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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Inevitability of Death and Taxes

No, I'm not dead. Not even close, dontcha know, with the gorgeous onslaught of spring just begun. But as I reflect on Benjamin Franklin's timeless words, I know I enjoy being one of the loudest mumbling elaborate invectives towards anyone who has ever even entertained thoughts of working at the Internal Revenue Service. Perhaps in a distant alternate universe I will finish my taxes ahead of time. For now, though, I struggle on with the rest of the procrastinators. To ease our pain and to keep our heads clear, I offer the following tax nuggets.
  • Yes, Virginia, there is a Taxman. Did you know that the IRS has put out a publication entitled The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments? It debunks popular tax myths, such as "the filing of a tax return is voluntary" and "the United States consists only of the District of Columbia, federal territories, and federal enclaves."
  • Can I claim this? There are tons of crazy stories out there of outrageous deductions people have attempted to claim over the years. My favorite so far? Owners of a rat- and snake-infested junkyard wanted to attract cats to drive away their pests. They set out cat food and were able to deduct the cost as a business expense. Check out these links for some more crazy deductions that didn't seem so business savvy to the T-Men!
  • Never mind a little fallout. One of my all-time favorite books is Alas, Babylon, which tells the story of a small band of nuclear war survivors and their struggles. When Tax Day rolls around, the main character experiences both relief that he will never again pay taxes and remorse due to the cause. "Not so fast, Randy Bragg," says the IRS. It seems that their devilish minds have been busily working and have put into place a plan that details how the agency plans to jump back in the saddle after a nuclear attack. Click here to read about it!
I suppose I can't end a post about the IRS without reminding you how to visit them online. You can meander over to and join me. I'm the one that still hasn't finished calculating my taxes.

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