Gloom, despair and agony on me

Published 9:21 am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Unless you are fortunate enough to have scored some bailout money from the federal government, when the clock strikes midnight on Thursday we’ll all be broke.

April 15 is Tax Day…that time of year we all dread.

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 so vague that it becomes next to impossible to discover its real meaning.

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. If they really had their way (and they normally do), the tax form would be as follows:

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).

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 separated. (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 liberal states this may be a person of the same sex). (5) Number of dependant children living with you; living with someone else; or wish they were living with someone else.

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

Please enter Wages, Salaries, Tips, Extortion money. Don’t forget to list the 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.

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

Using the Tax Table, the Tax Rate Schedule, Line 432 on Schedule B, Part II, section R2 or R2D2, figure your 2009 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 we need that money to bailout GM once again.

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.