Thursday, April 10, 2003

Dave Berry is doing his taxes.

I'm not the only taxpayer who has no idea what he's sending to the IRS. This year, only 28 percent of all Americans will prepare their own tax returns, according to a voice in my head that invents accurate-sounding statistics.

Why can't Americans do their own taxes? Because the federal Tax Code is out of control, that's why. It's gigantic and insanely complex, and it gets worse all the time. Nobody has ever read the whole thing. IRS workers are afraid to go into the same ROOM with it. They keep it locked in the basement, and once a day, they open the door, heave in a live taxpayer -- some poor slob who failed to adopt EGTRRA in time to comply with GUST (and various other amendments) -- then slam the door shut, before the screams start.

We have reached the point where even the IRS doesn't know what the Tax Code says. Last year, the Treasury Department discovered -- I am still not making this up -- that the IRS paid out more than $30 million to people who filed for the slavery tax credit. Yes! Thirty million dollars! Only guess what? It turns out there IS no slavery tax credit! Whoops!

After asking my advice, Pat seemed to be going 50% gold and 50% dividend paying stocks for her IRA's. I was surprised to hear from her afterwards she went with 50% money market and 50% bonds. That seems odd but typical.

Really, the thing she should do is pay off her house so she clears that monthly payment which is mostly interest. She doesn't even get a tax deduction for her house - its a no-brainer. Of course, that is non-IRA.

Which reminds me, I need to find that one paper I needed but couldn't find yesterday for my taxes. I know I have it somewhere around here.

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