I have been blacklisted by the Tax Preparers of America. No CPA
within a 50-mile radius wants to touch my taxes. It may have
something to do with my inability to properly gather vital
documentation in one place and at one time. My highly sophisticated
method of filing includes stuffing receipts in drawers, glove
compartments, and empty boxes of Quaker Granola Bars.
With the April 15 deadline looming, I finally called my dad.
After all, the man worked for the IRS for most of his career.
Surely he wouldn't turn me down?
Marianne: Hi Dad! I was wondering if you'd want to come over and
help me figure out this whole tax returnie thing-a-ma-bobber.
Dad: What happened to the last CPA I referred you to?
Marianne: She won't call me back.
Dad: What about Joe's brother?
Marianne: He's apparently moved out of the country until April
Dad: Doesn't your friend Lucy understand taxes?
Marianne: Yes, but she says understanding me is an entirely
Dad: Fine, but make sure you have some Scotch. And ICE.
My dad patiently walked me through entering all the information,
but stopped to ask questions about my income. As I typed in
earnings from "writing," I felt awesomely happy. I was totally a
writer. Like Danielle Steel. But BETTER. So we poured a little
Scotch to celebrate. That's when things started going south:
Marianne: Hey DAD! If I have income, can't I deduct things that
assist me with my writing?
Dad: As long as you have receipts dated 2012.
Marianne: Here you go! (dumping out an entire Rice Krispies' box
filled with receipts for RumChata, Baileys and Summer Shandy).
Dad: This is all alcohol, Marianne. You can't deduct this.
Marianne: But that's what I use to write. You know. Like liquid
Dad: What about ink cartridges, paper, or research material? You
can deduct those.
Marianne: Research material? Like People magazine? Because I get
a LOT of story ideas from People magazine.
Dad: So no ink cartridge receipts, then?
Marianne: No, but I wrote an entire piece about Cocoa Puffs! Can
we deduct the Cocoa Puffs?
Dad: I'm done.
The good news is my taxes are complete. The bad news is it took
my dad an entire bottle of Scotch to get through them.
So now I'm left to wonder:
Is that bottle of Scotch tax deductible?
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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