The Tax Man

As you read this, 45% of Americans are bugging their employers to issue them their W-2s, 54% of Americans won't even begin to think about taxes until mid-April, and the other 1% pay other people to think about their taxes for them. Me? I find myself in a troubling state of limbo. I do not want to be here. 

  Without elaboration, the IRS suddenly thinks I owe them a lot of money and I, of course, disagree. Wholeheartedly. I learned of this dilemma by way of a very thick brown envelope from the IRS appearing in my mailbox on a Friday afternoon. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was trouble. I think it was the thickness that tipped me off. Before direct deposit, good things from the IRS came in very thin brown envelopes. 

  I cried off and on that whole weekend coz you can't do anything to even begin to deal with such news until Monday.

  It's OK. I'm relatively sure I can prove my case successfully, but do not look forward to the whole back-and-forth, for weeks-and-months or maybe even years that such a task ultimately requires. For the first time in my drill, baby, drill, non-tree hugging life, I'm actually grieving for all the trees who will die while we sort this all out. You see, I've been dealing with Social Security and Medicare on my husband's behalf for some time now, and I simply can't deny the irony of the 3-page (albeit double-sided) Paperwork Reduction Act notice that comes with every piece of mail I get for him. 

  Truth be known, I really am a bit worried. Ok, I'm terrified! It's the IRS after all! The IRS! I called my dad and was screaming that I'm in trouble with someone who's scarier than the mob or mafia! In typical calming-dad fashion he said "Oh, honey, they're way worse than that!". 

  Who'd've thunk that I, me, (me!) would ever in a million tax seasons be in trouble with the IRS? Look, I'm no saint, but I can honestly say that nowadays I can't really peg myself for any particular crime. Possession of a doobie? Not for decades! DUI? No! Traffic violations? Of course not! I'm the best driver on the road (except for you, of course). So tax evasion is a real stretch for me. You have to BE somebody to be accused of that, don't ya?! 

  And then once I got over the initial shock, I started thinking. 

  The first thing I thought was that I didn't need my own W-2 so fast because my 45% refund wasn't coming anytime soon. After all, they're not likely to issue me a check if they think I owe them tons of money. 

  My next thought was that I should sue the IRS for mental anguish over this whole ordeal, particularly after I win. But then I thought if I did that, they'd only tax the hell out of the award and so it would turn out to be like me giving them a check and I damn sure don't want to do that! 

  And then I began to wonder that if there are earmarks in the federal budget, can I earmark my tax dollars to go to a certain line item? Say, I want so much to go to research of prawns on treadmills and so much to go to a bridge to nowhere because when you think about it, if you build the bridge, then nowhere becomes somewhere and maybe they will come.

  At least my coworkers on that first Monday were very sympathetic to my plight and I found them to be very supportive. They told me that when I go to jail, it wouldn't be like the skanky ones, it would be a federal country club prison, that I would rub elbows (and hopefully nothing else) with real celebrities! I could learn how to decorate a cake just so. That I could get that eyelid lift and dental work I've been needing. And that maybe with the connections (er, networking) I made in there, we could all brain-storm for a joint venture adventure of some sort after we all got out. 

  It finally got me to thinking, maybe this isn't such a bad thing after all!