Ducking deductions leads to taxing situation

The last word about dads on Father's Day

Today’s topic brings up an important fact: our federal
government is ginormous. If you think I am making this up, take a
look at your own tax obligation this year. You’ll quickly observe
that you’re personally paying the annual salaries of some 67
government employees. And you’re about to give them a big fat
raise.
Today’s topic brings up an important fact: our federal government is ginormous. If you think I am making this up, take a look at your own tax obligation this year. You’ll quickly observe that you’re personally paying the annual salaries of some 67 government employees. And you’re about to give them a big fat raise.

Now if this is your dilemma, it is probably because you’re not claiming all of your rightful deductions. I am no tax expert, but after careful study lasting approximately 38 seconds, I have cracked the complicated IRS code pertaining to tax deductions: “If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a duck.” But don’t quote me on that.

Therefore, if you’re a patriotic, taxpaying citizen not tremendously eager to part with your money, I advise you to get your deductible ducks in a row before April 15, which is looming smack-dab in front of us, taxpayers! Because if your ducks are still out there flopping around in You-Know-What Creek (to carry this analogy to its extreme), it is time for a roundup!

First, I assume you have carefully filed all of your hard-earned tax deduction receipts this year. My preferred method of tracking said receipts is by employing the highly respected SB/GBCS technique (Shoe Box/Grocery Bag Containment System). I mean, nobody ever loses a receipt if it’s tucked safely away via the SB/GBCS method. I believe most well-established accounting firms recommend this approach but you probably shouldn’t quote me on that, either.

Hauling your large SB/GBCS to your

accountant’s office has two benefits. No. 1: he/she will be REALLY happy to see those hundreds of bits of paper you’ve collected and No. 2: it affords you an enjoyable walk down memory lane because within these containers you’ll find an archeological dig. Guys: remember the great beer and fish tacos you enjoyed last summer at the little drive-in near your brother-in-law’s place? Yep, there is the receipt, and well, OK, it’s a little greasy and has therefore stained the next 27 receipts in the box, but no matter! The IRS doesn’t insist that every receipt be in pristine condition, do they? Of course they don’t. Besides, your accountant is going to try to dissuade you from using that meal as a tax deduction anyway. Accountants are such buzz-kills sometimes.

Or, ladies, how much did you love all those pedicures you got in Mexico? Granted, the receipt is in Spanish and you have no idea how much eleventy million pesos are, but still. Nobody expects you to go to work in open-toed sandals with your toenails looking like talons, do they? Seriously, you could snag carp with those things! Therefore, the logical conclusion is that all pedicures are tax deductible because if you can’t work due to Long-Toenail Condition, well, just imagine all of the government employees who will be out of a job. Major alert: your mind-numbing, no-fun accountant will tell you those yummy peddies are not tax deductible. Ha! A lot HE knows!

But here is what really frosts me about taxes. Why, for the love of God, is a brand new baby a tax deduction when a dog is not? Not even an old dog for Pete’s sake. I mean, if Uncle Sam knew what we taxpayers spend on luxuries, er … necessities of life for our pets, there would be no question about deducting those trips to the beauty parlor or doggie day care or for purchasing those cute faux leopard-skin tights so little FiFi won’t freeze her teeny little legs off during her evening constitutional. Sure, you have to pay for your kids’ college education and all, but that is, like, YEARS from now, and who can argue that a dog doesn’t truly need doggie day care? All I can figure is Uncle Sam can’t be much of an animal lover.

It’s not all bad news about tax deductions and our four-legged friends, though. Or even our zero-legged friends. Say you’re an exotic dancer. I know, but bear with me here because even in the worst of economic times it is a well-known fact that, umm … smut sells, for lack of a more delicate way of putting it. Therefore, if your profession requires you to slither exotically about with a seven-foot boa constrictor writhing round your neck, that snake may very well be your new best deductible friend come tax time.

So the bottom line, people, is that your deductions had better pass the IRS smell test because if our friends, the tax auditors, determine that your ducks are looking more like turkeys, you may find palming off a doubtful deduction not quite as easy as duck soup. You might even find yourself up You-Know-What Creek without, um … webbed feet. And you can quote me on that.

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