Ever since I was a kid and read that Al Capone was arrested for tax evasion, I have feared the Internal Revenue Service. Think of it, Al Capone had killed a zillion people, and while the police were trying to find proof to arrest him for murder, a skinny nerd with a green eyeshade nailed Capone for tax evasion. Insofar as it is possible, I try never to irritate the IRS.
In an effort to stay on the good side of the IRS, I’ve offered them several suggestions to keep them in the black. For starters, since I’m self-employed, I have to pay my income taxes four times a year. I always forget to pay until the day they’re due and end up paying with a credit card so I don’t get arrested and sent to Alcatraz like Al Capone. I use a Kroger credit card, but if the IRS had a credit card, I would use theirs. Credit card companies make $20 billion a year, give or take a few, and it’s time the IRS got a piece of the action. Using an IRS credit card could earn points toward a tax deduction. If you ratted out your tax delinquent neighbor with the barking dog that poops in your yard, you could get bonus points. It was a great idea, but the IRS hasn’t responded.
Or, consider a lottery play: Powerball recently hit $587.5 million. Two families split the money. Chances are good they’ll do something stupid with it and ruin their lives. Since the lottery and the IRS are both run by the government, it makes sense for the lottery to rig it so the IRS wins. For a $2 investment, the IRS could have made $587.5 million. Before long, the government would be awash in money, free of debt. I sent this suggestion to the IRS, but nothing came of it.
They also didn’t respond to my suggestion they buy metal detectors and hit the beaches on the weekend. There have been thousands of shipwrecks over the years, most of them involving ships filled to the brim with gold doubloons. Nic Davies of Shrewsbury, England, in his first venture out with a metal detector, found 10,000 ancient Roman coins buried in a clay pot. Officials estimate they’re worth a billion zillion dollars. Personally, I don’t care for treasure hunters because they dig holes, don’t bother to refill them, and I fall in them and break my legs. But if the IRS agents found enough buried money so we wouldn’t have to pay taxes anymore, I’d learn to cope.
In that same vein, the IRS could send its employees out to garage sales to buy Van Gogh paintings hidden underneath dogs-playing-poker pictures. A half dozen times a year I hear of someone doing this. It’s a great way to make some fast money, but when I wrote the IRS, there was no reply. Nothing. Nada. Zip. It’s no wonder our country’s coffers are empty.
To hear people talk, you’d think the IRS was invented by Adolf Hitler. In fact, it was created in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln to help pay for the Civil War. In nearly every presidential poll, Lincoln ranks as our favorite president. The Republicans refer to themselves as the Party of Lincoln, because, if they called themselves the Party of the IRS, they’d never win another office. Don’t get me wrong, I love and admire the IRS and wish them nothing but the best.
We are fast approaching another April 15, my favorite day of the year. Most people hate that day, but not me. (Did I mention my admiration for the IRS?) I’ll spend the weeks leading up to it carefully going over my financial records, making sure to report every dollar I’ve made in the past year, even the $50 my mom and dad gave me for Christmas. If you happen to work for the IRS, I know you’re busy checking everyone’s return. Save yourself the time and trouble, and don’t give mine a second glance.