We thought we’d lighten up the remarkably dull process of doing our taxes by sharing a few random thoughts with our faithful readers. On the bright side, the Tax Simplification Act was passed a few years ago – they’re bound to have worked out all the kinks by now. So it’s time for The Outrage editors to do our own taxes. No problem – we’ll whip these things out in a half-hour.


Line 9 – Hmmm… Ordinary dividends – Nope, we never expected that company to pay us anything at all – those must have been extraordinary dividends. Maybe schedule D.

Line 12 – Business income (or loss). Well, we published The Outrage again in 99. There aren’t any limits on losses are there?

Where does the gambling income go? Same place as capital gains on publicly traded Internet companies? Gotcha.

Line 19 – Unemployment compensation – You can get paid for being unemployed? Seems like the Wendy’s down the street is always looking for help, and every other business seems to be hiring. We’re missing something on this one.

Line 20a – Let’s see, we pay into Social Security so that Mother Outrage and Grandma Outrage can have some more money, despite the fact that they never paid into the system. No problem – We’ll probably inherit that money back. Do we have to pay estate taxes when the money we paid into Social Security is recycled to us? Wouldn’t it be easier if we just mailed our elders some cash, and then they could mail it back later?

Line 22 – Total Income – Can this be a negative number?

Line 29 – Keogh and self-employed SEP and SIMPLE plans – Simple retirement plans? Not likely.

Line 35a – Item to consider for next year – Deduction for marrying a 66-year-old blind woman.

Line 36 – Can we claim Sheba, the Outrageous cat, as a deduction? We feed and house her, and she has more redeeming virtues than a large portion of the voting population. Also, much better behaved than most children – never cusses us out. (Unless, of course, we’re late with the Tender Vittles.)


Time to take a smoke break. Holy cow, these things are expensive. Almost forgot that cigarette taxes have gone up another 10 cents a pack. Not to worry; soon, thanks to liability litigation, we won’t be able to buy them at all.

While smoking, happened to notice a telephone bill lying on the desk. Seemed unusually high, so we took a closer look: Federal subscriber line charge, local number portability surcharge, FCC line port charge, public rights of way use fee, federal tax, local tax; sales tax on a new line installation. But what really caught our attention was our “contribution” (mandatory) to the Universal Service Fund. But hey, this is America, and we know that the founders guaranteed the right of everyone to yap on the phone, forever, be they rich or poor.


Back to work:

Line 43 – Child Tax Credit – Maybe we should have a few kids. Can men get Aid for Dependent Families? We’re already paying real estate taxes to educate all the neighborhood children. We could even get married – drastic step – and get a bigger deduction. And, later, isn’t alimony deductible?

Line 50 – Self-employment Tax – Jeez, is this one high! Tell us again why we have to pay double Social Security tax if we work for ourselves? So the government will have plenty of money to take care of us in our old age? Check.

Hey, does this line include Medicare tax? Isn’t this the one that funds Medicare fraud? If old people need their sex lives recharged, can they use Medicare to pay for Viagra? Hope so. But I think our local property taxes already cover swing dancing for seniors.

Capital Gains and Losses – (Note: this is as of December 31, 1999, not April 14, 2000. Pity.)

Let’s see, if we double reverse our passive section 1231 income gain against our allowable passive loss from form 8582, then take the AMT Section 1231 PAL carryover from 1998, put it all in a bag, dance like a dervish to the latest Incinerators tune, and chant James Brown lyrics to the dark forces, we should get a depreciation adjustment for post 1986 schedule C carryovers.

Sorry, getting a little carried away here.

Foreign Tax Credit – Well, we’re certainly glad that we didn’t have dividends from a DISC (or former DISC), or, for that matter, distributions from a FSC (or former FSC). And we narrowly escaped having income re-sourced by treaty. (Although that one sounds kinda sexy, and if they happen to resource it in our direction, we’d certainly be grateful.)

Alternative Minimum Tax – We get to fill all the same forms over again, in case the government didn’t get enough on the first round! How exciting!

Incidentally, as far as expenditures for mining exploration – and land clearing – we didn’t have any, after, of course, deducting child support payments and elderly care credits from Section 1245 property and the applicable percentage of payments excluded from income under section 126. We probably would have, except we recaptured the amounts under section 179 and 280F(b)(2). In case you were wondering.

Passive Activity Loss Limitations – Is this, like, when Steve comes to the office and pretty much just hangs out? Do we get a deduction for that?


Well, we were hoping to delight, comfort, and inspire you with our blow-by-blow account, but, since we started this 7 hours ago, we better focus on finishing up. More power to tax protesters and everything, but we’ve got no great desire to go to prison and get intimate with Julio and Big Jack.

Tell us again; is there a fee for filing an extension?



Think the rich don’t pay their share of taxes? Think again. Here are
the facts, according to the IRS:


  • In 1997, the most recent year for which data is available, those in the top 1% of income paid a third of all federal income taxes.
  • Those in the highest 5% of income paid just over half (52%) of all income taxes.
  • The top 10% paid 63% of all income tax.
  • Those whose income was in the bottom 50% paid only 4% of federal income taxes.
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0 thoughts on “TAX TIME!

  1. Did you see the new senate bill that requires transfer taxes and listings of all handguns using the IRS? I’ve got a copy of it. Lest you think this unthinkable, perhaps I should mention remind you that both the IRS and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) are branches of the Revenue Department. So, How comfy does everyone feel about the sweeping powers of the IRS combined with policing firearms also? Since the BATF

  2. As self employed, overtaxed, white male I wonder how long before the majority who live off others taxes end up feeding off themselves, while I am taxed, and mandated to the point of riding an ox cart to some sort of sustenance. Also I made the mistake of getting married so I can get used to paying roughly $1500 more than my neighbor who divorced and remained together to circumvent the tax law.

  3. I need more outrage.
    The span between the outrage is way to long.
    I find myself withdrawing like a crack addict.
    I NEED MORE OUTRAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  4. Sure, you ppl can make all the adjustments you can, but when in the TEA PARTY??????
    And who is going to START IT??
    Did you know that the majority of Amerikens pay 40% of their entire income in TAXES?
    “If we are to adopt socialism, it should be presented to the people of this country as socialism and not under the guise of a law to collect revenue.” Calvin Coolidge.
    See related article at http://www.lnshapely.com where you can sing “Super Tax Man” to the tune of ‘Super Chicken’

  5. Does anyone not like the Universal Service Fund on our phone bills (mentioned in the latest OUTRAGE)? I used to work for the phone company and learned that the phone companies are supposed to pay it themselves, and can choose to pass that charge on to the consumer, so guess what the phone companies choose to do? Charge us!

  6. I asked my employer to take out an extra $25 for
    taxes per paycheck, and after doing my taxes last weekend,
    discovered that I’ll be getting back
    the equivelent of two weeks’ pay! 🙂

  7. OK,paying Federal taxes, I can live with. What REALLY torques me off is paying State taxes. I am an Active Duty service member, and even though I don’t live in my state of legal residence, I am still required to pay state taxes. My question is…..FOR WHAT??? I dont get any benefits from my home state, my wife would be unable to receive WIC (because we live outside the state), I do not qualify for financial aid for college (for the above mentioned reason), I don’t use the highways or roads in my home state…..oh yeah, I remember now why I have to pay state taxes. It’s so that the ‘couch potatos’ that I am defending can continue getting their monthly checks. Wow, how could I have been so selfish as to actually expect someone who is obviously disadvantaged to get a job too? I feel so bad, now. Well, gotta run. GOtta start getting packed for another trip to some God forsaken hell-hole that we are ‘protecting’. Cheers!
    If this should get printed anywhere, please delete my name. Thanks

    — Taxation is not unconstitutional…

    The Constitution allows for taxation to run the government however many of the people who could affect change in government are making soooo much money on bogus taxation, they would rather sell out their country than improve their fellow man’s way of life.

    Congress as a whole is looked @ as the country’s problem and not the country’s pride!

    !! Most Outrageous !!

    1. Pennsylvania –> Why am I required to pay a “Right to Work” tax of $10 a year?
    Is working a priviledge or a right? Either way it’s ignorant to tax people for what they need to survive!!

    2. Why are Pennsylvanians taxed on their “Job Titles”?!!
    Yeah –> we pay incremental taxes based on what we do for a living!!

  8. No, it is not simpler this year, it is AS OUTRAGEOS as ever. As usual, being young, successful AND MARRIED to a young, successful woman, I payed through the nose! – Hey, what were you saying about that whole unemployment thing? – The part that most outrages me is the illegality of having my income taxed 3x! (fed, state, local). I know the founding fathers specifically touched on this subject in the constitution. I think they would have called it triple jeopardy?

  9. And another thing…for you people who are getting a refund:

    You’re getting a refund and you’re happy?!


    The government got to play God with your money, interest free, for a whole year!

    Come work for me. Instead of paying you, I’ll just make you fill out a bunch of forms and give you a “refund” a year later.

    Of course, if you don’t document your year’s work down to the last centavo, you don’t get jack squat from me.

  10. Paid into Soc. Sec. for less than required time/amounts. Now retiring but no Soc. Sec. payments for me! Do I get my contributions back…???

  11. The whole tax structure is an outrage. Something like 20,000 pags of fine print just to tell us about the tax one must pay. Anything more than a hundred pages is an attempt to hide the real cost of government. It is an outrage that educated people need help to do their tax forms. On top of the regulations and forms we end up with the government spending our money on project of no value just to buy votes.

  12. Guess what? We own our own business, and yes, already pay double social security. But to make matters worse, we can no longer take the child deduction for our 4 and 7 year olds because we made too much money last year! Also, that decuction that we used to get for repairs of rental property – you guessed it – we cannot deduct that either because of our income. Is something wrong with this picture? We have taken a chance at a business and done well, so we are penalized? I’m sick os the whole IRS system. Let’s get rid of them!

  13. Diane, they are happy to share in your rewards, but not in your risk. So be a sheep, like us in Europe. Massa take good care of ya. Or…get involved!

    Note to Dennis, the Constitution doesn’t help you–the federal income tax was established by the 16th Amendment, “questionably”:
    Before 1937, the federal government had to support any action with Constitutional authority; something like banning alcohol therefore required an amendment.
    Now they can do whatever they want.

  14. our cpa doubled all the deductions avail to take & we still had to pay $19.00 & $24.00!!
    GD govt turkey vultures!!

  15. Having spent 7 years obtaining an education to work with children, the deduction for the loans is way too small. With a family of 5 and all the usual payments we get very little for breaks! But if we were on govt aid heaven knows what would be avail incl. free clothing for my kids. Good thing we work or we’d starve and still be unable to afford to drive the car!!

  16. the taxes for me weren’t all that bad, considering i only
    earned a whopping total of $3000 (wow i’m rich now) and
    i’m a student, the worst part was filling out the damn forms!!
    if they printed any of it in plain english people might be able
    to understand them better and get them filed on time! But,
    that requires common sense, something our government
    will never get!
    Peace out! 🙂

    on a second thought here: it’s really messed up when a
    person can work in Virginia for 8 months and only get $16
    back, and work in the state of massachusetts for 2 months,
    get paid about the same amount total as you did for the 8
    months in VA, and get $46 back…thats state taxes for ya!!

  17. Come to New Zealand, the tax system here is pretty easy. The tax return is a single sheet now I think. Only problem is the tax department. It’s as bad as yours.

  18. In Hong Kong, it is basically a 15% flat tax. A few deductions here and there, with the Gambling institutes (Hong Kong Jockey Club) paying for commumity projects from the elderly through to parks for kids to play in. I don’t know why everyone else can’t have the same system.

  19. Brian Jones and California residents:

    Going with the idea that getting a refund means I gave the government a free loan, I planned the other way around this year. Guess what? I owed as planned but California charges a fee (interest???) on top of what you owe because “you should have known you would owe!” (And your point is?????)

    Oh well, if you get a refund you gave them an interest free loan; if you owe, they take the money AND the interest you made by not giving them your money ahead of time.

    Hello ? What’s the date ? Is it 2001 yet ? My vision is still blurred from trying to decipher my tax ( ing ) forms . I may be permanently visually impaired . ( And, nearly bald from pulling at my hair and growling, ” What in the name of … ? ” ) Family and friends have asked if I died, entered the Federal Witness Protection Program, or finally outsmarted the whole system and retired to a chalet in Switzerland . I feel like I’ve aged 300 years . I’ve lost feeling in my writing hand… I wonder if this qualifies me as 65+ and blind… Were taxes easier this year ? Do dollar bills fly out of a monkey’s tush ?

  20. Re: your excellent rage on the income tax–A couple of years ago Senator Jon Kyle (R-AZ)introduced a bill to have election day coincide with the day income taxes had to be filed. Sounded great, but that’s the last we heard of the subject, except for a fabulous political cartoon by Michael Ramirez in the 4/18/00 LA Times, showing Step 1:pay taxes Step 2:(a voter behind the curtain is cursing candidates)….Now that’s a movement all but 90% of the politicians will get behind. Keep up your find work!

  21. RE: Didtribution of who pays what % of taxes.

    THIS IS BS!!!
    Them poor folks better start paying their share!
    Are food stamps taxable?
    How about welfare payments?
    You mentioned unemployment, but —hmmmm— that’s no help–you have to work SOME to get unemployment, and everybody knows the poor don’t work!….
    Ah, well….

  22. Speaking of taxes …

    Dialing into hidden tax information Edwin Feulner WT

    You know how upset you get when the phone company bills you incorrectly?
    That’s nothing compared with how angry the Federal Communications
    Commission must be at AT&T for listing on its new itemized bill the
    “Universal Connectivity Charge,” a hidden tax the FCC forces phone
    companies to charge their customers every month.

    There is no explanation on the bill, but AT&T gives a 1-800 number to
    learn the story behind this seemingly innocuous charge. Since 1997
    long-distance carriers have been forced to pay into a federal program
    called the “Universal Service Fund” that subsidizes phone service to
    low-income and rural customers. The fund also subsidizes discounted
    Internet access to schools and libraries around the country.

    You may be thinking: “What’s wrong with helping people get phone service
    and Internet access?” Let me ask the question another way: “Why am I being
    slapped with a hidden tax by an unelected bureaucracy?”

    The “connectivity” charge has been dubbed the “E-rate” (short for
    “education rate”), and the FCC has been pressuring long-distance carriers
    from the start not to list it on their bills. Small wonder: According to
    the National Taxpayers Union, the $2.25 billion now being collected
    annually is expected to grow to more than $10 billion by 2003. In other
    words, the E-rate is trotting the well-worn path taken by nearly every
    government subsidy: never shrink, always grow, and never, ever go out of

    And like certain plants, this tax flowers best when kept out of direct
    sunlight. The phone companies have tried repeatedly to inform their
    customers about the tax, but the FCC has opposed every effort to expose
    the budding entitlement program. In a nice Orwellian touch, the commission
    even had the nerve to label its fight against line-item phone bills its
    “Truth in Billing” campaign.

    But why hide this relatively modest charge if, in the words of FCC
    Chairman William E. Kennard, we’re funding “a critical investment . . .
    for our schools, our children, and our country?” After all, the White
    House and the FCC have a great rhetorical club to swing at their critics:
    How can you be against spending a few pennies a day to help poor kids get
    connected to the Internet?

    Two reasons: For one, new research has shown that computer use in school
    doesn’t automatically lead to higher test scores. But even if it did, it
    is not really the amount of the tax that matters it’s the principle. And
    the principle at stake here is a rather serious one, since the U.S.
    Constitution clearly stipulates that only Congress has the power to tax
    American citizens. True, the E-rate grew out of the Telecommunications Act
    of 1996, which Congress passed with the intention of helping to expand
    Internet access, but that didn’t give the FCC the power to usurp a basic
    constitutional duty.

    The time to settle these questions why the E-rate is hidden and if it is
    constitutional is now, before the tax climbs even higher. And if you
    doubt it can, consider the fact Congress is just getting around to
    repealing a 3 percent excise tax established in 1898 to fund the
    Spanish-American War.

    The rallying cry of that war was, “Remember the Maine.” But given the
    relentless drive to sneak hidden taxes into our phone bills, perhaps it’s
    time to remember the Boston Tea Party.

  23. What’s sad is that if we used something like Fair Tax (www.fairtax.org) our gas prices (currently $3.00/gal) would be $1.50. Tack on a 25% federal sales tax (which is what Fair Tax is) it brings it to a whopping $1.88/gal. Go chew on that for a while. Got any questions about Fair Tax and why we should use it, shoot me an email to computerwhizes@gmail.com

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