My Two Cents: Tax tips for this Tuesday

It’s said there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. The grim spectre of death is too depressing to deal with in this column, but only slightly less so than the annual ordeal that is filing your taxes, which by the way, are due tomorrow.

So, I, a non-certified, non-CPA, present this list of a dozen tips – mostly plagiarized from a column I wrote last year at about this same time – for helping you file your taxes:

– If you think you have nothing to worry about because you got your taxes in by last April 15, you have to file taxes every year, genius.

– Having trouble getting to sleep? Start reading your tax booklet and you’ll be out like a light!

– Be creative. For example, list your pets as dependents.

– But not too creative. No matter how job-related, you cannot deduct the use of prostitutes and crack as legitimate business expenses.

– Filling out your tax form with your own blood as a means of protest will not win you any sympathy from the Internal Revenue Service, and will eventually cause you to become light-headed.

– Remember, this is the new, more friendly IRS. Note how IRS agents now say “please” and “thank you” as they audit you into oblivion.

– If you do, in fact, find yourself in the unenviable position of being audited, you might consider strangling your auditor, so you won’t have to worry about taxes. Sure, you’ll go to prison, but think of it as a utopia with constraints.

– Sending in your tax form with a note stuck on it that says “You figure it out, Uncle Sam” is not recommended.

– In order to pay little or no taxes this year, have your sleazy lawyers find some tax loopholes for you to exploit. (Rich guys only.)

– Watch out for some of the less-reputable tax preparation services. For example, it’s a bad sign if a firm’s only calculating hardware is a lone abacus.

– Call the IRS’s toll free assistance hotline and yell at the person on the other end for your having to deal with a tax code so complex and confusing that not even noted physicist Stephen Hawking can make sense of it. It’ll make you feel better.

– Try not to get too discouraged if you screwed up your taxes this time around. Keep in mind there’s always next year!

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who has already received his tax refund (cha-ching!) – gets in his two cents worth, in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.