How To Even…Do Your Taxes

By Michael Gushue & CL Bledsoe

It’s the middle of April. Your taxes are due, and you haven’t done them yet because of big important not-made-up reasons we won’t go into, but the primary one rhymes with ewe bergot. Hey, it happens…most years. Unfortunately, it’s now like ten p.m. on the last day to file. All the tax preparers whose home addresses you’ve tracked down REFUSE to answer their doors. A couple of them even called the cops, even though you explained that you never learned how to do taxes in school because you were too busy lettering in keg stands. (You may have had something to drink.)

It’s an unfair world, and it doesn’t deserve you, but you don’t have time to think about that now. There will be plenty of time for that the rest of your life. Now, you’ve got to do your taxes. Who knows? You might even get a sweet return! (Spoiler: you’re not getting a sweet return.)

Getting Ready

We’re going to go out on a limb and assume you’re poor-ish. We’re basing this on the fact that you’re actually paying taxes and aren’t yelling at your accountant right now. There are a couple ways you can do your taxes, then. Unfortunately, one of those ways requires you having had the foresight to go to the library or post office to get paper copies of your tax forms, and both of those places are now closed. If you did somehow manage to grab the forms, great! If not, you can do them online.

Paperwork

Do you have your W2s and various other forms? If you can’t locate them, try looking in the pile of mail and take-out bags near your door, assuming that you have a door. Any receipts for work-related purchases would be good, also. Maybe go through some more trash and crumpled bags until you find some. You might have to dig down a couple layers since you are looking for receipts spanning the entirety of last year.

Is It Deductible?
-Do you have a receipt for it?
-Does it smell deductible?
-Can you convincingly lie about it being used for business purposes?
*An important thing to remember when preparing your income tax is that tears and curses are NOT deductible.

Filling It In

The first few boxes on your tax form will appear deceptively simple. They’ll ask your name, address, the sort of thing you should be able to call your mom to verify. This is meant to lull you into a false sense of security. You’ll be rocking and rolling until the form asks for you to insert Tab A into Slot B. Nowhere on your W2 is there a Slot B or a Tab A. This is just an example. It might ask you to copy the amount in Sector 7G, which doesn’t exist, into Area 57, which totally exists even though the government tries to cover it up. You’ll try vainly to please the form, saying nice things about its clothing and eyes, muddling through, until it finally says you owe several million dollars, even though you made not even some million dollars. You retrace your steps, go over everything again, but you can’t figure it out. At a certain point, you’ve got to give up and face the facts: you need help.

Getting Help

All the tax preparers are in their beds, visions of audits dancing in their heads. The IRS has the electric fence up. Who can possibly help? Pop quiz: name a mythical creature that’s good with money. If you said Rumplestiltskin, we’re laughing at you. We really are. That guy gave away gold left and right, and for what? Some twisted control fantasy? No, thank you. Try again. Think of a mythical creature who manages to keep lots of gold, occasionally does a rap video…that’s right! We’re talking about leprechauns.

Finding a Leprechaun

There’s a myth that leprechauns hang out at rainbows. This is a kind of cultural miscommunication. Leprechauns actually hang out at The Rainbow Club, which is a bar with a nice, non-judgmental atmosphere. Lucky for you, it’s open all hours, though it does have a 2-drink minimum. Since you’re probably too emotional to drive, you should get a Lyft.

Approaching a Leprechaun

You may think the best course of action is to walk up to a leprechaun and offer to buy it a drink. Leprechauns aren’t looking for sugar daddies. They already have big pots of gold, you may recall. What they are looking for is a meaningful conversation, a meeting of the minds, and constructive feedback on their new fashion lines. If you want your taxes done, you’re going to have to take one for the team, so to speak. And, yes, it’s going to happen right there, in the bar, in the middle of everyone, and yes, the leprechaun is the model. Strap in.

Note: Leprechauns have lived on Earth for thousands of years, and many of them live to be hundreds or even thousands of years old. During that time, they have developed some approaches to fashion that you may not have encountered before, even ones that your conscious mind is unable to comprehend. It’s important not to be judgmental. Just because something is different or requires delousing afterwards doesn’t mean it’s any less valid than what you buy at Walmart. Focus on that sweet return and power through.

Examples of Constructive Vs. Unhelpful Criticism
-Instead of, “That’s hideous.” Say, “I’ve never seen anything like that.”
-Rather than, “Oh God! My eyes!” Maybe say, “Vertical with horizontal stripes are an interesting choice.”
-Don’t say, “Are you colorblind?!” Say, “You see color in such an interesting way.

Once the fashion survey has been finished, you are now free to ask one favor of the leprechaun. It’s important to word your favor carefully. “Do the thing!” Might make perfect sense in your head but mean nothing to your new friend. Also, overly wordy requests might make the leprechaun think you don’t trust them. You’ve put a lot of work into this relationship — blood, sweat, tears, and things you can’t put into words yet. It would be a shame to ruin that now.

The leprechaun will probably want to go back to your place to do your taxes. This is a tricky situation. Once it knows where you live, it’s going to show up every tax day, looking to test out some, “new ideas.” If you’re okay with that, of course, go right ahead.

Leprechauns work best when they feel comfortable. If the leprechaun begins taking off its clothes or asks you to dance a jig, don’t be alarmed. It may ask you to put on a hat and a green sport coat along with some leprechaun-style boots and sing, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.” Again, this is all to serve the greater good.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly the leprechaun finishes your taxes. You’ll also probably be surprised when it refuses to give you the finished form unless you pay it in gold doubloons. Unfortunately, leprechauns are often old-fashioned in that they expect to be paid for their work. Luckily, they are often open to bartering. If you offer up your first-born child, for example, they’ll usually waive the fee. Note: leprechauns usually can’t tell the difference between people. If you give them someone else’s first-born, they probably won’t be able to tell. Also, if you don’t actually ever have a kid, problem solved.

Once you’ve made the deal and sent the leprechaun on its way, you’ll be free to work out a payment plan with the IRS and await the next year, when you’ll probably have to repeat the whole process because you just do not learn, do you? (We certainly don’t.) If you get a return (you won’t), the leprechaun is totally going to try to get you to invest in its fashion line. It’s up to you to decide what to do. If you don’t invest, you will anger a creature known for holding grudges. If you do invest, you’re much more likely to survive, although you can kiss that return good bye. But hey, whatever happens, you can choose to look at this as a negative situation or a positive one. Some might say you’ve made an interesting acquaintance with lots of stories to tell who happens to smell like a fish made of expensive cheese. Regardless, the important thing to remember is that Tuesdays are Non-Binary Night at The Rainbow Room.

The only blog you’ll ever need. By Michael Gushue & CL Bledsoe Archives: https://medium.com/@howtoeven/how-to-even-archives-3eeea1f52d31

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