Fun with Income Tax

18 Mar

It’s getting to be that time again, and boy, are we ever disappointed. We were so sure we were getting a refund this this year that we had visions of dollar signs dancing in our heads. We were therefore bummed out to find that not only are we not getting a return, but we owe the Federal government $1.00 dollar.  Oh, well, it could have been a lot worse.  Some years, we’ve owed the Fed (and the state government) a lot more than that.

One year we worked a freelance job, so we were responsible for putting aside money for our taxes (not like today, where the folks down at Engulf and Devour do that for us.) Well, we didn’t set aside enough money. In fact, we didn’t set aside any money. When tax time came ’round, we were unable to pony up a sufficient quantity of bread.

We appraised the Federal and state governments of this unhappy fact, and the Fed were kind of cool about the whole thing.  The tone in their letters was “OK, so you’re going to be late this year, you owe X amount of money, you’ll have to pay X in penalties, after which you’ll be in the clear.”

Tax form

It’s that time again…

The tone of the state’s letters however, was something like “Well, you deadbeat, you haven’t paid.  Please be aware that you’re kind of a bad person.”  OK, so maybe they weren’t that bad, but we did detect a less than positive vibe from the state.  This got us mad.  So we started writing crank letters to the state.  This was during the days of the Iran-Contra scandal, so we wrote stuff like:  “Dear guys, you know what really bums us out?  Iran-Contra.  Some of the  money those guys used to finance the scam probably came from the taxes of state residents, so why aren’t you going after those guys?”  It didn’t make a lot of sense, but it wasn’t supposed to.  The state government sent us terse letters in response.

Eventually, we paid off the taxes and the penalties and we were once again bona-fide responsible citizens.  It was not the best of times, and we encourage anyone who’s freelancing not to make the mistakes we did, but we’ve gotta admit, writing crank letters full of non-sequiturs to the state was kind of fun.


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