Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Waiting for My Audit

I did my federal taxes over the weekend using a free tax prep website, but I don’t think I chose wisely. I could have gone with H&R Block or TurboTax. Instead I somehow ended up on www.taxesnyet.com. It started with a six page screed against paying taxes at all, written entirely in a Ukrainian dialect of Russian. I decided the prudent thing to do was pay even though the diatribe made a valid point about communist apparatchiks stealing from the proletariat thus negating any loyalty the hoi polloi should feel for the trenchant power-mongers of Mother Russia.

I loaded the forms and started answering the questions. I had my W-2 ready but the program instead asked me if I had received a “TS-2x work order for services rendered”. Very unsure of myself I went ahead and filled in the boxes with my information although I ended up with 37 rectangles containing binary code, a parallelogram that asked for my shoe size and an attachment with a recipe for spicy chicken salad.

Clicking through the screens on income I was asked if I had made at least 27% of my money through giraffe farming. Luckily I had sold Uncle McTavish’s Wild African Animal Preserve and Tire Repair Center last year so I didn’t have to pay that pesky Keep the Veldt Green import tax. Another screen wanted to know if I had been working on the railroad all the live-long day and if so, did I want to take the engineers’ coveralls-and-hat clothing deduction.

There were many odd questions. How many dependents did I have that would be considered “expendable”? Did I receive over $123 in tips from grave robbing? Had I taken out a loan from a man named Sal who lived in a Lincoln town car parked behind Cavatelli’s dry-cleaners in South Jersey? Do you own more than 3 pair of socks? And the strangest one of all: how much wood did your woodchuck chuck and did you sell it at a profit or a loss? What a ridiculous question. Everyone knows the chucked wood market has been stagnant for a decade; of course I took a loss.

I’m dubious about filing these tax forms but I spent seven and half hours filling them out so I guess I’ll mail all 231 pages off to Washington along with the coupon for a lower tax bracket if I pay quarterly next year on my eBay business selling Don Knotts memorabilia. What the hell, at least I’m getting a refund of 37,000 rubles and a goat.

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