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calendar   Tuesday - April 10, 2007

I Gots Dem 1040 Blues

Booooo! It’s time for our Annual 1040 Taxation Without Representation Party™. This Sunday is April 15 so that means .... you don’t have to file taxes yet because it is a Sunday. That, of course, means that next Monday, April 16 is ... still not the deadline for paying your taxes. No, the deadline this year is one week from now - Tuesday, April 17. Wanna know why? Here is the scoop from the IRS Official Shakedown Site ...

Taxpayers will have extra time to file and pay because April 15 falls on a Sunday in 2007, and the following day, Monday, April 16, is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.

By law, filing and payment deadlines that fall on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday are timely satisfied if met on the next business day. Under a federal statute enacted decades ago, holidays observed in the District of Columbia have an impact nationwide, not just in D.C. Under recently enacted city legislation, April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia. The IRS recently became aware of the intersection of the national filing day and the local observance of the new Emancipation Day holiday after most forms and publications for the current tax filing season went to print.

Individuals in the District of Columbia, as well as in six eastern states, already had an April 17 filing date prior to this announcement because they are served by an IRS processing facility in Massachusetts, where Patriots Day will be observed on April 16. These individuals are still required to file on April 17.

“Emancipation Day”. “Patriots Day”. Yeah, that would be too much irony for the annual Fleecing Of The Flock, wouldn’t it? Flock it! I filed my return back in February, did it electronically and had my refund automagically deposited in my bank account a week later. The rest of you nappy-headed taxpayers better get busy writing out checks so the Demoncrat ho’s in Congress can have their pork. Pork: the other green meat.

image
Brian Fairington - Cagle Cartoons

Why Spring Taxes Me
-- By Tom Purcell

image imageI hate spring. I hate the sunny weather and chirping birds and neighbors smiling and humming, while they spread mulch in their planters.

I hate the buds on the trees and the sweet smell in the air. I hate the way the sun falls gently over the hills at dusk.

I hate everything about spring, because I’m self-employed.

Every year this time I’m a nervous wreck about my taxes. I worry that I’ll owe more than I think I will, and I will. I worry that I’ll not get everything organized and tallied up for my accountant in time, and it’s always close.

This is because our income tax system is complex. It is complex because drunk people (members of Congress) designed it so that a bureaucracy (the IRS) will convert the incomprehensible into the unfathomable (the tax code) in order to punish productive Americans (the self-employed) all in the name of good fun.

To comply with our onerous tax rules, I have developed a highly effective accounting technique: the Big Box Methodology. From the beginning of January through the end of December, I toss every bill, receipt, expense, etc. into a big cardboard box.

Every year, I am forced to organize and tally every one of these items, so that I can document my business expenses. I must document my business expenses to accomplish what every self-employed person hopes to accomplish: to have earned as little income as possible the year before.

I was in a mighty struggle with Big Box during the winter. He kept calling out to me, pleading with me to get things in order. But I ignored Big Box. I ignored his unreasonable demands week after week, and the more I ignored him, the more worried I got.

As spring neared, I began taking Big Box with me. When I went away for the weekends, I put him in my trunk. I had high hopes of using my weekend breaks to organize every slip of paper into a brilliant rendition of how much I earned and spent in 2006, but I did not.

No, I did the same thing this year I do every year. I waited until the last few weeks before taxes are due. Despite the recent cold snap, I know what every self-employed person knows: the weather will break big this week.

As the sun shines and the world comes to life, I’ll get calls from beautiful women who want to spend time with me. I’ll be offered box-seat tickets to baseball games, invitations to cookouts, requests to partake in fun and frivolity of every kind.

But I will turn them all down.

I will turn them down because of Congress. When members of Congress passed the 16th Amendment into law in 1913, they made the income tax deadline March 1. But in 1955 Congress pushed the deadline to April 15.

They did this so helpless American taxpayers would have more time to organize and file their taxes? Ha, ha. No, they did it to give the IRS more time. But I think there was an additional reason.

Dissatisfied that the cost and complexity of the income tax was not painful enough --according to the Tax Foundation, Americans wasted 6 billion hours and $260 billion completing returns last year—Congress saw an opportunity to ruin spring, too.

That’s why I’ve been shut off from the world. That’s why I’ve been hunkered down with an intensity and focus that would make the Unabomber wince.

I have been doing battle with Big Box, you see, trying to make sense of all the receipts, bills, etc. he contains. I’ve been in English-major hell—adding, subtracting, documenting, palpitating.

The worst is yet to come. When I finally get everything organized, I’ll forward the details to my accountant. He’ll use them to make complex tax-code calculations. Then he’ll tell me I owe way more than I thought I did.

Now you know why I hate spring.


Tom Purcell is a humor columnist nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons. For comments to Tom, please email him at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 04/10/2007 at 10:44 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsPorkbusters •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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