Monday, October 7, 2013

Tax Deductions

Note: Sometimes a story comes along that needs no polishing or enhancement
to make it better. This is one of those. It is a real letter submitted to
the IRS the midst of 1995s weird and bizarre denial of dependents,
exemptions and credits. The letter speaks for itself.


I am responding to your letter denying the deduction for two of the three
dependents I claimed on my 1994 Federal Tax return. Thank you!

I have questioned whether or not these are my children for years. They are
evil and expensive. It's only fair that, since they are minors and no longer
my responsibility, the government should know something about them and what
to expect over the next year. Please do not try to reassign them to me next
year and reinstate the deduction. They are yours!

The oldest, Kristen, is now 17. She is brilliant. Ask her! I suggest you put
her to work in your office where she can answer people's questions about
their returns. While she has no formal training, it has not seemed to hamper
her mastery of any subject you can name. Taxes should be a breeze. Next year
she is going to college. I think it's wonderful that you will now be
responsible for that little expense. While you mull that over, keep in mind
that she has a truck. It doesn't run at the moment, so you have the choice
of appropriating some Department of Defense funds to fix the vehicle, or
getting up early to drive her to school. Kristen also has a boyfriend. Oh
joy! While she possesses all of the wisdom of the universe, her alleged
mother and I have felt it best to occasionally remind her of the virtues of
abstinence, or in the face of overwhelming passion, safe sex. This is always
uncomfortable, and I am quite relieved you will be handling this in the
future. May I suggest that you reinstate Dr. Jocelyn Elders who had a rather
good handle on the problem.

Patrick is 14. I've had my suspicions about this one. His eyes are a little
closer together than those of normal people. He may be a tax examiner
himself one day, if he is not incarcerated first. In February, I was
awakened at three in the morning by a police officer who was bringing Pat
home. He and his friends were TP'ing houses. In the future, would you like
him delivered to the local IRS office, or to Ogden, UT? Kids at 14 will do
almost anything on a dare. His hair is purple. Permanent dye, temporary dye,
what's the big deal? Learn to deal with it. You'll have plenty of time, as
he is sitting out a few days of school after instigating a food fight in the
cafeteria. I'll take care of filing your phone number with the
vice-principal. Oh yes, he and all of his friends have raging hormones. This
is the house of testosterone and it will be much more peaceful when he lives
in your home. DO NOT leave him or his friends unsupervised with girls,
explosives, inflammables, inflatables, vehicles, or telephones. (They find
telephones a source of unimaginable amusement. Be sure to lock out the 900
and 976 numbers!)

Heather is an alien. She slid through a time warp and appeared as if by
magic one year. I'm sure this one is yours. She is 10 going on 21. She came
from a bad trip in the sixties. She wears tie-dyed clothes, beads, sandals,
and hair that looks like Tiny Tim's. Fortunately you will be raising my
taxes to help offset the pinch of her remedial reading courses. "Hooked On
Phonics" is expensive, so the schools dropped it. But here's the good news!
You can buy it yourself for half the amount of the deduction that you are
denying me! It's quite obvious that we were terrible parents (ask the other
two). She cannot speak English. Most people under twenty understand the
curious patois she fashioned out of valley girls/boys in the
hood/reggae/yuppie/political double speak. The school sends her to a speech
pathologist who has her roll her "r's". It added a refreshing Mexican/Irish
touch to her voice. She wears hats backwards, baggy pants, and wants one of
her ears pierced four more times. There is a fascination with tattoos that
worries me, but I am sure that you can handle it. Bring a truck when you
come to get her, she sort of "nests" in her room and I think that it would
be easier to move the entire thing than find out what it is really made of.

You denied two of the three exemptions, so it is only fair that you get to
pick which two you will take. I prefer that you take the youngest two, I
will still go bankrupt with Kristen's college, but then I am free! If you
take the two oldest, then I still have time for counseling before Heather
becomes a teenager. If you take the two girls, then I won't feel so bad
about putting Patrick in a military academy. Please let me know of your
decision as soon as possible, as I have already increased the withholding on
my W-4 to cover the $395 in additional tax and made a down payment on an

Yours truly,

(Note: The IRS allowed the deductions and reinstated his refund.)