Deduction Denied

(This letter is supposed to be true, and from the files of a national tax preparation company. It is apparently a copy of a letter to the IRS that was written in response to a rejection of dependents claimed).

Dear Sirs:

I am responding to your letter denying the deduction of 2 of the 3 dependents I claimed on my 1994 Federal Tax Return. THANK YOU! I have questioned whether these are my children for years; they are evil and expensive.

THIS YEAR THEY ARE YOURS! Its only fair since they are minor and not my responsibility, and the government apparently knows something about them. You MAY wish to apply next year to re-assign them to me and reinstate the deduction.

The oldest, Kristen, is now 17. She is brilliant, just ask her! I suggest you put her to work in your office, where she can answer peoples questions about their returns. While she has no formal training, it has not seemed to hamper her knowledge of any other subject you can name. Taxes should be a breeze. Next year, she is going to college. I think it is wonderful that you will now be responsible for that little expense. While you mull that over, keep in mind that she has a truck… it doesnt run at the moment so you have the decision of appropriating some Department of Defense funds to fix it, or getting up early to drive her to school. Kristen also has a boyfriend, Oh Joy! While she possesses all the wisdom of the universe, her alleged mother and I have felt it best to occasionally remind her of the virtues of abstinence, and in the face of overwhelming passion, safe sex. This is always uncomfortable and I am quite relieved you will be handling this in the future. (May I suggest that you reinstate Joycelyn Elders, who had a rather good handle on the problem.)

Patrick is 14. Ive had my suspicions about this one. His eyes are a little close together for normal people. He may be a tax examiner himself one day, if you do not incarcerate him first. In February, I was awakened at 3:15 in the morning by a police officer who was bringing Pat home; he and his friends were TPing houses. Would you like him delivered to the local IRS office, or to Ogden, UT? Kids at 14 will do almost anything on a dare; his hair is purple – permanent dye? Whats the big deal? Learn to live with it. You have plenty of time as he is setting out a few days of school after instigating a food fight. Ill take care of filing your phone number with the vice-principal. Oh yes, he and all his friends are suffering from raging hormones – This is the house of testosterone, and it will be so much more peaceful once he moves in with you. Warning: Do Not leave him unsupervised with girls, explosives, inflammables, inflatables, vehicles or telephones (Im sure you will want to lock out all 900 and 976 numbers!)

Heather is an alien, She slid through a time warp and appeared quite by magic one year. I am SURE this one is yours! She is 10, going on 21. She must have came from a bad trip in the sixties. She wears tie-dyed clothes, beads, sandals, and hair that looks like Tiny Tims. Fortunate for you, you will be raising my taxes to offset the pinch of paying for her remedial reading courses. Hooked on Phonics is expensive so the schools have dropped it, but you can buy it yourself for half the amount of the deduction you are denying! It is quite obvious we were terrible parents (ask the other two kids) so they have helped raise this one to a new level of terror. She cannot speak English, while most people under 20 understand the lingua franca she has fashioned out of Valley Girls/Boys-in-the-Hood/Reggae/Yuppie/Political Doublespeak, I dont. She wears hats backwards, pants baggy, wants one of her ears pierced 4 more times, and there is a fascination with tattoos that worries me, but I am sure you can handle it. Bring a truck when you come for her, as she sort of nests in her room, and I think it would be easier to move the entire thing than trying to find out what is really in there.

You denied 2 of the 3 exemptions, so it is only fair that you get to pick which two you will take. I prefer you take the youngest, I will still go bankrupt putting Kristen through college, but then Im free! If you take the two oldest, then I still have time to get counseling before Heather becomes a teenager. If you take the two girls, maybe I can put Patrick in a military academy!

Please let me know of your decision as soon as possible, as I have already increased the withholding on my W-2 to cover the $395.00 additional tax and make a down payment on an airplane.

Yours Truly,

(Attached with a later date is a short note saying; Rats! They sent me a refund and allowed the deductions.)

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