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- Tax Advice
Enjoy Paying Your Taxes
Are you ready to join a Tea Party? Frustrated sending money year after year to the IRS? Fed up with the taxman? Well, I’ve got some relief for you right here. Read on, and you’ll learn how to enjoy paying your taxes.
The enjoyment of paying your taxes begins on the evening of April 14th as you’re writing out that ridiculous check. Just employ a bit of self-deception, and pretend you’re writing it not to the IRS, but instead to the nearest Maserati dealer. Or Carnival Cruise Lines. Or Omaha Steaks. If the wife writes the checks, she can imagine she’s making it out to Bulgari diamonds. For the kids, think Chuck E. Cheese’s or Dave & Buster’s. (In fact, to help the self-deception along, record the payee in your check ledger that way; you never use that ledger for anything anyway.) Then sit back with a self-satisfied sigh and stick out your chest. Look at you, big spender! Treating yourself and your family so fine!
To further your enjoyment, you might try this little payment wrinkle. Make two complete copies of your tax return. To the first, attach a check for the full taxes owed minus nine dollars, plus a note that reads “Balance arriving under separate cover”. To the second, attach nine one-dollar bills. Be sure to staple things together firmly, using lots of staples. Mail both by the required deadline. You will have not only paid your taxes in full, but gotten the satisfaction of making the IRS go through some of the same paper shuffling, staple removal and confusion you just went through. (By the way, I should warn you there’s a slight risk attached to this strategy. If the IRS comes knocking on your door, I only suggested this; you’re the fool that actually did it!)
If you enjoyed that last little trick, you’ll love this enhancement. A month or so later, send a letter to the IRS, suggesting that, since the time and trouble they took opening and tallying those nine dollars and updating your records clearly must have cost them $100 or more in staff time and expenses, perhaps they’d consider reducing your next year’s taxes by $109.00, and you’d kindly agree not to pull that stunt again?
To enhance your enjoyment further, you must alter your post-April 15th tax-trash-talk. Wait until everybody at the 4th tee or the sewing circle or the senior center or the bench out front of McDonald’s is busy griping about some typical governmental boondoggle. Then, you interject, “Hey, maybe your taxes are funding that ridiculous bridge to nowhere, I told ‘em to use mine to fund Medicare!” (In fact, if you were creative with your check ledger (see step one above), you could prove to everyone you told ‘em to use your taxes to fund Medicare!)
But who says you even have to gripe about paying your taxes? After all, didn’t you love parading that huge new stainless steel rolling grille with rack of attachments, smoke hood, beer chiller, spice rack, and CD-changer out onto the deck in front of your friends to watch their eyes goggle? Don’t you get a testosterone spritz from squealing your black Audi around your idiot neighbor’s puttering Kia? Well, then, just pay your taxes, and bask in the glory of outpaying your friends and relatives! It’s only the high-achieving high-rollers — the folks that matter — that can so blithely cut such a fat check to Uncle Sam!
Another way to enjoy paying your taxes is to consider the alternative: what if the government would rather have your time than money? I’m not too sure about you, but I know I prefer writing a check to staring at inscrutable faces and gun barrels across Korea’s DMZ. Or sandbagging levees in New Orleans. Or snagging gators in the Everglades. Or chasing tribal warlords through Afghan mountains. Or fire-fighting to save some rich dude’s house above L.A.
Next, be thankful you are in the U.S. tax system, where the tax rates on some kinds of income top out at roughly mid-30%. Other countries tax structures can be quite a bit worse. For example, Great Britain has a rate that hits 40%, and, though that 5%-7% difference may not sound too bad, I’d be plenty happy to take 5 to 7 cents of any spare dollars you happen to have sitting around.
Enjoyment at paying your taxes can also become a fun and educational family affair. The next time your kids are grousing about their low allowances or lack of plasma screen TV in their room, pack them in the car and head to Washington, D.C. As you pass the Washington Monument, mention casually that the big stone block at lower left is ‘courtesy of yours truly’. Or visit the Smithsonian, and muse about how many of the artifacts your taxes purchased for the collection. Drive by a Congressman, waving, saying, “That’s the one I bought!” Idly conjecture whether Barack Obama is having the Chilean sea bass or the veal medallions tonight, and how much they cost you. Let your kids know exactly how big a cog in the machine of government you really are!
Finally, to really enjoy paying your taxes, just think of them as the cost of some high-value entertainment. After all, how much have you paid to see a movie that stinks, just so you could pick popcorn hulls out of your back teeth and complain about the movie to anyone who’d listen for weeks after? What did last season’s tickets for that worthless football team of yours cost, and how long did your wife have to hear about it? How many thousands of dollars did you dump in that hole in the water framed in wood that you call a sailboat, just so you could crab about marina bandits and the weather and the fates all summer? Well, by comparison, paying your taxes so you could have 364 consecutive days of non-stop grousing about the government and satanic politicians seems like a pretty good deal right about now doesn’t it?
To expand your mind even further, see rickzworld.
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