New Deductions

This first appeared in the Platte County Landmark in early March.

downloadBy this time in the year, I’d like to be able to sit here and tell you that I’m all done with my taxes. I’m not.

For whatever reason, the US Government has decided that I need to pay them some money so that severely impacts my motivation to complete my taxes before April. Maybe if they sweetened the pot a little bit, I might, at least, have a more enjoyable experience.

I’m not talking about a flat tax, or a major reduction in taxes. I know that I’ll never live long enough to see something like that – and the government does need to pay for pot holes some way (except in Kansas City, Kansas where they just ignore them.) But I would be willing to offer up a few entertaining deductions that folks can at least smile about when filling out their 1040 this year.

  • Mileage deduction for the amount of miles your GPS took you off course. I would’ve saved about $14 the other day when the thing outsmarted itself and took me through the side roads of Lenexa to get around a phantom wreck on I-35.
  • Deduction for all gym memberships purchased the first week in January, but only if you went to the gym through at least June.
  • Many of the Presidential candidates are making promises to include college tuition or free student loans to high schoolers. How about the government pay back student loans if your team with the Final Four or National Football Championship? (Missouri fans would need not apply.)
  • You are able to deduct earnings made from the stock market, but how about opening that up to losses in daily fantasy leagues (at least in the states where it’s not banned)?
  • The Landmark has recently upped its coupon game with some great grocery coupons. How about crediting us for money saved on coupons? Or maybe anything we purchase through the 12 Items or Less register?
  • You’d obviously have to incorporate social media into this new tax structure. How about crediting users of Twitter and Facebook if they made a post that didn’t yell at someone? It could cut down on us calling people idiots. And then penalize people who posted funny videos of cats.
  • In honor of my mother’s biggest pet peeve, we should find a way to allow a special $1,000 credit for people who don’t check their smartphones at the dinner table.
  • I don’t know anyone who has donated $1 to the Presidential campaigns on their tax forms, but how about the IRS credit us $1 for every Presidential commercial we’re going to watch in 2016?
  • Or what about $5 off your taxes for every day your local weatherman was wrong about the temperature? That could easily offset the days you had to bring an umbrella to work only for it to be sunny and 80.

Let’s get on these IRS. It’s not like you don’t just sit around nine months out of the year and act busy the other three. Let’s get cracking and ease the pain of the US taxpayer – or at least increase our motivation to get them filed on time.

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