Hey, is that a real tax deduction?

Hey, is that a real tax deduction?

Most of us have or are going to finish up our taxes in the next few days. And lets not forget all the talk about taxes going on with our presidential hopefuls. I thought for this Funny Friday I would get in the act as well and list some actual tax deductions people have tried to claim. I wouldn’t recommend using these without the help of a professional!

** One tax customer reported, “Several years ago, I was going to owe some tax, so I put an extra deduction on my tax return. I put my dog on as a dependent.” The customer had deducted his dog Red all these years, allowing him to escape owing the IRS on those particular returns. But, unfortunately for this customer and all other pet owners, claiming a dog or cat or any other furry family member is definitely disallowed by the tax laws.

** A Pittsburgh furniture-store owner who, after years of trying unsuccessfully to sell his business, hired an arsonist to torch the place. The insurance company paid off to the tune of $500,000, which the owner dutifully reported on his income tax return. However, along with taking the proper deductions for the building, its contents and the usual business expenses, he also deducted a $10,000 “consulting fee” he had paid the arsonist. An IRS audit two years later landed them both in jail. The IRS disallowed the “consulting fee” and slapped on $6,500 in additional taxes, penalties and interest.

** A call from an ostrich farmer to a tax hotline asked how to go about depreciating an ostrich. Strange as it sounds, you can depreciate an ostrich or any other livestock, as long as it’s used for breeding.

** One person wanted to know if he could deduct the cost of his dog food. His reasoning was that his dog was security for his house; therefore the dog food became a security expense.

** An older gentleman had accidentally lost his dentures when they fell in the toilet and had claimed them on his taxes as an act-of-God casualty loss.

** There is one individual who tried to deduct a day care expense for their dog. The person was working and they didn’t feel that the dog should be left alone, so they hired somebody to watch the dog, then tried to take a day care tax credit for the doggy-sitting. The dog clearly was an economic dependent, but not for tax purposes.

** A landscaper who was under audit with the IRS had deducted the expense of their dog because he would pull the wagon on landscaping jobs. They felt he was out there helping. He may have been listed as an independent contractor.

** An Amish Amish guy tried to take a deduction for his buggy with velvet interior, the whole works. It was tricked out. He was legitimately Amish, but with all the accouterments on this buggy. How pimped out was his ride? According to the receipt, this baby came equipped with dash lights, kick plates, tinted windshield, speedometer, hydraulic brakes and dimmer switches. The standard buggy costs $2,675; this pimped-out version ran $3,540.

Share on Facebook

Super Bowl Ready . . .It’s really all about the party (and the ads).

It’s almost Super Bowl time.  I heard a rumor that there was supposed to be a football game that day.  No matter, invite your peeps over, lay out the snacks, watch the commercials for entertainment value, and pray that whoever sings the National Anthem remembers the words!  I’ve listed a few easy recipes to get you started on your snacks.  Each recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and was approved 100% by my taste testers.

FRUIT SALAD WITH A ZING

Liven up fruit salad with a lemony glaze.  It’s a surprise to the taste buds that has people taking a bite and having a look of surprise on their face.  I loved sitting back and watching their reactions.

  • 1 large can of chunk pineapple
  • 15 oz can of chunk mixed fruit – drained
  • 11 oz can of Mandarin oranges – drained
  • Small jar of Maraschino cherries – drained
  • 3.4 oz box of instant lemon pudding mix
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
Drain pineapple juice and combine with 2 tablespoons orange juice and box of lemon pudding (like it less lemony?  Just decrease how much lemon pudding you add).  Stir well.  Add other fruits, except banana, to a bowl.  Mix pineapple/pudding mixture with fruit.  Refrigerate overnight.  Just before serving add bananas.

CROCKPOT SMOKIES

I can already hear you, everyone has a Little Smokey recipe.  But hey, everyone makes them because they are so easy to make and a crowd pleaser.  It just wouldn’t be a party without a Smokey hanging around to help satisfy your guests.  So here is my version of an old tradition.

  • 3 packages Little Smokies
  • 1 jar grape jelley
  • 1 jar Head Country BBQ sauce
  • Honey

Dump all items into crockpot.  I add just enough honey to make a glaze on the smokies.  Heat on low.  Eat and enjoy!


Easy Cheese Ball

My taste testers response, “this is addicting”.  You might think so too, especially when you see how easy it is to make!

  • 3 packages cream cheese – softened
  • 1 jar dried beef – chopped
  • 1 small bunch green onions – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Mix all together.  Form into ball.  Refrigerate overnight.  Serve with crackers of your choice.  If this is too “oniony” for you, just decrease the amount of green onions.  Want a little extra flavor, add some garlic powder.  Need it to look fancy, roll the ball in chopped pecans or walnuts before serving.  Feeling creative today?  Make a cheese ball sculpture.  Okay, you get the idea . . .the possibilities are limitless!

Share on Facebook

The Real Story of the Three Bears

I

have decided to add another element to my blog so that you, my loyal readers (thanks Mom), can look forward to a particular day of the week and my postings.  I will be calling this day “Funny Friday” and will try to write or post a funny story or joke.

For my first post, I want you all to know that I did not write this.  I had this sent to me a long time ago and just stumbled upon it again.  So please enjoy the laugh (I did), but although I wish I were this clever I really wasn’t and I want to be sure I told you all that up front.

The True Story of the 3 Bears 

A far more accurate account of the events of that fateful morning….

Baby bear goes downstairs, sits in his small chair at the table.
He looks into his small bowl. It is empty.

‘Who’s been eating my porridge?’  he squeaks.

Daddy Bear arrives at the big table and sits in his big chair.  He looks into his big bowl and it is also empty.

‘Who’s been eating my porridge?!?’ he roars.

Mummy Bear puts her head through the serving hatch from the kitchen and yells,

‘For goodness sake, how many times do I have to go through this with you idiots? It was Mummy Bear who got up first. It was Mummy Bear who woke everyone in the house. It was Mummy Bear who made the coffee. It was Mummy Bear who unloaded the dishwasher from last night and put everything away. It was Mummy Bear who swept the floor in the kitchen. It was Mummy Bear who went out in the cold early morning air to fetch the newspaper and croissants. It was Mummy Bear who set the table.’

‘It was Mummy Bear who walked the dog, cleaned the cat’s litter tray, gave them their food, and refilled their water.’

‘And now that you’ve decided to drag yourselves downstairs and grace Mummy Bear with your grumpy presence, listen carefully, because I’m only going to say this once….’

‘I HAVEN’T MADE THE FREAKIN’ PORRIDGE YET, SO GET OVER IT!”

Share on Facebook

Resumes – What NOT to include

The past three weeks I have spent more time working on my resume than I think I have in my entire lifetime.  What I have learned is that everyone you ask has different ideas on what to put on a resume and it can become a neverending task.  So I took a little break, did some internet research, and came up with a list of some of the challenges of job hunting.  Let’s just say that I will be going back to my resume to make sure I don’t repeat any of these bloopers.

  •  “Service for old man to check they are still alive or not.”
  •  “I am about to enrol on a Business and Finance Degree with the Open University. I feel that this qualification will prove detrimental to me for future success.”
  • “Time is very valuable and it should be always used to achieve optimum results and I believe it should not be played around with.”
  • “I belive that weakness is the first level of strength, given the right attitude and driving force. My school advised me to fix my punctuality…”
  • Candidate included a letter from his mother.
  • Candidate stated the ability to persuade people sexually using her words.
  • Candidate wrote résumé as a play – Act 1, Act 2, etc.
  • Candidate included naked picture of himself.
  • Other Interests: “Playing with my two dogs (They actually belong to my wife but I love the dogs more than my wife)”.
  • “One applicant used colored paper and drew glitter designs around the border”
  • Why Interested in Position: “to keep my parole officer from putting back me in jail”
  • A woman had attached a picture of herself in a mini mouse costume
  • Under “job related skills” – for a web designer – “can function without additional oxygen at 24,000 feet”.
  • Objective: “career on the Information Supper Highway”
  • Experience: “Stalking, shipping & receiving”
  • A candidate listed her e-mail address as pornstardelight@*****.com
  • Achievements: “Nominated for prom queen”
  • a resume printed on the back of the person’s current employer’s letterhead.
  • A resume… had several grease stains and a smudge of chocolate on it
  • Hobbies: “Having a good time”
  • Candidate explained a gap in employment by saying it was because he was getting over the death of his cat for three months.
  • Candidate explained an arrest by stating, “We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig.”
  • Candidate included family medical history.
  •  “nine-page cover letter accompanied by a four-page résumé”
  • “One applicant tried to make an impression by using four different fonts, three ink colors and a variety of highlighting options on her résumé”
  • “Finished eighth in my class of ten.”
  • It’s best for employers that I not work with people.”
  • “Let’s meet, so you can ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over my experience.”
  •  “I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely no one and absolutely nothing.”
  • “Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.”
  • “Marital status: often. Children: various.”
  • “I am loyal to my employer at all costs..Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice mail.”
  • Reason for leaving: “I thought the world was coming to an end.”
  • Objective: “To hopefully associate with a millionaire one day.”
  • Qualifications: “I have guts, drive, ambition and heart, which is probably more than a lot of the drones that you have working for you.”
  • Objective: “I need money because I have bills to pay and I would like to have a life, go out partying, please my young wife with gifts, and have a menu entrée consisting of more than soup.”
  • Salary requirements: “The higher the better.”
  • Salary desired: “Starting over due to recent bankruptcies. Need large bonus when starting job.”
  • Bad traits: “I am very bad about time and don’t mind admitting it. Having to arrive at a certain hour doesn’t make sense to me. What does make sense is that I do the job. Any company that insists upon rigid time schedules will find me a nightmare.”
  • References: “Bill, Tom, Eric. But I don’t know their phone numbers.”
Share on Facebook

Clean Windows

Clean Windows

A couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. “That laundry is not very clean”, she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband, “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this.”

The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

Share
Share on Facebook

Lazarus: The Miracle Fish

Lazarus:  The Miracle Fish

A few years ago I stumbled upon an aquarium at a garage sale. The price was right, and having a need for a hobby, I decided to purchase the aquarium. My tank is now established and I have the rare good luck of having a thriving fish community.  But this was not always the case.  When I first started I did run into a few roadblocks on my road to successful fishkeeping.  The following is just one incident – the incident of “Lazarus: The Miracle Fish”.

My tank being set up and established for awhile, I was ready to do my first tank cleaning.  Like all responsible fish owners, I visited PetCo and received expert advice from their fish lady. I got my gravel vacuum ready and I removed the plants so I could begin the graveling process. I had been assured by fish lady that the fish would all migrate to the opposite end of the tank while this process occurred. This was partially true. However, one of my clown loaches had been hiding in the plants and when I pulled them out of the tank he came with them.

I discovered my clown loach first by stepping on him. Yes, that is right. I stepped on something and thought I had been bit. I moved my foot slightly and stepped again and this time it really hurt (apparently the poor guy was sticking up his fins in self defense). There was the loach, inches from the dog’s nose, stepped on not once but twice by me – a veritable giant to a fish. I screamed. Chris came running, expecting that a disaster of epic proportions had occurred and stopped short when he saw me, tears streaming down my face, pointing at the stepped on fish and saying, “I think there is internal bleeding!”.

Chris picked up the fish, and hoping to calm the situation, dumped it back into the tank. At this point the loach shot from one end of the tank to the other in half a second and then rolled over belly up and sunk to the bottom. This whole event took less than two seconds. I was heartbroken. I took the fish out with the net and laid him to the side so I could conduct a proper funeral service at the toilet at a later time. His mate swam around the tank looking lost. Not only had I painfully killed an innocent fish, but I had broken up a home. Despair weighed me down.

However, I had a job to do so I continued to change out the tank water and add new water in. I counted fish one more time to be sure all the others were doing well, considering the trauma that had occurred. I tested the water levels. I cleaned up the mess. All of this took almost 30 minutes. Then I looked at my poor loach in the fish net. He was breathing!!! He had sat out of water for 30 minutes, been stepped on twice, and yet he was breathing!!! I quickly filled a cup with water and gently put the fish in. Chris was in the background telling me to flush him because he probably wasn’t going to live anyway.

After 10 minutes of still swimming, I dumped the clown loach, now named Lazarus, into the tank. There was a happy reunion between him and his mate. I checked this morning and all is well.

SO ALWAYS REMEMBER:  When you feel like you have been crushed more than once by a giant, thrown into a stressful situation that made you want to go belly up, been discarded by those around you, and felt like life was ready to flush you down the toilet . . .just remember Lazarus the Miracle Fish. There is always hope!

 

Share on Facebook

The economy is so bad . . .

Beginning week 3 of my status as a laid-off worker and trying to keep my sense of humor.  I thought you all might enjoy today’s post:

  • The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.
  • It’s so bad, I ordered a burger at McDonald’s and the kid behind the counter asked, “Can you afford fries with that?”
  • The economy is so bad that CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.
  • The economy is so bad if the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.
  • The economy is so bad Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.
  • The economy is so bad McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 ouncer.
  • The economy is so bad parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.
  • The economy is so bad a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.
  • The economy is so bad Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore.
  • The economy is so bad the Mafia is laying off judges.
  • The economy is so bad Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.
  • The economy is so bad a picture is now only worth 200 words.
  • The economy is so bad the US announced plans to start selling bits of the Statue of Liberty for scrap metal.
  • The economy is so bad they renamed Wall Street “Wal-Mart Street”.
Share on Facebook