This is where the vodka comes in. If you go to the official Internal Revenue Service site on the Internet (www.irs.gov) and start poking around among the thousands and thousands of forms, instructions, bulletins, etc., you would be amazed at the range of deduction options. For example, according to IRS Rev. Proc. 2006-50, certain individuals recognized by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission may deduct up to $10,000 for whaling expenses. Could this deduction apply to you? Think about it! I, personally, have done many things that I later could not remember; being a recognized Eskimo whaler would not be the weirdest of these. So go ahead! Find an empty box on your 1040 form and write "Harpoons -- $9,990." (Don't claim the full $10,000, because that might arouse IRS suspicion.)
Also, if you are an ostrich rancher, you can claim the depreciation on your ostriches. The IRS doesn't give an exact amount, so let's say for the sake of argument that your ostriches have depreciated to the tune of $4,800, or, rounding off, $17,000. If the IRS questions this figure, explain that you had to start raising ostriches because you were unable to make ends meet with just the whaling. That way your story is basically airtight.
See how easy it is? In no time, your tax return will be covered with deductions, not to mention drool. Be sure to mail your return in a timely manner, because this year, filing taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:
Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.
Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.
Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen.
Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.
Q. But isnt that stimulating the economy of China?
A. Shut up.
In conclusion, I hope this tax guide has been helpful. If you follow my advice, and the IRS asks you where you got your information, remember to give them my full name, George Will. Good luck!
And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to harpoon an ostrich.
(c) Dave Barry
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