Tax and Technicalities, by Rocky and Bullwinkle

I’m sure you all enjoyed tax season as much as I did!  Now here’s something I hope you’ll really like.  This post is what starts going through your head when you do your taxes while watching episodes of Rocky and Bullwinkle.  If you don’t know who Rocky and Bullwinkle are, a) this post will make no sense to you, and b) get thee to Hulu!  Also, sorry in advance to all Ke$ha fans.  It’s only a joke!

squirrel-297026_640

image in the public domain

Melodramatic Narration:  When we last saw our hero, the Little Blind Moose-Girl, she was submitting the tax returns prepared for her by Rocky, the Squirrelly Accountant, of Fly-By-Night CPAs–

Rocky:  Hey!  You make it sound like I’m the villain of this blog post!

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  Yeah, we only call him the Squirrelly Accountant because he handles all kinds of nuts.

Rocky:  I thought it was because I help you squirrel away your money!

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  Well, if that’s it, how come you let me pay you in cashews?

Rocky:  Don’t feel bad; most people pay me peanuts.

Melodramatic Narration:  *ahem* As I was saying, when we last saw our hero, she had just submitted her taxes.  Little did she know, as she went back to her daily routine of rescuing small puppies and giving them to curly-haired orphans, she was about to become a pawn in the latest scheme of that villainous secret enemy agent, Grigory Gudenov, and his new partner, Ke$ha Fatale.

Gudenov:  So, Ke$ha, you are really secret agent, like me.  I should have guessed.  Are you related to legendary Natasha Fatale, who worked with my uncle Boris?

Ke$ha:  Yes, she is my sire–I mean, mother.  She is my mother.  But wasn’t your uncle’s last name Badenov?

GudenovYes; he is my mother’s brother.  My mother married into Gudenov family of government workers and changed last name, so her brother my uncle is not Gudenov.

Ke$ha:  You can say that again, dahling!  Now, what are Fearless Leader’s orders for us?

Gudenov:  Have you forgotten already?

Ke$ha:  No, but the blog readers have.

Gudenov:  We have crucial role in Fearless Leader’s greatest scheme yet.  After decades of failing to take over country by force, he has finally come up with foolproof plan:  he will get American people to elect him president!

Ke$ha:  But Grigory, the American people will never elect Fearless Leader as president.  He’s been trying to undermine their country his entire life!

Gudenov:  Ah, but you see, Ke$ha, he will be running as Tea Party candidate.  Is perfect disguise!

Ke$ha:  Yes, what a brilliant plan!  Ah, but wait:  the President has to be a natural-born American citizen, does he not?

Gudenov:  Of course!  Fearless Leader always carries gun, blames failure on underlings, and reacts with violence when authority is questioned.  What could be more natural-born American than that?  Now, our assignment is to get money for Fearless Leader’s campaign, and I, master no-goodnik that I am, have perfect fiendish plan:  we will pose as IRS agents conducting audits.

Ke$ha:  (gasps) IRS!  Audits!  Oh, no, Grigory, even we cannot be so evil.

Gudenov:  Is for greater good, Ke$ha, is for greater good.  After all, is not like we have to be real IRS agents.

Ke$ha:  That is true, Grigory.  We have to be able to sleep at night.  Now, tell me the rest of the fiendish plan.

Gudenov:  We will pretend to work for IRS.  We will tell people they owe us money and must pay right away or we will take them to gulag–I mean prison.  If anyone asks questions, we will say is part of new executive order.  No one will suspect we are not actual legitimately, and by time real IRS figures out plan, Fearless Leader will already be in office.

Ke$ha:  Now I understand why our hackers stole all those tax returns!  Grigory, how did you think of such a cunning scheme?

Gudenov:  Is all right here in Villain’s Handbook.  See?  Page 415.

Ke$ha:  I can’t read a word of that.

Gudenov:  Of course not–is written in Tax Code!

Melodramatic Narration:  Meanwhile, back at the offices of Rocky the Squirrelly Accountant, our heroes are facing what looks like certain doom.

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  I can’t understand why I’m being audited.  I submitted copies of all the travel receipts.

Rocky:  I don’t know, Little Blind Moose-Girl, maybe the IRS isn’t sure what a “Professional Johnny Depp Whereabouts and Activities Blogger” is.

Little Blind Moose-GirlBut I included the transcript from the stalking trial!

Rocky:  Well, it says here that you owe them $86,753.09 and that if you don’t pay it right away, they’re going to take you to prison.

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  Prison!  It says that?

Rocky:  Yes, see there?  Right after the part where the word “gulag” is scratched out.

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  Can they really do that?

Rocky:  It says in the letter that this is part of a new executive order, so I guess they can.

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  Wow.  I must have missed that episode of “Schoolhouse Rock.”  I always knew not watching more television would come back to haunt me.

Rocky:  Oh, look, the auditor’s here.  Maybe he’ll have some ideas.

(enter Grigory Gudenov, dressed in non-specific law enforcement uniform and sporting a badge, a gun, a truncheon, a crossbow, some ninja throwing stars, an axe, several sticks of dynamite, and a spreadsheet)

Gudenov:  Allow me to introducing myself:  I am Officer Gregory of your IRS Police Department.  I am here to take away your money.  I am sure we can all agree, is better to do this with peacefully, yes?  No one wants to go to gulag–I mean, prison.

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  You’re a police officer?

Rocky:  He must be; look at all those weapons!

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  Well, Officer Gregory, your letter really surprised me.  I still don’t understand how I can owe that much in taxes.  I mean, that’s practically a year’s supply of Red Bull!

Gudenov:  Perhaps you would like to call my supervisor, just to be sure all is on up-and-up.  She can answer any questions you have.  Her number is on letter we send you.

Rocky:  (looking at letter)  Oh, yes, here it is.  Let me just give her a call.  (Dials number)

Ke$ha:  (on phone)  Hello, Agent Fatale speaking.

Rocky:  Hello, Agent Fatal, this is Rocky the Squirrelly Accountant.  I’m here with Officer Gregory, and I’m just calling to confirm that the Little Blind Moose-Girl owes $86,753.09 in taxes.

Ke$ha:  (still on phone) It’s Fatale, and yes, Mr. Squirrel, that is correct.  Moose-Girl must pay immediately or I am afraid Officer Gregory will have to take her to the gulag–I mean, prison.

Gudenov:  There, you see?  All is legitimately and above-the-board.  As for payment, I can take cash, check, credit card, bitcoin, gold, jewelry, authenticated antiques, or healthy organs.  I cannot take stocks or young children–too much risky for return on investment.  You are understand, I am surely.

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  But I don’t have enough of any of those things to pay this bill.  Does that mean I have to go to the gulag–I mean, prison?

Gudenov:  Oh, that is unhappy to hear.  It makes me crying sad, this part of my job, to ruining lives of good people like Moose-Girl.  Are you sure you cannot pay?  Perhaps you apply for credit card?

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  No, I guess I’d better just go with you.  Do you have a gulag–I mean, prison–that can accommodate my disability?

Ke$ha: (still on phone) I beg your pardon?

Gudenov:  There is disability with Moose-Girl?

Rocky:  That’s right, if you’re going to take the Little Blind Moose-Girl away, your gulag–I mean, prison–must by law provide suitable accommodations for inmates with disabilities.  I learned all about it at a presentation the ACLU gave at lunch one day.  That won’t be a problem, will it?

Gudenov:  Oh, no, no, of course not, we love ACLU, is all perfect fine–oh, look, is miscalculation.  Moose-Girl does not owe taxes and there will be no need for ACLU to asking about disability person in gulag–I mean, prison.  Allow me to seeing myself out.  Have nice day!  (runs out, followed by dust cloud and sound of slamming door)

Rocky:  Well, that’s good news!  It’s nice to see that our IRS employees are so honest and conscientious.  Will you thank Officer Gregory for us, Agent Fatal?  Agent Fatal, hello?  I guess she hung up.

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  I didn’t know you’d been to a presentation by the ACLU.  Are you a member?

Rocky:  Oh, yeah.  I don’t know what I’d do without the Accounting Calculations Looker Uppers.  You know, I’d forgotten all about your disability, Little Blind Moose-Girl.  I wonder what accommodations the gulag–I mean, prison–would have to make for your blindness?

Little Blind Moose-Girl:  Who said anything about blindness?  I was talking about my antlers!

Melodramatic Narrator:  Have our heroes escaped the fiendish pseudo-audit?  Will our villains return to take the Little Blind Moose-Girl to the gulag–I mean, prison??  Or will our heroes have to face the even-more-fiendish ordeal of an actual IRS audit???  Stay tuned for our next episode, The Price of Lateness, or:  It’s High Time!

(Ke$ha Fatale:)

Taxes or death? I don’t know, it’s a close call

Title: "No, No! Not That Way" Locati...

Title: "No, No! Not That Way" Location: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So taxes are due again.  There’s a reason death and taxes are so linked, and it’s not just because they’re both so reliable.  Though, if you think about it, death only comes around once.  But anyway, if you’re like me and you put things off until the absolute last second and then, when the last second pokes its head in the door and says “Hey, I’m here!” you throw a pillow at it and tell it to go away, then you’ll understand me when I complain to you about my deep and abiding hatred of all things tax-related.

I don’t just hate income tax, either.  I resent sales tax.  I seethe inwardly about restaurant tax.  I mean, these things are supposed to go toward…I don’t know…keeping the roads paved and regulating businesses and stuff.  I’m cool with the businesses getting regulated, probably because I don’t run a business.  But the roads in my area are not particularly well-maintained, which makes me wonder where my money is going and why I’m paying it in the first place.  It’s getting to the point where, when I see footage on television of one of those expensive fighter jets, I’ll shake my fist at the set and scream “You’re welcome!”  Not really, but inside, you know?

But income taxes hold a special place in my personal hell.  All the other kinds of taxes are at least light on paperwork, which is probably why I don’t make more of a fuss about them.  Income taxes, though, I have to get all kinds of receipts and forms and statements for, and then I have to calculate my taxes several different ways so I know what kind of deduction I should take, and then I have to calculate them again because it seems like, even though I’ve got the same information to plug in, I get a different result every time.  Then I give up and go online to TurboTax or some other program and shell out money so that a computer program can tell me what an idiot I’m being and get all the math right.

Charge calculations 4

Charge calculations 4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And while we’re on the subject, does anyone out there understand tax math?  It’s not like any other math I’ve ever encountered.  It’s worse than trying to figure out who owes what on a shared phone bill.  It’s like the rules of math get sucked into some kind of IRS wormhole so they get warped and distorted, and then when they come through the other side, 2+2 suddenly does not equal 4.  I don’t understand.

I can face attempted burglary, attempted mugging, drunken groping in bars, crap at work, crap at home, crap randomly around town, and I’m like, whatevs.  You’re gonna have to try harder than that.  But taxes make me want to crawl into bed and wait until my mommy makes it go away, or maybe does it for me like she used to do with my science projects.  She can make an awesome diorama.  But, since I doubt the IRS people will accept a diorama in place of my tax return, I’m stuck in Grownupland with everyone else, with a desk full of papers, a bottle of painkillers, and one of those big, clunky calculators they use on TV when they want to show Serious Calculation being done.  Is it too late to secede from adulthood?