the back reaches of your mind.

Until next year then. Until next year!



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