Saturday, April 16, 2005

It's Two- Two- Two Assignments in One

For this week's homework, Scalzi asks:

>Weekend Assignment #55: The IRS, in its infinite wisdom, is allowing you to deduct one thing from your taxes that you haven't been able to deduct before -- anything you'd like. What do you deduct and why? Yes, anything. And your reason for deducting it doesn't even have to be good -- this isn't an audit, you know. I'm just curious as to what you'd pick.

Extra Credit: Do you wait until the last minute to do your taxes? Or did you have them done ages ago?<

My answer to this, sadly, is duller than dirt.  I would deduct all "miscellaneous deductions" without subjecting them to the 2% limit.  Oooo.  I know you're just falling over yourselves with glee at the possibility.

The thing is, every year I hunt down my receipts for the miscellaneous deductions -- the safety deposit box rental, the cost of the TurboTax, all that junk -- and, every year when I type those suckers in, I cannot take the actual deduction because they end up way under the limit.

It isn't like I care all that much about the amount -- it's less than $100, after all (the difference in my taxes, obviously, would be substantially less than that).  It's just all that time that's spent on gathering all that stuff together for what is ultimately no freakin' deduction.  Annoying.

Oh, and I filed early this year.  I actually received my refund check before April 15 -- I believe that's the first time in my life that I managed that one.

So, OK, boring answer.  But this week's assignment does remind me of another answer I had for last week's assignment -- the "Words of Wisdom" one.  And that is:  Be scrupulously honest on your taxes.

I admit, there's probably a little larceny in all of us.  And everyone draws "the line" someplace different.  Do you tell your waiter when he forgot to charge you for your Coke?  Do you tell someone when you found a ten-dollar bill in the street?  Everyone's had to make these calls, or ones like them, and we've all considered erring in our own favor now and again.

But my advice is simply not to do that on your taxes.  Do not mess with the Feds on this one.  If you're going to err, err on the side of the government.  Make it so that, if you're ever audited, the agent will come back to you with a sheepish grin and a check in your favor.  I'm serious, people.  There's a place and a time for lying, but it ain't on your 1040.

1 comment:

andreakingme said...

Great advice, NZ. Yep. I think I'll stick with stealing phone calls and pens.