A Thought on Tax Reform (That’d Never Happen)

Been stuck listening to someone else argh over tax returns. You know, wouldn’t it be great if, instead of legalese boilerplate you need a magnifying glass to piece together, the IRS actually wrote in plain English?

I envision a letter something like this:


Yo. Dude. Dude.

You missed line 7, taxable income. Yeah, yeah, you got in the whole healthcare mess and what you actually made for the year and what your deductions should be, props for that – but you missed line 7.

And that’s kind of an important line, RTFM, duuuude….

Anyway. You missed it. We had to crunch the numbers for you, and we did, go us.

Bottom line, you owe us some moolah.

Cash. Dinero. The green stuff. You know. You better know.

So write us out a check for $XXX, sign, put all the ID numbers on it, enclose the slip, yadda yadda yadda, and get it to us before June. Then we’ll all be good, m’kay?

Don’t make us go all Federal on your butt.

Signed,

Those Guys In Washington.


…Ahem. Probably never happen, right?

Darn.

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22 thoughts on “A Thought on Tax Reform (That’d Never Happen)

  1. I honestly thought all the obscurity and bureaucracy was at least partially intentional on the IRS’s part to hide the fact that even they have no idea what the **** they’re working with

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dad got into an Argh bit this year, when he actually found a case where it was a circular reference Box A says “look at box C”, box C says “look at box B”, and box B says “look at box A”… and after being on the line with the IRS every day for nearly a week, even they conceded “that really is what the stuff says, and we can’t figure out how you got there or how to solve it, other than just suggesting you use a different form instead”. Also, he found a few spots of “go look at the end of the thing, instead of the beginning, because stuff at the beginning requires that you fill stuff out based on the end.”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I recall that a tour guide at the Seattle Aquarium explained that every once in a while, they lose their native octopuss exhibit. They’ll manage to crawl out of their tank, onto the floor, and find some drain or other that lets back out into the Sound…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s at least one case where OTHER fish were disappearing and they finally figured out the octopus was unlocking its cage, going out, eating other exhibits, and then getting back in its cage.

        (They were smart, they had a cage with a lock on it over the octopus only.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. And then there was the Pacific giant octopus in the shark exhibit. “Boy, I hope the sharks don’t eat the octopus!”

        Sharks start disappearing.

        Aquarium investigates to catch thieves, because sharks are expensive!

        …Motion camera catches octopus with half-eaten shark.

        Narrator: And this is how researchers officially discovered a previously unknown item in the diet of the Pacific giant octopus.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. My mom is a CPA, and my uncle works for the IRS. And… yeah. The thing is that if you’re an individual, and the company you work for does all of the reporting you’re supposed to do… the IRS should already have all of the information you are providing. Unless you got a substantial amount of money from some other source or are planning on doing itemized deductions.

    Corporate tax returns and audits are another thing, but that’s what CPAs are for.

    Honestly part of the reason they can’t make taxes easier is because companies like TurboTax are making money off the fact that doing your taxes is confusing. It’s not complicated, but it’s confusing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Though given the IRS is legally forbidden from straightening out their tax forms to make them simpler or do the thing that every other country does and just automatically do it for you and only send you a form if you have something funky going on….

    The other thing is, plain English flat out isn’t a thing, because it changes so fast and definitions change not only across years, but across country(Hence why the Soda/Pop/Coke map is a thing), and legal language got solidified over a century ago so that they could freeze the definitions in place. Then again, reading about commas that cost millions was one of my first intros to how important tiny things are in legal language.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love this, I really wish we could make this happen, it would be much less frustrating… we would feel like we are dealing with actual people.

    Liked by 1 person

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