Thursday, March 05, 2009

Our taxman is taxing

Editor's Note: This entry has been updated for accuracy. I'm not really an atheist, although I am a 'non-believer' of sorts. Definitely more of a benign pagan. Apologies for the error.

“Now I remember why I hate coming here every year,” I say to Jim as we’re leaving the office of our Tax Guy last night.

“Tithing,” says Jim, knowingly.
“No church for you two again this year?”

This is how it starts.

Our Tax Guy gets to the part where we’re sorting through last year’s charitable donations and he always always always brings up church.

“You ever hear of tithing?” he asks with a smirk.

What I’m thinking: “Listen, Mr. Christian. I’m an atheist pagan and Jim thinks Jesus was a space alien. Find The Church of Latter Day Pagan Ufologists and we'll gladly start tithing. Otherwise, do us a favor and shut the fuck up.”

What I say: Nothing.

“Moo-fon?” I ask.

“Yes. MUFON. The Mutual UFO Network. That’s where we should be sending 10% of our income,” says Jim.
Why even bother with a taxman, Hedy? Ever heard of TurboTax?

I know. It makes sense.

But it’s a family thing with our Tax Guy.

Jim’s parents went to him. When we got married, we started going to him, and now there’s this history and if for some reason we didn’t show up one year, we’d be dishonoring our proud tax-paying heritage. Or something.
“Well maybe he’s just trying to encourage you to give more so you have more of a write-off,” says You Know Who last night.

That might make sense. But it’s always about church.

We give to charities. Just not to church.
Underneath all of it, here are my issues:

It’s okay for our Tax Guy to tell us we should be giving more if he thinks we could benefit – that’s his job – but it’s none of his fucking business where we’re giving.

More importantly, I’ve always had a problem with giving to charity just to get it back as a write-off.

You don’t give to a charity so you can benefit, you give so that others can benefit.

And in the end, it's nobody's business to whom you're giving or why. Right?
I am listening to: Keep Me in Your Heart - Warren Zevon
I am reading: Neil Steinberg at the Sun-Times
And I am: Taxed


wafelenbak said...

*sigh* I was happy when my taxes got too complicated for my dad to do them anymore.
I love my dad, and I'm thankful for all the help he provided, but he always had to bring up how much I had (or more to the point, hadn't) paid on my student loan each year. :p


So if you don't like to gain from giving don't bring the receipts to your holier then numbers tax guy.. He'll be less likely to open up his mouth about church when he sees that you haven't written off shit to any other place.

Bet he's the guy that assisted Portillo's with their trash talk sign.

Hedy said...

You're so right, Crusty. He's been bugging us for years about the church thing and we thought that claiming MORE donations was the answer. But it doesn't matter what we do, he always mentions church. Not bringing in ANY receipts and telling him "We'd prefer to not write-off the contributions we make" is PERFECT. LOVE IT. Why didn't I think of this?

Anonymous said...

A worthy charity if you ask me...

Does that dog look familiar?


Hedy said...

Ohhh it's Grommie dog! And one of my favorite charities, too!

Posol'stvo the Medved said...

"an pagan?"