The Government Wants YOU–to have a hard time filling out your taxes

When my job told me I had to fill out tax forms, I didn’t know it was going to be worse than getting an enema. Now that I’m married, I can’t breeze through the pages, gracefully inking in zeros and ones like a painter creating a beautiful tax-rebate-guaranteed masterpiece. No, now that I am married, I have to complete worksheets with math problems similar to the ones I learned in elementary school.  Add lines 1 through 3 and enter the total in line 4…subtract line 5 from line 4… multiply line 7 by line 6…I needed an Adderral just to stay focused.

As I tried to read through the murky bureaucrat speak on the pages, I began to question what language I spoke. Then I decided to pick up the phone. The government was kind enough to include a help box on the tax form and provided a number to call.

It started to ring and then suddenly I remembered what it was like to talk to a governmental office, how painful it was to punch in numbers and shout out words and phrases to a voice recording only to end up at the operator 10 minutes later who then places me on hold for 20 minutes to wait for Bob or Dean or Ted to answer my question.  I hung up the phone in a panic. Then I took a break. When I returned to the forms later that day I managed to complete a number of the lines, but was confused by all of the figures marked in the spaces. Then I realized those numbers only meant the government was planning on taking more money out of my paycheck than I believe is necessary. Just because Sebastien made the mistake of acquiring a job that pays good money shouldn’t mean I have to pay the price.

A few days later I got a call from the payroll department. It seems I filled out the forms wrong. I went downstairs and changed everything to zero. If it turns out I owe any money, I will just give the government $200. That’s what we did in my family whenever anyone landed on the income tax space in Monopoly.


About JadedBride

Amy Kraft is a print and radio journalist based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, The Week, Psychology Today, and Distillations, a podcast out of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She is currently working on a book of humor essays. View all posts by JadedBride

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