For me, the best time of the year is April 15 - tax time. I even named my first daughter April. I wanted to call her Iris after the IRS, but my wife objected, because this is her brother’s name. April 15 is the only time of the year I’m happy I didn’t make more money - how would I pay those taxes?
But the real fun is, of course, filling those forms. First, you have to figure out what form to use. There is 1040, there is 1040A which is the Cliff Notes version of 1040, and there is 1040EZ. This is the one my sister uses.
The IRS is planning new forms. One is 1040BS - a special form for talk-show hosts. Another is 1040OJ which allows you to deduct your ex-wife burial expenses.
They even have a special tax form for aliens. It’s called 1040ET.
I think this is the best defense we have against alien invasion. Let them pay those taxes and I bet you they’ll think twice before coming to here. If, like most of us, they insist on paying those taxes, they don’t even have to make the trip, because the IRS has a new invention. It’s called TELETAX. It works like 1-800-collect, only the IRS are the ones who collect.
1040 is, of course, the heavy one. I don’t really use it, but I keep it on the bookshelf, next to Dracula, just to impress my in-laws. “Gee, son, you use the 1040. You must be making real money,ha?”
I wonder whether anybody reads the whole thing. Well, I do. I just finished the 2004 edition and can’t wait to start the 2005 sequel, because right on page 4 the IRS tells you how much they improved it. And they did.
This year the new feature is a CD which you can play on your home entertainment system. The music is great. I think they took it from Les Miserables.
For me, 1040 is the great American epic. And you get it every year for free. Is this a great country or what?
This is like having a new release of “Star Wars” every year.
I think the IRS should introduce some action figures to go along with the 1040.
There should be C3PO. This, of course, is your accountant.
Then there should be the Ewoks. These are your dependents.
The 1040 has everything in it - marriage, divorce, winning, losing. It even has drama. For instance, on page 5 you have “To file or not to file?” and on page 32 you have “Death of a taxpayer”. But the best thing about the 1040 is the suspense - you never know what’s going to happen next. You don’t even know what the next page is going to be, because they tell you “If the amount on line 27 is more than $18,000 go back to page 13.” Bummer.
My favorite part of the 1040 is line 33a. This is the part where they tell you “If you are blind, check this box.”
The IRS is the nicest Government agency we have. They’ll do anything to help you. First, they tell you your rights: “You have the right to be treated fairly, professionally, promptly, and courteously. You have the right to an accountant. If you can’t afford one ...”
Then, on page 33 they tell you “You don’t have to figure your penalties. We will do it for you.” Gee, thanks.
The IRS is also trying to save you time. For instance, they have a new form called 1040V (for “Vampire”) and there you only need to give the first 4 letters of your last name. This will save Americans a total of 227 million seconds.
If, for example, your last name is Olajuwan, you only need to write “Olaj” - a saving of 6.4 seconds.
If your name is Smith you only need to write “Smit” - a saving of only 1.6 seconds.
And if your name is Dickerson you only need to write ...
You get the point.