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> Editor's Note: Sometimes a story comes to our attention that needs
> no polishing or enhancement to make it good. This is one of those.
> It is a real letter submitted to the IRS in the midst of last year's
> weird and bizarre denial of dependents, exemptions, and credits. We
> believe the letter speaks for itself.
> Dear Sirs:
> I am responding to your letter denying the deduction for two of the
> three dependents I claimed on my 1994 Federal Tax return. Thank you.
> I have questioned whether these are my children or not for years.
> They are evil and expensive.
> It's only fair that since they are minors and not my responsibility
> that the government (who evidently is taxing me more to care for
> these waifs) knows something about them and what to expect over the
> next year. You may apply next year to reassign them to me and
> reinstate the deduction. This year they are yours!
> The oldest, Kristen, is now 17. She is brilliant. Ask her! I suggest
> you put her to work in your office where she can answer people's
> 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's 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 doesn't run at the
> moment so you have the immediate decision of appropriating some
> Department of Defense funds to fix the vehicle or getting up early
> to drive her to school. Kristen also has a boyfriend. Oh joy. While
> she possesses all of 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. I've 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 three in the morning by a police officer who was
> bringing Pat home. He and his friends were TP'ing houses. In the
> future 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, temporary dye, what's the big deal? Learn to
> deal with it. You'll have plenty of time as he is sitting out a few
> days of school after instigating a food fight. I'll take care of
> filing your phone number with the vice principal.
> Oh yes, he and all of his friends have raging hormones. This is the
> house of testosterone and it will be much more peaceful when he
> lives in your home. DO NOT leave any of them unsupervised with
> girls, explosives, inflammables, inflatables, vehicles, or
> telephones. (I'm sure that you will find telephones a source of
> unimaginable amusement, and be sure to lock out the 900 and 976
> Heather is an alien. She slid through a time warp and appeared quite
> by magic one year. I'm sure this one is yours. She is 10 going on
> 21. She came from a bad trip in the sixties. She wears tie-dyed
> clothes, beads, sandals, and hair that looks like Tiny Tim's.
> Fortunately you will be raising my taxes to help offset the pinch of
> her remedial reading courses.
> Hooked On Phonics is expensive so the schools dropped it. Good news!
> You can buy it yourself for half the amount of the deduction that
> you are denying! It's quite obvious that we were terrible parents
> (ask the other two) so they have helped raise this one to a new
> level of terror. She cannot speak English. Most people under twenty
> understand the curious patois she fashioned out of valley girls/boys
> in the hood/reggae/yuppie/ political doublespeak. I don't. The
> school sends her to a speech pathologist who has her roll her R's.
> It added a refreshing Mexican/Irish touch to her voice. She wears
> hats backwards, pants baggy and wants one of her ears pierced four
> more times. There is a fascination with tattoos that worries me but
> I am sure that you can handle it. Bring a truck when you come to get
> her, she sort of "nests" in her room and I think that it would be
> easier to move the entire thing than find out what it is really made
> You denied two of the three exemptions so it is only fair you get to
> pick which two you will take. I prefer that you take the youngest, I
> still go bankrupt with Kristen's college but then I am free! If you
> take the two oldest then I still have time for counseling before
> Heather becomes a teenager. If you take the two girls then I won't
> feel so bad about putting 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-4 to cover the $395 in additional
> tax and make a down payment on an airplane.
> Yours Truly, Bob
> [ Note: The taxpayer in question added this caveat at a later date.
> "Rats, they sent me the refund and allowed the deductions." Our
> response, "Gee Bob, sometimes you just can't get a break." ]