Can the IRS squeeze blood from a turnip?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2007

In 11 days we’ll all be flat broke.

April 16 is Tax Day – that one 24-hour period of the year where grown men break out into a cold sweat as they huddle over mounds of paperwork, intent on keeping the IRS &uot;dogs&uot; from barking at their door. By day’s end, many are reduced to tears, as well as reducing their financial status.

Much to my wife’s dismay, I’m one of those late filers. We normally just barely break even with Uncle Sam, so I wait until the last possible second to hand over what little money my wife and I have to start with. If we are eligible for a refund, it might be enough to cover the cost of dinner and a movie, that is if we spilt a small cheese pizza and rent one of those DVD movie titles off the $1 rack. I guarantee you our refund will not be enough to purchase five gallons of gas.

What makes the task of filing your taxes so tough is trying to make sure you correctly interpret the wording on each line of the form. Some of it is worded so vaguely that it becomes nearly next to impossible to discover its real meaning. That thought always leaves me befuddled. Am I including the right information on the right line? If not, am I leaving the IRS an opening to conduct an audit?

The IRS loves its intimidating presence. They want us to become so confused that we forget to – or are too frightened – to report a legitimate deduction, therefore causing the taxpayer to lose out on a few bucks that could make a difference in the return.

So, I’ve devised my own tax form – one I’ve named the &uot;1040FD&uot; (for dummies). Hope you enjoy.

Please print: full name; last name; second to last initial.

Address: (note, if address is greater than the amount shown on line 19 and is less than $6,400 but more than $18,400, subtract line 19 from line 20 and add $4,400. If line 19 is less than line 17, but not more than line 18, add back line 19 from Form 1080-D, version 3. That number is found on your 1999 tax form 1130-Q. (You do still have that form, right?)

Please answer: Height; Weight; Sex (yes, no, occasionally).

Do you wish to designate $3 to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund even though we seem to have trouble electing presidents (see the 2000 election)? Does your wife wish to contribute? Your mistress? Your children (by either your wife or your mistress)? Your pets?

The following information is requested by the FBI: Have you ever seen a UFO? Have you ever been taken aboard a UFO? Do you live in a trailer park?

The following information is requested by the Department of Agriculture: Do you own any talking chickens? If yes, what are their names?

General requested information: Do you live within two miles of a decent pizza joint? When was the last time you had your tires rotated? Do you weigh more than last year’s tax form?

Filing Status: (1) Single – Double – Triple – Homerun. (2) Married, filing a single joint return (even if spouse is married separately). (3) Jointly married or singly separate. (4) Head of Household filing a separate, but joint return. (5) Head of the joint. (6) Deceased, but filing a posthumous return.

Exemptions: (1) You. (2) Yourself. (3) I. (4) Spouse (in some states this may be a person of the same sex). (5) Number of dependant children living with you; living with someone else; wish they were living with someone else. (6) Anyone entering your home that either, (a) uses your washer/dryer; (b) sleeps in your bed; or (c) raids your refrigerator. (7) A worthless neighbor that has forgotten they have their own home.

Total Confusion: add lines 6E and 6F and divide by Line 6G; fold in eggs and beat until firm.

Please enter Wages, Salaries, Tips, Extortion money and attach W2 forms to your forehead with heavy-duty staple gun.

Please enter the money you made on the side in order to make ends meet (greater than $40 or 10 percent less than total amount listed on line 19).

Please enter gross miscalculation of what you really should have paid the IRS last year because you read, or understood, only 25 percent of the instructions.

What about all that cash you stuffed in a mayonnaise jar and buried under the kids swing set in the backyard. (You thought we forgot about that, didn’t you?)

Add all the above lines and multiply by two – this is your total income.

At this stage of the return, please attempt to neatly unfold the tax return you, in a fit of rage, just crumpled into a ball and tossed in the trash.

Enter total deductions from above (Note: if this number is greater than zero, please enter zero because we will not allow any deductions).

Subtract the line above from the last line you finished prior to throwing the tax return in the trash. This is your taxable income, which we hope is a lot so we can collect the most tax money we can in order for the Pentagon to purchase $3,500 commodes and $1,500 hammers.

Note: Can the IRS squeeze blood from a turnip – Yes or No. If you answered no, then you really are stupid.

Now for the good stuff: Using the Tax Table, the Tax Rate Schedule, Line 432 on Schedule B, Part II, section R2 or R2D2, figure your 2006 tax and enter that amount on Line 21.

On line 23, enter the amount of Federal Income Tax we stole (oops, we mean deducted) from your salary.

If Line 23 is larger than Line 21, you made a huge mistake. Please refigure your taxes.

When you get to the point where Line 21 is larger than Line 23, subtract the difference, add the shirt off your back and mail it all to us. We would include a postage-free return envelope, but the Pentagon has just written a purchase order for a new set of Phillips screwdrivers.

Thank-you and have a nice day.