Forms, forms, and more forms!

Here we are folks, three weeks and three days into the new year and if you are anything like me, you may be getting ready to spaz out because it will be soon time to work on our dreaded “Income Tax returns.”

Makes me want to be or act like one of those inflatable stick men with their spastic arms just flapping in the breeze. Why, you ask. Think about it, at the end of the day, they get to be put away allowing them to rest and not think of what lies ahead. The following day, they are taken out of the box, inflated and once again begin flapping their spastic arms in the wind knowing that come the end of the day, they will get to rest. We humans on the other hand do not have such luxury. Least ways when it comes to filing our income tax returns. Nope, we start preparing our income tax returns the moment the first piece of mail arrives with the notice: “IMPORTANT TAX RETURN DOCUMENT ENCLOSED”.

Depending on how well a person has kept their paperwork records over the course of the previous year usually is a good indication of how long the process will be. For some it only takes a few days – once that is that all the documents have been received. For others, this process could take days, weeks, or even months before we are done. Can you see those inanimate objects (inflatable stick men) filling out the tax forms each year?

I must admit though, filling out our tax forms does appear to be getting easier every year, especially if one uses some of the free services available today for assisting us gather and prepare our tax return.   I can remember the times that I would spend weeks gathering all our data followed by the nerve-wracking hours spent trying to decipher the forms we are required to complete to send to Uncle Sam.

Although I should not complain because at least now, being a resident of Florida, there is no State Income Tax. I used to live in New Jersey and work in PA. Talk about a confusing tax process. Both states had a state income tax. If you were a New Jersey resident but worked in PA, your employer withheld Pennsylvania income tax from your wages, and you had to file a Pennsylvania return to get a refund.  And vice-versa if you lived in PA but worked in New Jersey.

So, how do we avoid pulling our hair out by its roots, while crying in our beer and saying those famous words “woe is me, woe is me?” And, by the way, I am referring to those of us that still have some hair worth pulling. Well, there is one way to do it and that is by making completion of the form or forms silly. What do I mean, you ask? Keep reading.

Okay, I am sure many of you reading this blog are familiar with the simple 1040 form. You know – the one most of us have to complete when working on our taxes. And by the way, as you will soon find out – what follows is in jest. Do not take it seriously. Remember what I said when I indicated I was returning to writing and my agenda of writing once a week. My posts are designed to elicit a laugh or two and take one’s mind off whatever may be troubling you at the moment. Hopefully this week’s blog will do just that.

What follows are just a few things you can do to procrastinate or make light of the entire process. One thing that comes to mind is: While having dinner one evening, get out your income tax paperwork and peruse it while eating that huge bowl of stew.   What happens next is for you to accidentally spill some of the stew broth on it – specifically on a few of the lines you prefer not to respond to. Problem solved! How you ask? Well, either you don’t have to complete the form or you can only fill in those questions that haven’t been smeared with stew broth. In doing so, make sure the incomplete data causes you to get a refund rather than reflecting that you owe Uncle Sam a small fortune.

Here is yet another thought. If there are specific forms that must be completed prior to completing your IRS tax forms – don’t fill them out. Remember, I said prior. Seeing that you were supposed to complete specific forms prior to completing your actual IRS paperwork, by not filling those forms out – it stands to reason that you do not have to fill out the actual IRS forms, either.

Oh, and here is a favorite of mine. I am specifically thinking about the section that asks: Are you a “Resident alien?”  Are you ready for my philosophy regarding this section? Here goes: Fill the space in by claiming to be a Jupiterian or a Plutonian – oops that won’t work because Pluto is not classified a planet anymore. Oh well, being a Jupiterian should get you an exception. What am I thinking? This is the Internal Revenue Service we are dealing with. What exceptions? There are no exceptions allowed when filing our taxes. But more on that later!

But wait – it gets better! There is also a section that covers Nonresident aliens and dual-status aliens. If memory serves me correctly, a married couple cannot file a joint return if either spouse is a nonresident alien at any time during the year. But, you know me, there always has to be a “but!” But the  guidelines say that if you were a nonresident alien or a dual-status alien and were married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien at the end of 2020, you can elect to be treated as a resident alien and file a joint return. I guess it all boils down on how much you care about your Jupiterian or human partner.

As we all know, when you fill out the form you are required to list yourself and your spouse, unless of course you are filing separately. Let’s go on the assumption that you are filing jointly (otherwise I would have to rewrite this section of the blog post and looking at what I have put together so far, I don’t think I have the strength to write it differently at this point). So, it becomes interesting when you get to the section asking you to list your dependents.  Seeing that we all hope to get some money back – look no further than the section regarding Dependents. For all those males out there working on your 2020 taxes, guess you are going to have to fess up to all those children running around the world looking like you. Didn’t know you had so many dependents, now did you?

Being the responsible parent you are, having a large family brings with it specific responsibilities. What type father or mother would we be to our children if we didn’t want them to get a good education. Go for it – insert that humongous amount that represents “Student Loan interest deduction.” I can hear the sound of the cash register now – “Ka Ching!”

Seeing that we (my wife and I) are no longer young whippersnappers anymore, let’s dive into credit for the elderly next. I am by-passing disabled because fortunately neither of us are disabled. How old are most of us now?  Well, if you must know, both my wife and I are now octogenarians. As you know, octogenarians mean we are now in our eighth decade of life. Sounds to me like we should be getting credit due to being elderly.  

Now comes the moment of truth – remember when I said you should speak up about all those children you sired when you were sowing your wild oats – well now is the time to reap the benefits that come along with having so many children. Be sure to fill that box that allows you “child tax credit.”

And for you drivers out there – think about the few times we are out on the road driving our cars. True there are hazards out there we must be aware of – pouring rain, snowstorms, dust storms, and the like – but then there are also the crazies – you know who I am talking about. Those individuals that give us the finger and honk their horns when we may be driving a bit too slow. The individuals that blame you because they left their house too late and feel it is your fault because they might have to pass up stopping for their Coffee Mocha Macchiato. Believe it or not, there is a way to get credit for that too. Even though most of our time on the road is to go to the doctor, dentist, optometrist, and to get some groceries, seeing how much crap we put up with when attending to these necessities – we should be able to claim what is listed as the “Nontaxable combat pay election.” What other than combat pay would you call it?

Well, time to bring this to a close. I think I have provided everyone with enough information that should prove interesting when you begin preparing your taxes this year. but before I end this little post, due to the content of same, allow me to take a line or two from the old Mission Impossible television show and end this blog post by saying:

“As always, should anyone reading and acting upon the material contained in this weekly blog, the writer will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Furthermore, this blog post will self-destruct within five/ten seconds after you file your income tax returns.”

Until next time!

6 thoughts on “Mission Impossible

  1. I love your last paragraph disclaimer. I am now officially exempt from filing income tax returns as my pension is below the exemption level and I am also a senior citizen. Earlier I was hiring a professional accountant, what you call a CPA to prepare my returns and I would simply have to sign them.

    1. Glad you enjoyed my post. Just my wacky way of taking my mind (and hopefully those individuals like yourself that follow my rants and raves) off the other craziness happening in the world today. One day and one post at a time. Enjoy your day and stay safe which from following your posts, I see you are doing.

  2. This is such a great, timely post. Loved your humorous twists on things.

    Growing up, my dad was always super grumpy come tax season. As a kid, I coudn’t figure out what the big deal was. Now, I know… karma strikes again!

    Hope you and your wife are keeping well. Any word on vaccines down there? Would you get one? Sounds like your country is doing a superior job as of late compared to us up here in Canada.

    1. We are well. We are on the list for the Vaccine but have no clue as to when that will be. Yes we are planning on getting one. Some parts of the USA are doing a good job but I’m not sure Florida is since we are in the red zone. So glad you enjoy my ramblings. Plan on posting a post this afternoon yet. Take care and stay safe.

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