[Photo credit: Got Credit]
As Benjamin Franklin once plagiarized, nothing in this life is certain “except for death and taxes.” Sure, taxes may pay for law enforcement, public schools, sanitation, emergency services, the military, etc. – but besides those few things without which society would collapse, what have taxes ever done for you?!
Cheating your taxes is not just expected, it’s practically your patriotic duty. But as heroic as it is, you can’t just commit tax evasion by evading payment. If the IRS can bring down bad-asses like Al Capone and Wesley Snipes, what hope is there for a weakling like you? No, the key to sticking it to the taxman is to hide your chicanerywithin your return. If you follow these handy Tax Day hacks, not only will you save a few dollars for yourself– you’ll also have the satisfaction of keeping those dollars away from Uncle Sam’s grimy mitts.
CLAIM A DEPENDENT
Just because you don’t have a child, elderly parent, or some other invalid living in your house is no excuse not to take advantage of the Dependent Tax Credit. If you get creative enough, there are likely dozens of eligible dependents living in your home just waiting to be claimed!
Have a pet dog? Just give it a last name and – WHAM! – you magically have a dependent. That family of raccoons that live in your kitchen? The tapeworm living in your digestive tract? You better believe those are all dependents, too!
FIND A SHADY ACCOUNTANT
The tax code changes every year, and with it the best methods of hiding your money–so it never hurts to consult an expert for those new, hard-to-find cheats. The only problem is that some accountants are eager to push their personal beliefs and throw around their “ethics” and “certifications” onto their clients. So before you sign on with an accountant, ask him or her these questions as a litmus test:
- What percentage of your clients “get caught”?
- So, what’s prison like, anyway?
No need to listen to the specifics of the responses. If your accountant has a ready answer to either of these questions, then this is just the kind of expert you want in your corner.
HAVE SOME FUN WITH THE FORMS
A lot of people don’t realize how many opportunities there are to put one over on the IRS hidden in the return form itself. For example, the area at the bottom of the page that says “For Office Use Only” is a great place to write “I personally approve a return of $3 Million Smackeroos. Signed, The President himself!”
Unless Barack Obama is manually reviewing your forms, the IRS legally has to give it to you (probably).
Also, here’s a little known fact: IRS agents are 80% more likely to audit a return if they’re in a bad mood. With that in mind, it’s always advisable to cheer them up with a small gift that will likewise distract them from your wee evasions. Hard candies and one-size-fits-all clothing are always a safe bet.
However, it is NOT advisable for the gift to be perishable, alive or uncontained liquid.
DEDUCTIONS! DEDUCTIONS! DEDUCTIONS!
Fun Fact: Everything you’ve ever owned, bought and/or thought about owning or buying is eligible for a deduction.
The car you crashed into that daycare while loaded on bath salts? Write off the repairs! Heck, why not write off the bath salts while you’re at it? Had to buy a new fridge after those racoons ate the circuitry? Just toss in the receipt and it’s deducted, son! Had to feed your no-good kids all year to fulfill your legal obligation as a parent? You write that one off as charity!
These are but a few of the thousands of ways you too can keep the government off your money. And there are still thousands yet to be discovered. Because if Leona Helmsley and every church ever are any indication, then They can only get your money if you let them. Your underhandedness is only limited by your imagination!
Ned Petrie is a writer and 4-time Canadian Comedy Award Nominee. He is co-creator of the animated series Erik The Pillager (Mondo Media) and the upcoming series Murder House (Blue Ant Media). Ned is also host of The Panel Show, an upcoming pilot for CBC Radio. If you follow him on Twitter, he’ll give you a MILLION BUCKS!