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Ignominy of - 1040

Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010, at 10:28 AM

I have been looking over this formal invitation I received about the first of the year from my dear old Uncle Sammy. It is the same old party he throws every year, and, looking back through my files, I find that I have been helping him finance this party since the early 1940's. I don't know how much I have contributed to this fund, and I hesitate to figure it up, because I know that once I see the total of these figures, I will wonder just who I have been working for.

To tell the truth, I would like to ignore this invitation and cram the whole thing in that little round receptical at the end of my desk, but since this invitation is so formal, straight-forward and polite, I dare not ignore his preeminent request. I know that this party is going to be expensive, and I know who is going to pick up the tab, but Uncle has tried to soften the blow by assuring me that in filing these simple and easy-to-understand forms, I should have no trouble in determining how much I should contribute toward the financing of his party.

I take another look at these forms, and I see a heterogeneous conglomeration of questions and statements that reminds me of a crossword puzzle which has been formulated by a committee that is incapable of exercising even one modicum of common sense.

Sinc 1986 this tax code has been amended about 15,000 times and is now like a block of malignant Swiss cheese, with loop-holes running in every direction, holes large enough and designed in such way that large conglomerates and special interest groups can fanigle their way through the loop-holes and greatly reduce their tax liability.

Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg address did a pretty good job of defining our Nation in 272 words. Our bible, which outlines several thousand years of history, is made up of about 773,000 words, but the I.R.S. found it necessary to use over 9 million words to tell me how to determine the amount of taxes I owe.

It would take a mathematical wizzard with a degree in economics, law, and political science to have any idea as to what is contained in this tax code, and it is pathetic that we have individuals who are smart enough and capable of earning an income that will run into six figures, but who are not capable of preparing their own income tax return. Over 75 percent of tax payers find these tax forms so complicated that they make no attempt to do the job theselves.

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Paul Corbin, it never fails to amaze me, when I think of how much history you've seen -- and how much of it you remember!

You are truly ageless!!

And, you're right about the people who won't do their own tax returns. I have an appointment with my tax man Wednesday. There is NO WAY I would do my own taxes!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Feb 20, 2010, at 10:44 AM

The last time I let someone else do my taxes was in 1997. It cost me $120.00. I have been doing my own since then. The federal form is easier than the Missouri tax form.

-- Posted by mythought on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 1:27 PM

Mr. Corbin, you possess a magnificent vocabulary and you string all your thoughts together in a wonderfully refreshing manner. I salute you!

-- Posted by geezerette on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 9:55 PM

My dad would have been 98 this year. I remember him to be a lot like you. Great stories about the past and the present.

-- Posted by mythought on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 10:57 AM

I have a postscript to add since I last wrote in here: I met with my CPA last Wednesday, and he informed me that I will have to pay the federal gov't more this year than last year, despite the fact that I increased my withholding last year.

Another interesting fact -- He had all my taxes figured, but then he said, "Wait a minute - Did you get that $250 stimulus check last year?" I said I did. He refigured my taxes to include that figure -- and, low and behold, I owed EXACTLY $250 more this year!

What kind of shell game is that?? They give seniors $250 one year, and then make them pay it back the next year?? I would rather not have received it in the first place! One of my relatives said that some seniors had to pay it, when they didn't even receive it.

I've also decided to take my info in to the I.R.S. office and have them check my CPA's figures. I understand that the I.R.S. will do your taxes for free if you make less than $49,000 a year. Why have I been paying a CPA????

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 8:54 AM

GL, one thing to keep in mind is that you should only use a CPA or tax preparer who guarantees their work by paying any penalties and interest that is owed if they make a mistake. If you find out later that the IRS screwed up your return they will not accept any responsibility for the screw-up. But they will tell you "Sucker pay up! Or else!" So there is some peace of mind using a professional.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 12:03 AM

Ah, I didn't know that! Thanks, FJ. Right now, my only concern is that my tax preparer has overlooked something that would have saved me some money. This year, my use of the IRS office would only be a CHECK on my regular tax preparer.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 2:25 PM

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Paul Corbin
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Paul Corbin is a 100-year-old historian, humorist, and amateur archaeologist from Advance, Mo. He grew up in the Greenbrier area west of Advance, where he attended Stepp School on the banks of Cato Slough and the Castor River, important waterways throughout his life. In an age when many area residents did not go to high school, the young Corbin made the decision to walk the five miles to Zalma, graduating in 1933. Throughout his life, he was an enterprising businessman, selling Watkins products from house to house throughout a large area - and later opening a variety store in Advance. He and his wife Geneva traveled throughout the United States, even following the route that the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled. His knowledge of Native American culture is extensive, and he has donated a sizeable collection of his artifacts to the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center and the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History in Marble Hill. Throughout the years, he has submitted articles to TBY, the North Stoddard Countian, the Ozark Mountaineer, and several other Missouri publications. He has also written two books - "Reflections in Missouri Mud," and "Fragments of my Feeble Mind." The first one is out of print.
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