This year, I didn't wait until the last minute to start doing my taxes. I waited until the last 960 minutes. Join me in my panicked dash to jump through the taxman's hoops as I live-blog my tax preparation. We'll be adding to this post all day today, with new updates, photos, and podcasts in a multimedia orgy of amateur accounting and human desperation. Ready...set...deduct!
Listen to Tax Day Liveblog Wootcast #1
7:48 AM: Just spent the last half-hour sharpening a whole case of No. 2 pencils. I'm doing it right this year!
7:49 AM: "Use blue or black ink only"? Dammit...
8:13 AM: Last year I bet Dave a hundred bucks I wouldn’t have to fill out an 11-C wagering form. I want to declare my winnings to the IRS, but if I do, I’ll have to give them back because I filled out an 11-C, but if I do that, I won’t have to fill out an 11-C because I didn’t win, but if I… well, you see the problem.
8:31 AM: Whew! The adoption papers for Gregorio (age 14), Tiffany (age 9), and Danque (age 7) came through just in time. I’m officially a Daddy! Hello child tax credits! It’ll be tough to send the kids back to the orphanage when this is all over with, but at least they’ll have had a couple of days in a loving home.
8:46 AM: Really sad that TurboTax didn’t have a cool chrome intake vent I had to install on the top of my computer.
9:09 AM: I don't know what Form 5713 (Schedule A) is used for, but "International Boycott Factor" is an awesome name for a band.
9:17 AM: Practicing writing ambiguous sevens that kind of look like ones, and vice-versa. I’ll save a BUTTLOAD — and if I’m audited? Oops, innocent mistake!
9:24 AM: That 1120ND is pretty short. Maybe I should just fill one of those out in case I did some nuclear decommissioning and forgot.
9:42 AM: I've decided that since they're not transferable from one year to the next, I'm under no obligation to declare my McDonald's Monopoly game pieces.
9:50 AM: Hey, wouldn’t the IRS find out about Hannah Montana’s secret identity when Miley Stewart got audited for underreporting income? And don’t say “it’s just a TV show” because that could be a serious plot point.
10:19 AM: My whole family thinks I’m crazy for doing my taxes myself instead of asking Uncle Anthony, the CPA. Sorry everybody, but I don’t want to have to explain to a relative why I’m claiming $400 worth of “intimate lubricant” as a business expense.
10:52 AM: Worried that I’ll need to fill out a 1040C Departing Alien Income form since I sold my Star Wars Cantina Set on eBay.
Listen to Tax Day Liveblog Wootcast #2
11:28 AM: Just heard some guy on the radio talking about "our Byzantine tax code". Does that mean I'm supposed to send a check to Constantinople, too?
11:37 AM: Feel like I could save a bunch using Schedule J: Income Averaging for Farmers and Fishermen because of all the times I had fish sticks this year. Wish I'd saved those receipts.
11:50 AM: Ugh, finished a whole page before I realized these are not essay questions.
12:21 PM: My freelance celebrity-bodyguard work means I can probably take the cost of ammo as a deduction. But then the Feds would know exactly how much firepower I’m packing when they come for my guns. I’ll take the tax hit on this one. Liberty or death!
12:49 PM: Had two bowls of chili w/cheese for lunch; now I have to go take a huge deduction.
1:08 PM: I thought opportunities for hilarious photos would just sort of come up during the tax-prep process. Turns out, maybe not.
1:32 PM: Business idea for future reference: a chain of tax-prep offices where all the preparers are scantily-clad women with fake boobs, and every desk has a TV with all the ESPNs, and where pitchers of PBR are always $2, seven days a week. No way I'd get my taxes done at a place like that, but I bet a lot of dudes would. Oh, and wings. Those guys love their wings.
1:50 PM: Just found out the Post Office doesn’t stay open until last call. Glad I checked!
2:07 PM: I better not hear about any of my taxes going toward golden parachutes for Wall Street fat cats. Gold is EXTREMELY HEAVY. Honestly, is there a worse parachute material? No wonder these geniuses bankrupted the economy!
2:19 PM: Should I report what I earned selling copies of my e-book, “One Thousand Ways To Cheat the IRS?” Seems like a damned-if-I-do, damned-if-I-don’t kind of situation.
2:34 PM: I couldn't make it down to my local teabagging party. Even a phony-baloney job like mine requires more or less regular attendance. But I did tip some Coke Zero into the toilet. Take that, King George III!
2:52 PM: New plan for this year: find homeless guy, give him my house, write it off as charity, then buy house back with a case of Mad Dog and deduct the deprecation.
3:19 PM: OMG, can you believe that dress Geena Davis is wearing? It's like she got breast implants just so she could squeeze on a few more rhinestones- whoops! Sorry. For a minute there, I thought I was liveblogging the 2006 Golden Globe Awards.
3:41 PM: Because I know Big Brother will try to harvest fingerprints and DNA samples from my paperwork, I wear an impermeable latex bodysuit while I fill out my forms. I didn’t expect them to take so long to fill out, though. Oh, well—a case of prickly heat is a small price to pay for keeping my biometric profile off the government’s books.
4:08 PM: Income. Income. Have you ever noticed how abstract a word sounds after you repeat it enough? Income. Income. Incomeincomeincome in-come. Income. Weird. (Weird. Weird. Weird. Whoa, it’s happening again.)
4:20 PM: SMOKE BREAK LOL
4:33 PM: Calling my Jewish friend to see if Elijah can count as a dependent even though he never actually shows up to drink the wine.
4:44 PM: Sigh. I wish I lived in olden times, when you could pay your taxes in the form of goats, grain, or daughters.
5:07 PM: I’m putting sparkly butterfly stickers around the margins of my forms, just to make them a little prettier. (I’ll do the envelope, too.) I’m hoping they’ll make a good impression on whoever reviews my return, and maybe they’ll cut me some slack when they come across a close question that could go either way. That’s what’s known as “working the refs.”
7:18 PM: Stepped out to pick up dinner. Asked the guy working the register at White Castle what he thought about the Canon DVD Camcorder with 41x Advanced Zoom, so I'm taking the cost of the onion rings as a business expense.
7:21 PM: There’s a subtle but distinct difference between the taste of the chicken in White Castle’s chicken sandwiches and in their chicken rings. Note to self: investigate after tax season.
7:46 PM: Riddle me this, Mr. IRS Man: can you levy a fee against the human spirit? Can you tax a man's conscience? Can I take a depreciation deduction for my bruised and battered soul? And if so, how much?
8:13 PM: Briefly passed out while filling out Worksheet F, Schedule 48-C. Must be exhaustion. Or those quaaludes I had for dessert.
8:47 PM: Ran out to buy calculator batteries and got pulled over on the way home. The patrolman was not moved by my explanation that I was “in a hurry to pay the taxes that pay [his] salary, [the] fascist swine.”
9:03 PM: Oh, snap, that Next Gen with the Borg is on.
9:20 PM: I must be getting tired. On Form 4563 (Exclusion of Income for Bona Fide Residents of American Samoa), under "Farm Income", I answered "purple". Not to mention I've never even been to American Samoa.
9:44 PM: WHY COULDN’T YOU HAVE HAD A BETTER LAWYER, WESLEY SNIPES???
9:56 PM: And it's off! Signed, sealed, delivered to Uncle Scam! I'm probably penitentiary-free for at least another 12 months. This is my favorite moment of the year.
10:05 PM: Oh, snap, that Deep Space Nine with Q is on.
10:09 PM: Wait, today was the deadline for state taxes, too?
Listen to Tax Day Liveblog Wootcast #3