Some last-minute tax help

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Posted 4/11/17 (Tue)

What A Joke
By John Bayer

So you waited till the last minute. Your friends who filed their taxes back in January are driving around in the new sports cars their refund checks bought them, while you’re scrambling to locate your W-2 and crying over spilt itemized deductions.
Your best bet at this point is to hire a tax professional to get you the highest refund possible. Of course, no CPA is going to get within a mile of you this close to the deadline unless you have incriminating photos of him.
As a fellow last-minute filer, let me give you a few tips:
Yesterday, I went to the park with a loaf of stale bread. I sat on a bench and tossed bits of bread to the ground. About two dozen birds flew over to get a bite. I then went home and claimed 24 dependents on my tax return.
If you attend an accredited institution of higher learning, you may be able to deduct some of your education expenses. Although I’m not technically enrolled at a school, I did learn how to make an origami swan by watching a video on YouTube. I’m counting the cost of my internet service, my computer and the origami paper as educational expenses.
If you own your home, you can get a break on your taxes. I’ve also found a little tax trick for if you’re a renter like me. Every week during football season, I shout at the TV, “Dear God, let the Colts score a touchdown.” The way I see it, this prayer qualifies my place as a house of worship, and is therefore a tax-exempt organization.
Things get complicated if you’re self-employed as I am. There’s no employer to take taxes out of your paycheck; you have to figure that out yourself. But you also get to deduct many of your expenses. I write out of my home, so I’m able to deduct a portion of my rent. Whenever I grab coffee with a friend, I always mention what a brilliant writer I am so that I can claim the whole thing as a business meeting. In many of my columns, I complain about my weight; therefore, I deduct my entire grocery bill each month.
My final tip is to just stop kidding yourself. You’re never going to finish in time. File the extension now and go get a drink. I’m sure that W-2 will be much easier to find in October.