Friday, April 10, 2009

Rod-Boy’s Tax Tips

This week, I want to offer some free advice… and as with ALL the free advice I give out, it’s worth TWICE as much.

However, if I were you, I would think twice about following my advice this week, because this week, I’m leaving my typical areas of expertise – fashion, art, cuisine, physical fitness, home décor and design, Scrabble, and Undercover CIA Operations – and delving into an entirely new field: Rod-Boy’s IRS Tax Deduction Advice.

Now, already, I know the question prolly at the tip of your tongue: “Hey, Rod-Boy! Since you’re giving away all this valuable advice for free, like a donation, will you be able to claim it as a tax deduction?”

The answer is a resounding “NO”. Claiming Free Advice as a tax deduction is a bad idea, a lesson I learned during the IRS Audits of 1982 and 1983.

The next question you’re likely thinking to yourself now is, “Hey, Rod-Boy! If I applied my Schedule C Accrued Depreciation Allowance to the Earned Income Credit or my Adjusted Minimum Tax because of my Net Operating loss from Credit Default Swaps, can I apply the carry-forward to a SEP or HAS?”

My answer to that question is a resounding “Can you say that again slower.. and maybe use some littler words?”

My point is: I do not know everything about Income Taxes. But I do know some stuff. And, today, I want to share some of the stuff I know, or else have just invented out of thin air, one or the other.

With times being what they are – a slow economy, a recession, tight-money, and Reality TV Shows almost every night – things seem pretty bleak. And with tax filing day coming up next week, most Americans will be looking for ways to hold on to every penny possible, which sometimes leads to “playing a little fast and loose” with the ol’ tax deductions.

Here’s my advice: Don’t do it!

I really can’t tell you what deductions you SHOULD claim, but I have compiled a handy little list of deductions you should NOT take. (Feel free to clip this list and pass it around the office to your co-workers.)

Here it is -- Rob-Boy’s List of Bad Tax Deductions. DO NOT try to claim these tax deductions:

-- One of the most common deductions being tried unsuccessfully this year is the Interest on your Mortgage Deduction for the cardboard boxes many Americans are currently living in.

-- Some taxpayers are trying to claim Education Credits & Deductions for going back to school because watching – an evil plot to take over the world – has turned their brains into mush.

-- The IRS has denied a claim for Depreciation Allowance on a ShamWow when it began to lose its absorbency after only 23,257 uses.

-- Several Illinois taxpayers unsuccessfully claimed Charitable Donations to the Governor of Illinois in their attempts to be appointed to the United States Senate.

-- In addition to the Hybrid Vehicle Credit, some are listing a Hybrid TV Credit, arguing that their TV has not yet switched from digital to analog as promised.

-- The Bernie Madoff Medical Expenses Deduction, which allows Bernie Madoff to take large deductions years in advance, because if he ever gets out of prison, he’s probably going to need lots of medical attention.

-- The IRS is also not likely to allow the “Serving Fish to Tourist in T-Shirts” Deduction because you’re broke and have no money so what could it possibly hurt.

-- And this year’s catch-all deduction is the “So Easy A Caveman Could Do It” Deduction Suite, a collection of large, random, miscellaneous deductions, none of which are valid, but if the IRS questions you, you just say: “Oops! Sorry. I had a caveman do my taxes for me.”

That’s my list. None of these deductions will work, so I’m afraid you’re just going to have to suck it up and pay your taxes.

However, while none of these deductions will work, I am exploring another plan to deal with taxes in these dismal times. At the grocery store last week, the lady ahead of me in the checkout line had an envelope full of coupons she had clipped, and she saved about a hundred dollars on her grocery bill.

So do you think the IRS will accept grocery coupons?

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