You know how people say they have a love-hate relationship with someone or something? Well, this isn’t one of those posts.
It’s about my unadulterated hatred for the United States Internal Revenue Service.
“Hate is such a strong word,” you might say.
“No one likes the IRS. But saying you hate it is going a bit far,” you may be thinking.
But you’d be wrong.
The Rock and I have been self-employed cattle ranchers for 13 years. And because of The Rock’s entrepreneurial spirit we’ve always had a side business or two, as well.
That doesn’t mean what you may think; that we’re rolling in money, while not having to answer to The Man. Or punch a time clock.
While some of that is true (The Man and the clock part), the money part is not.
And because we can’t afford to pay our former CPA hundreds of dollars to prepare our tax returns, and because I am cursed with the ability to do it, I hate the IRS more and more with each passing year.
I hate them because they have made preparing an income tax return SO FREAKIN’ COMPLEX!!
Unless you have the good fortune of only needing a Form 1040-EZ or even a 1040-A or a 1040 with no schedules attached you have no idea what living-the-IRS-nightmare really feels like.
Add OCD Louie to the party and guess what I do every year from March-October?
Yes, I said October. I always file an extension. I just filed our 2013 return. Hence, this out-of-season post.
Every year from March-October I obsess. Obsess and worry. Obsess and worry and endlessly research tax laws so I’m sure that our return is as accurate as humanly possible.
Unlike me, Louie absolutely adores the IRS.
However, had it not been for all the obsessing and worrying and researching I’d never have come across these little gems.
These are actual, I kid you not, direct quotes from IRS Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income 2009.
They’re probably still there because does anyone actually think the IRS has removed anything from the convoluted leviathan that our tax code has become?
OK, then. Here we go.
"If you sold an item you owned for personal use, such as a car, refrigerator, furniture, stereo, jewelry, or silverware, your gain is taxable as a capital gain. Report it on Schedule D (Form 1040)."
Oh, okay. Uh-huh, sure thing.
"If you receive a bribe, include it in your income."
WHAT?!?! I don’t even know what to say about that one.
"If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner."
Wait. If I steal it in one year but don’t return it till the next year does that mean I lose out on that deduction? Doesn’t seem fair.
"Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C if from your self-employment activity."
I’m confused about which Business Activity Code you’d use on your Schedule C. Maybe Retail Trade – Nonstore Retailers? Maybe someone at the IRS knows. BWAHAHAHAHA!!
That stolen property rule got me wondering: What if I steal property (hypothetically speaking, of course) and it gets returned to its rightful owner, not by me, but by the police when they confiscate it from me? Do I still have to claim the income?
Or what if I steal property that has a fair market value of $100, then I sell it for $200. Do I have to report the profit I made on the sale, also?
And what about the illegal drug sales income? If I (hypothetically speaking again) sell more than $600 worth of drugs to one person in a year, do I have to send him/her a 1099?
See how complex our tax code is? One question leads to another…and another…and another…
My daughter, Zani, suggested I ask Pebbles to explain all this to me.
She could probably write tax laws that make more sense.
Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.