After my post about the Internal Revenue Service last year, I just can't help but find more fodder for amusement whenever I deal with them. This installation of Institutions of Jocularity addresses tax laws that make you go, "hunh?"
As I was doing my taxes this year I looked up some information to see what kinds of income is considered taxable. Well, guess what? Surprises, surprises. Never a dull moment.
As a recipient of student loans and grants last year, I wanted to double check what the guidelines were for 2008 in receiving those payments, and if any of it was considered taxable. Some of it can be considered taxable, but only if it goes over a certain amount above tuition costs.
In my research, I also found some other interesting information about miscellaneous income. Just what is considered taxable income according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service? Some of these are quite funny.
Bribes. If you receive a bribe, include it in your income.
Car pools. Do not include in your income amounts you receive from the passengers for driving a car in a car pool to and from work. These amounts are considered reimbursement for your expenses. However, this rule does not apply if you have developed car pool arrangements into a profit-making business of transporting workers for hire.
Emotional distress. Emotional distress itself is not a physical injury or physical sickness, but damages you receive for emotional distress due to a physical injury or sickness are treated as received for the physical injury or sickness. Do not include them in your income.
If the emotional distress is due to a personal injury that is not due to a physical injury or sickness (for example, unlawful discrimination or injury to reputation), you must include the damages in your income, except for any damages you receive for medical care due to that emotional distress. Emotional distress includes physical symptoms that result from emotional distress, such as headaches, insomnia, and stomach disorders.
Found property. If you find and keep property that does not belong to you that has been lost or abandoned (treasure-trove), it is taxable to you at its fair market value in the first year it is your undisputed possession.
Illegal activities. Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.
Kickbacks. You must include kickbacks, side commissions, push money, or similar payments you receive in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.
You sell cars and help arrange car insurance for buyers. Insurance brokers pay back part of their commissions to you for referring customers to them. You must include the kickbacks in your income.
Stolen property. If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.
Pretty disconcerting, hunh? You think anybody that crooked (or lucky in some instances) would actually be stupid enough to report any of those earnings listed above?
To add insult to injury, millions of Americans enjoying their small windfall from President Barack Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit are in for an unpleasant surprise, not only this spring, but next year too. The government is going to want some of that money back.
The tax credit is supposed to provide up to $400 to individuals and $800 to married couples as part of the massive economic recovery package enacted back in February. Most workers started receiving the credit through small increases in their paychecks in recent months.
But new tax withholding tables issued by the IRS could cause millions of taxpayers to get hundreds of dollars more than they are entitled to under the credit, money that has to be repaid at tax time.
At-risk taxpayers include a broad swath of the public: married couples in which both spouses work; workers with more than one job; retirees who have federal income taxes withheld from their pension payments; Social Security recipients; jackolopes and other small furry woodland creatures with jobs that provide taxable income; and even people without jobs including the homeless, and those whose income is only peanuts and pocket lint.
The Internal Revenue Service acknowledges problems with the withholding tables but has done little to warn average taxpayers. Wow, what a novel idea..advance warning or notice..providing problem-free withholding tables?
These were probably the same math geniuses that AIG and Bank of America hired. Sometimes 2 + 2 doesn't equal 4, I guess in this case it equals -786,999,999,996...
that's 786 billion, 999 million, 999 thousand, 996 dollars - and 4 more dollars would equal the president's economic stimulus plan.
Actually, the monies are being paid under a new program known as GIT-MO-TO-VO-EX-FU-LA (an acronym for:)
GIT the MOney TO the VOters, EXplain the Fuck Up (self explanatory) LAter.
Hey, it takes the IRS to screw up the tax tables, and more than one president to screw up the economy. I don't think any of that was in the plan. Shit happens, constantly. If there's one constant in the universe it's not how much idiots suck, it's that shit happens.
But I guess everyone is entitled to a 'mulligan' once in a while.
Did ya file your taxes and get a nasty surprise? Luckily, I didn't notice much of a tax credit this year, but I'll be keeping a close eye on my paychecks so I don't end up owing these assholes more money. And if I do, I'll be taking advantage of my mulligan card.
This tax table fiasco must be part of a vast political conspiracy...perhaps an attack from left-wing right-wing chicken-wing representatives and their ass-kissing pundits? Depends on who you ask, but my money is on impartial, unaffiliated, unbiased incompetence, otherwise known as the Pass The Buck Party which states one mission > To blame somebody, anybody other than the people who are actually responsible.
And if you did get screwed by this already, well bend over, there's more of that where it came from..courtesy of Washington. And remember, votes do count. Until next time!
"Taxman" - The Beatles
"Money" - Pink Floyd
"I'm Gonna Force Feed that IRS Man My Tax Money in Pennies, Bitch" - Static