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Looking back 10 years

Right now I’m sitting down with a tax professional to review my past decade’s tax returns. See, I goofed an eon ago and skipped filing taxes. Had I filed, I would have received a substantial refund. Having not filed, Uncle Sam got mad and billed me for a ridiculous amount of money (5 digits). This tax bill has been a pain. If all goes well today, this will finally be put to bed; of course, it will take the IRS 10 or more weeks to finalize the paperwork so the party will have to wait until then. The lesson? ALWAYS file your taxes!

Update: It’s never good when the IRS agent on the phone makes your tax professional slam her fist on the desk and declare "bitch" after hanging up. However, that’s now one motivated tax professional! In short, over the past decade I’ve lost, not owed but lost, tens of thousands of dollars to the IRS. And they want more.

My Uncle Sam does bad things to me. It’s been our secret since 2002.

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I don’t understand tea bagging.

Apparently on April 15 from 3pm-6pm, Republicans and Conservatives alike (perhaps Democrats and other parties) will be meeting at the World’s Fair Park for some tea bagging. As much as I enjoy a good protest, this just doesn’t sound like my kind of thing:

Teabagging is … an erotic activity used within the context of BDSM and male dominance, with a dominant man teabagging his submissive partner, either a woman or a man, as one variation of facesitting and/or as a means of inflicting erotic humiliation. [Source, Wikipedia, Teabagging]

Just sounds like someone’s going to get themselves arrested.

See also: Teabagging Congress.

Update 12April2009: Seen on The Huffington Post- “Tea Bagging” Rallies Ruthlessly Mocked On Maddow Show

Update: From Paul Krugman:

the G.O.P. looked as crazy 10 or 15 years ago as it does now. That didn’t stop Republicans from taking control of both Congress and the White House. [Source, The New York Times, Tea Parties Forever ]

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Claiming your kidnapped child on your taxes

Folks, as tax season closes up many of us may rush through doing our taxes to meet the April 15th deadline. I wanted to point out a couple of details about your kidnapped child. Remember, if you plan on claiming your kidnapped child as a dependent, make sure that the kidnapper is not someone in your family or the child’s family (I’m not terribly clear on how the two are differentiated). Also, the child must have lived with you for at least one half of the portion of the year that they were actually with you. And remember, the child can no longer be claimed a dependent the year after they would have become 18 years of age because, well, they’re not with you and they are adults which makes them emancipated…they’ll claim themselves. For the actual IRS language, see Topic 357 – Tax Information for Parents of Kidnapped Children Last Reviewed or Updated: November 25, 2008. Those people at just haven’t thought about all the possibilities that Uncle Sam has already covered for us!

This post with apologies to anyone who actually has a kidnapped child.

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IR pain in the S

You know, I used to be the model citizen. I kept immaculate records. Had a petty cash box in the house and an account in Quicken for balancing the petty cash. I tracked every expenditure and literally knew how much money I had down to the penny. Ok, that was a little Monk but I never missed or was late on a bill, I kept balances on my credit cards and always paid at least double the minimum, and I planned my taxes such that my return would be close to zero. I always filed early or on time. When my first business along with my first marriage collapsed, I slipped. I lost the will to do much of anything. When tax season came around my affairs were in such a confused state that I needed an accountant to straighten things out. Instead I simply didn’t file. The following year I had my act back together but assumed that since I didn’t file the previous year, I couldn’t file the consecutive year (a wrong assumption!). That was an expensive choice! And one I took a lesson from "always file even if the numbers are wrong or you can’t pay" As it turns out, had I filed those years I would have received some much needed relief both times. Now, the penalties on that first year alone will have me in a bind for the next couple of decades.

I’m back on the bandwagon. I don’t have a petty cash fund setup in my accounting software but order has been restored to the accounting side of my life. I finished my taxes on March 28 but waited to e-file until this Monday which was a mistake. So far my e-file has been rejected 3 times. The latest was that my adjusted gross income did not match last year’s return. After a lengthy stay on hold and some investigation, a nice IRS agent informed me that they never received my 2006 return! As it turns out, I tried to e-file last year and apparently was rejected (probably for some similar reasons this year had problems). I suppose in 3-5 years the IRS would have contacted me to explain that they did my 2006 taxes for me and that I owed $xx,xxx dollars. There has to be a better system than this!

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Forgive me Uncle, for I have filled out your forms. Lead me not into audit but deliver a fat check directly into my bank account. Let us pray.


Based on the information you provided, your expected stimulus payment is $xxxx. [Source, Internal Revenue Service (IRS),Economic Stimulus Payment Calculator]


The estimated payment amount could be reduced, however, if you have an unpaid tax liability. [Source, Internal Revenue Service (IRS),Economic Stimulus Payment Calculator]

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I predict a major social change because of the war

How do you pay for an expensive overseas war and bring value back to a falling dollar? Simple. You reduce your countries infrastructures costs, add workers to the populace to increase gross national product, create a livable wage for those same workers for taxable income, and create a high demand product to encourage the citizenry to purchase taxable goods. Personally I would add impeach a president to the list.

These things are coming! (well…maybe not the impeachment) And your politicians have already begun the game of wag the dog to get you to accept the reduced infrastructure costs, new workers, different tax structure, and focus on purchasing a highly taxable product. The spin war is on because it is going to be a vicious one and a very hard sell because the government has been selling you a different bill of goods for almost 50 years. See, the reduced infrastructures cost will come by releasing roughly 800,000 inmates from prison.

…would save taxpayers an estimated $20 billion per year…[Source, Unlocking America: Why and How to Reduce America’s Prison Population, page 7]

It is these same 800,000 inmates who will be the new workers adding to the GNP which means these 800,000 people would be producing taxable income.

What of the product? The product must be inexpensive to produce otherwise the savings from releasing the prisoners is negated. Ideally the product should already exist and be high demand with the general populace. The United States has just such a product. It is a product that no one uses yet you cannot swing a stick in a crowd without hitting someone who does use it. The product is marijuana. No one admits to using it yet it seems like everyone around you uses it socially or medicinally from time to time. Even our presidents use it! They just don’t inhale.

My prediction is that in the next decade we will see significant pressure by politicians to encourage legalization of marijuana for all the reasons stated above plus more. By encouraging the use of hemp for cloth, paper, ropes, and so many other uses, we will make better use of the land with higgher quality products (see 200 year old hemp nightgown looks like new). Watch the news. California will lead followed by Colorado and Nevada. Tennessee will follow closely since TN produces quite a lot of crops. Mark my word. As soon as the government can deprogram society from the believe that marijuana is bad (remember, marijuana was lobbied into illegality by the paper companies – apparently it is supposed to do less harm to the body than drinking alcohol), you will see marijuana sold either over the drug store counters or beside the cigarettes in the grocery stores.

See also: Decriminalizing Pot Will Reduce Prison Population, Have No Adverse Impact On Public Safety, Study Says