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Tours de Farce: Infernal Revenue Service

01:00 AM Tuesday 3/25/03 |   |

"Zelda, I'm home."

"Hello, Horace. Did you stop by the accountant and pick up our tax return?"

"I sure did. Take a look."

"Wow! We're getting a $37,219 tax refund?"

"That's right. Didn't I tell you this accountant was fantastic?"

"You sure did. This is great, Horace. Hmmm... What's this $1,500 deduction listed under 'gambling losses?'"

"That's for when we went to Vegas to see Cher last year."

"Oh. And this $5,000 deduction listed under 'moving expense?'"

"That's when we went to see Jorma Kaukonen in Italy."

"But a moving expense?"

"Well, we did have the maid move the pool furniture inside for the winter."

"Uh, uh… Wait a sec - $500 for 'employee business expense?'"

"That's right. That's when I bought those Dave Matthews Band, David Gray and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers T-shirts to wear on casual Fridays at the office."

"But I didn't think you could write that off."

"You can't. But I had to buy tickets in order to purchase the shirts from the vendors at the shows, not to mention the parking fees. After all there are 52 Fridays in a year and one must look one's best."

"Of course. But what about this $2,700 write off listed under 'medical and dental expenses?'"

"Guns N' Roses in Philly last year."

"Oh, that's right. You know, honey, I'm not too sure about all these write-offs. Are you sure it's legal?"

"Of course, it's legal, honey. Our accountant has all of our deductions categorized and itemized. There's our membership to Get Access listed under 'subscriptions to investment services,' the $300 we spent for that safe-deposit box to store our Paul McCartney tickets plus meals, lodging and gas to see Bad Company's Paul Rodgers, Kenny Werner and Blue Man Group."

"You were right, Horace. This accountant really is amazing."

"You said it, Zelda. From now on I'm having Arthur Andersen handle all of our financial records. And they're really cheap, too. I guess they need the work."

"But all these expenses only add up to $13,210. What about the remaining $24,009? Where's that write-off."

"Right there under 'legal expenses.'"

"Legal expenses? But we didn't have any legal expenses."

"That's the retainer I paid the tax lawyer. You know, just in case."

"Oh."

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