What Do You Mean My Comic Books Aren’t Tax Deductible?
By Darren Marlar –
The worst thing about being broke? Tax time. There’s nothing worse than seeing how worthless of a person you are… to the exact nickel.
Remember the scene in Star Wars where the Millennium Falcon jumped to light speed and all of the stars came rushing at them? That’s how doing taxes feels to me – but instead of stars, it’s numbers and letters… and IRS agents. Instead of the Millenium Falcon it’s the kitchen table. And my wife is Chewbacca (unless she’s reading this, then she’s Princess Leia).
I see all of those numbers flying at me – 1099, W2, W4, 1040, 1040EZ, WD-40, V8, B4… YOU SANK MY BATTLESHIP!
Tax time actually feels, well… taxing. It’s the only time of the year you’re forced to literally use “deductive” reasoning. And in order to get all of your deductions you have to ask for a receipt every time you buy something. How is that good for the planet? How many forests have we mowed down because we were given a receipt at the car wash? Sure, I’d like to save the rainforests, but there is no way I’m not claiming a deduction on that Biggie Dr. Pepper I bought in Dubuque. That was a business trip.
If you buy something to use on the job, it’s tax deductible – so from now on, everything I buy, no matter how mundane, I’m going to use it on the job. In the middle of my comedy shows I’ll pull out last week’s grocery list: eggs, bacon, Preparation-H, big bag of Baby Ruths…
What’s deductible for stand-up comedians? Watermelons and sledgehammers? Rubber chickens? If I put down my occupation as “stand-up comedian” will the IRS take any of my deductions seriously? I can imagine that audit. “You’re deducting Preparation-H? Tell us that joke, Mr. Funny Man!” When is the last time you met anyone who works at the IRS that had a sense of humor? I’m pretty sure they find IRS agents by looking over the resumes of former DMV workers who were fired for not having enough personality.
I envy parents at tax time, because they have kids. That means they can celebrate “Dependents Day.” Children: they are little tax deductions. We don’t have kids – just a picture on our fridge of a poor Guatemalan kid. But he doesn’t count because he’s not “related.” Whatever. I guess I won’t even bother asking about my cat then.
I know they’re past due, but I’m not done with my taxes yet. In fact, I avoid doing them as long as I can – everything comes first. I’ll trim my toenails. I’ll trim my wife’s toenails. I’ll organize the sock drawer. Do you have any idea how awkward it is trying to explain to your neighbors why you’re organizing their sock drawer?
I don’t wait to file my extension – I filed mine the day after Christmas. Why do today what you can put off until Cinco de Mayo? I know I’m not Mexican, but if it gets me out of doing taxes until Kwanza, I’m good to go.
Heck, I’d claim to be Amish if it got me out of filling out a 1040 form. I could be an Amish comedian.
“How many Amish does it take to change a light bulb?” “What’s a light bulb?”
“You might be Amish: if you ever asked the question, ‘Does this shade of black make me look fat?’”
But no – the Amish pay taxes too. I checked. I don’t know why I’m making a big deal out of this. After all, I only made fifty-two dollars last year.