Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Dear Madam or Sir:
Enclosed please find my W-2 and 1040. I’m sorry, but even with TurboTax and plenty o’ caffeine, I could not make head or tails of your tax forms this year.
I tried to fill out everything correctly and honestly, to the best of my ability, but you guys have me stumped.
Have you ever considered hiring an editor or a rewrite man?
I suggest a crusty old news editor from a major metropolitan newspaper: a guy or gal who could cut 95% of your crap and feed it to us straight.
“What did you make?
What did it cost you to do it?
Send us _____.”
My friend Ms. Google informs me, under oath, that there are more than 800 IRS tax forms and schedules.
You required me to fill out 10 of them this year, though I am sure I missed some, and that you may penalize me for it.
On a bicycle?
That I use for work?
And pardon me, TurboTax, old friend: Why do you keep kicking my 1040 back to me, with more “errors” every time, because I don’t know how to depreciate an old Schwinn?
And, Madame Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, should the patch kit and inner tube be reported under “Business Expenses,” or “Depreciation and Amortization,” or “Professional Services,” or “Qualified Business Income Deduction (Simplified Computation),” or “Special Depreciation Allowance Elections Under IRC Section 168(k)(7)”?
All of which forms I believe I was required to file this year. And — I ain’t lying here — I don’t know whether I did or not.
Now, we cannot blame Secretary Yellen for this. She just got here. Or there. But, please, Ms. Yellen, take a look at our tax forms and try to simplify them, will you?
I imagine that if you really tried, you could reduce those 800 forms and schedules to about eight. So let’s be frank and ernest, Madame Secretary. I’ll be Frank and you be Earnest.
(I know, I know: It’s an old joke. It’s on IRS Comedian Form 4071 (Depreciation and Amortization)).
Please, Madame Secretary:
Simplify our tax forms.
And if it hurts the corporations, so what? They don’t know what pain is.