Preparation and execution of my income tax return
By Rev. James L. Snyder
April 15th is the time of the year when Americans can communicate with their government. I cannot testify for anyone else, but I look forward to this marvelous opportunity and I am careful not to waste it. This year, for example, so much has happened to me since last year it took 15 single-spaced typed pages to include everything.
However, to be perfectly honest (and who's perfect), I am a little disappointed. All the years I have included a personal letter in with my tax returns, I have yet to get a personal letter in return.
I'm beginning to think this is a one-way relationship and it wouldn't take much for me to quit this correspondence entirely. Then what would my government think? How would they know what I've been up to all year long?
I am not one to complain, but filling out my income tax return seems to be getting more complicated each year. When I familiarize myself with the rules for one year, someone changes them the next year.
What could not be deducted last year can be this year; and what was not deductible last year I must pay twice. Why can't someone in the government make up my mind and quit all this unnecessary fluctuation?
On April 16, each year, our government immediately destroys the tax books to keep them from falling into the hands of a foreign power. By "foreign," I mean Canada.
Heaven help us if our neighbor north of the border ever got their hands on this information. Canadians are not usually known for their joviality, but once they see these books, the entire country would break out into uncontrollable laughter. Who knows what this would do to the delicate relationship now existing between the two countries.
Because of this important precaution, we need new tax laws each year.
Right after the New Year's Eve party, someone in the Internal Revenue office asks his assistant to "bring me those tax books." When informed there are no books, this same person (who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons) says to his assistant, "Bob, write me a new tax law book for this year and have it on my desk by 5 o'clock."
This sets the wheels of government to whirling and by golly, by 5 o'clock that new tax law book is on the desk. The reason the tax laws differ from one year to the next is the assistant responsible for this is fired every year and a new one hired.
The only requirement for the assistant is that his name must be "Bob."
I wish one year Bob would call me. It seems he has overlooked many legitimate deductions every year. I would like to submit some recommendations to be considered for next year.
First, I am not too happy with this April 15th deadline. I feel it is much too restrictive and rigid. What is so special about April 15 that our government should have such an apprehension about me missing this deadline? What is wrong with June 15? Or, September 22, for that matter?
I believe the IRS should be more understanding and practice a nonjudgmental attitude. After all, this is a new millennium calling for a new attitude on this whole business of taxes. They ought to trust me to send in my taxes whenever I'm ready, or remember.
There are some deductions I have never seen on the forms I have filled out and I have always wondered why. Let me list some:
Grandchildren - have never been listed as a legitimate deduction. Does the IRS know just how expensive grandchildren are? My jellybean budget alone could finance a small third world country and I only have three grandchildren.
Pets - have never been included as deductions. Pets have a marvelous role in enhancing our lives and giving us a good excuse to get out of the house and walk around the block.
Pet food is expensive, as any pet owner knows, not to mention those exorbitant veterinary bills. (Does my doghouse qualify as a home office? I spend a lot of time there so it should.)
Vacation - is another overlooked item. Does the IRS think I am taking a vacation just for my health? Oh, yea. I am. Well, my health is important. Every dollar I spend on vacation should be deducted from my income and not be taxable, which would take a lot of stress off my next vacation.
Presents - don't tell me Christmas presents are not authentic tax-deductible considerations. If it were not for me buying all those Christmas presents the general economy of our country would go into a slump. Buying Christmas presents is the one thing I can do for my country and I should expect some compensation.
These are just a few suggestions I would make if left up to me.
There is no way I could get away with writing my own ticket for my personal income tax return. The government has set up rules and regulations to guide everyone.
Some people think they can write their own ticket when it comes to God, forgetting God has established rules and regulations that apply to everyone.
The Bible clearly says; "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12 KJV.) And, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 KJV.)
About The Author
Reverend Snyder is currently ministering at the "Family of God Fellowship" in Ocala, Florida. More of his articles are available for reprint at his website: http://www.godspenman.com/
Rev. Snyder is available as a guest speaker. He writes a weekly column and is the author of "You Can Always Tell a Pastor; But Not Very Much " available at: http://www.jamessnyderministries.com/