Every year I search for tax deductions to lower my bill to Uncle Sam. So far, the best way I’ve found to escape paying federal income tax is to remain unemployed.
But if you were smarter than me and you actually earned something last year, it’s time to get creative. Don’t worry about getting audited. If your computers are like mine, they’ll crash sometime within the next 24 months—and then you can just tell the I.R.S. that you’re unable to locate your records. They won’t care. But you can tell them this anyway.
I didn’t earn anything last year, after I accounted for all my valid deductions. By the time I subtracted for my costs of paper, printing supplies, and decent quality Merlot (You don’t think I can write this stuff without alcohol, do you?), I didn’t make a profit.
In fact, my auditor husband tallied my expenses just so he could prove that my financial contributions have been, to be generous, nonexistent. According to him, if I stay on course and continue to work hard, by age 65, I might achieve a positive cash flow.
My spouse doesn’t understand why I purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of books every year. I try to explain that I need to compare my writing style to those who are making money. But he thinks I should spend more time at the library, despite the fact that our community doesn’t have one. And he can’t fathom why I need a Web presence when my own family members refuse to read my columns, which is exactly the point.
Still, it would be nice to feel valued for what I produce—which is why I’m begging you to consider me for any last-minute tax write-offs you might need. I know you’re thinking that all charity deductions had to have been made before year end. But I’m perfectly okay with backdated checks.
I’ll also accept leftover holiday gift cards and unexpired free meal coupons. Please send your donations to the Save the Humor Columnist Fund, a U4(c) my scam corporation, c/o Totally Skewed Productions, 555 Obscure Lane, Nowhere, TX, 77890. All contributions are fully tax objectionable.
Additionally, you may purchase my book, Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road, and claim it as a tax deduction—provided you can invent some business reason for owning it. *
* Consult your tax advisor before making any stupid decisions. Actual deductions may vary. Past audit evasions are not valid predictors of future detection. Not suitable for persons under age 12, individuals who are laugh-impaired, oxygen-deprived, or for those who are taking mood inhibitors. Do not read while driving, operating heavy machinery, or text messaging. Some thinking could be required. May cause sudden excitability, unexpected oral emissions, snorting, frequent howling, and abdominal cramps. Should any of these symptoms occur, stop reading and immediately notify your book club.