Income Tax Returns For Creative People
edited: Saturday, April 08, 2006
By Bob Holt
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, April 08, 2006
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Creativity always comes alive every year around April 15th.
In order to earn a living these days, many people find themselves stuck working at jobs they find boring or tedious. They are not in a position to unleash any hidden talent or creativity they may possess.
But then once a year income tax time rolls around.
It seems that when some people get around to preparing their tax return, they adopt the philosophy of George Costanza: "It's not a lie if YOU believe it." Admittedly, the 99 percent of taxpayers who are not receiving a significant tax cut are still bearing a large financial burden. But a few of the returns we've heard about in past years would make James Frey envious for having not written them.
There have been many cases where lawyers and doctors are required to attend "continuing education programs." To be able to claim such a deduction, the IRS says these seminars have to last a reasonable length of time, like about an hour each day. And they must improve the attendees' professional skills.
Of course, the lawyers and doctors are forced to suffer through their training courses at expensive golf resorts. The lessons are all available on videotape, and the members can watch an hour of them every morning before tee time.
A lot of people have to deal with such hardships. A tax planner once called the IRS to see if he could claim a casualty loss deduction. He wanted to claim his late wife's ashes as a write off because the funeral director managed to lose them. Although it would have been interesting to see the monetary value the man placed on his late wife, the IRS said no.
Despite occasional tall tales like these, it seems that most American taxpayers do not advocate cheating. The Tax Oversight Board says that 62 percent of people surveyed would turn someone in if they knew that person was cheating on their taxes.
88 percent of those surveyed said it is "not at all" acceptable to cheat on income taxes, a number which has increased by seven percent since 2003. According to my records, five percent were undecided, while another seven percent said "maybe" and were in the process of relocating to Switzerland.
Before the mid 1980s it was easier to slide under the tax radar to find questionable deductions. That was when the IRS required people to supply a Social Security number for their children on their IRS form to claim them as dependents. The population had previously been many millions higher. People were deducting their pets.
Despite that, animals can still change your tax bracket. One creative genius wanted to attract wild cats in order to keep snakes out of his scrap yard, so he was allowed to deduct cat food as a business expense. Another man depreciated the cost of his earthworms.
In 1986, an Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton took a charitable contribution for donating used underwear and running shorts to Goodwill. There is still no report on what Monica got for the dress years later.
Meanwhile, the former neighbors of Mr. O. J. Simpson took a $751,000 "casualty loss," arguing that for some reason a retired football player's "notoriety" had lowered their home's "property values". The IRS told them to supply $292,000 in back taxes.
Another model American citizen, Aldrich Ames, argued that he was unfairly being asked to pay taxes on $1 million he received from the KGB between 1989 through 1992, because the Soviets had set the money aside for him in 1985, and the IRS wasn't disputing his tax return from that year. Tax Court told him "Nyet."
And the IRS is enlisting your help in their battle against tax cheaters. In your financial position you may be entitled to one phone call, so they have a toll-free number(1-800-829-0433) you can use if you suspect someone of cheating on their taxes. When you make this call, the IRS wants you to provide the following information:
1. Your name (or alias).
2. The address of the person being reported.
3. The years the tax fraud has taken place.
4. The Social Security number or Employee Identification number of the person being reported.
5. Financial records related to the fraud.
6. Substantiating documentation of the case.
7. The date of birth of the person being accused.
8. Form 109876-URA-RAT.
9. Should I just bring him in for you, too?
If the IRS recovers money from receiving your information, you may be entitled to between one and fifteen percent of the money recovered up to a maximum of $10 million. But do not spend a lot of time waiting for the Publisher's Clearing House truck to pull up to your house. And remember to report what they give you on next year's return or you may be turned in for cheating.
One time a judge was required to determine whether a woman from Detroit was cheating or not when she tried to claim a medical deduction to advance her career. Chesty Morgan, a stripper, wanted to be paid for her breast implants.
The judge...uhh...busted Chesty on that one, but allowed her to write them off as an unreimbursed business expense. Business deductions only need to clear two percent of her earnings to qualify as a write-off.
IRS officials suspect that all of the recent financial scandals have made taxpayers reevaluate their own honesty and integrity. Because when it comes to tax cheats, the IRS is always willing to put in their two cents to stop them. Or in Chesty's case, dollar bills of large denominations.
Web Site: Lifestyles of the Unskilled and Mediocre
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|Reviewed by Kate Clifford
|LOL Life is interesting isn't it? Love the way you look at things.|
|Reviewed by Ed Matlack
|Hey, Bob what was your SS# again, I remember most of it, but... and wasn't it you that claimed your membership in the Den as a hardship, damn I wish I thought of that first...so when do you get out, oops, am I airing any dirty laundry, sorry...Ed|
|Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher
|A great article, enjoyed it a lot!
Birgit and Roger
|Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
|:( Ours is due on July 14, grrrrrrrrrrrr!!