April 15th is the time of the year when American citizens can communicate with their government. I cannot testify for anyone else, but I look forward to this marvelous opportunity, and I am careful not to waste it. This year, for example, so much has happened since last year it took 15 single spaced typed pages to include everything.
However, to be perfectly honest (and who's perfect), I am a little disappointed. All the years I have included a personal letter including a SASE with my tax returns, I have yet to get a personal letter in return. I am beginning to think this is a one-way relationship and it would not take much for me to quit this correspondence entirely. Then what would my government think? How would they know what I've been up to all year long?
I am not one to complain (unless my wife is not around), but filling out my income tax return seems to be getting more complicated each year. When I familiarize myself with the rules for one year, someone changes them the next year. What could not be deducted last year can be this year; and what was deductible last year I must pay twice. Why can't someone in the government make up my mind and quit all this unnecessary fluctuation?
On April 16, each year, our government immediately destroys the tax rulebooks to keep them from falling into the hands of a foreign power. By "foreign," I mean Canada.
Heaven help us if our neighbor north of the border ever got their hands on this information. Canadians are not usually known for their jollity, but once they see these books, the entire country would break out into uncontrollable laughter. Who knows what this would do to the delicate relationship now existing between the two countries.
Because of this important precaution, they need new tax law books each year.
Right after the Christmas & New Year's parties, someone in the Internal Revenue office asks his assistant to "bring me those tax books." When they inform him that there are no books this same person (which shall remain nameless for obvious reason) says to his assistant, "Bob, write me a new tax law book for this year and have it on my desk by 5:00."
This sets the wheels of government to whirling and by golly, by 5:00, that new tax law book is on the desk. This is one reason the tax laws from one year are so different from the next. Then the assistant responsible for this is fired and a new one hired. The only requirement for the assistant is that his name must be "Bob."
I wish one year Bob would call me. It seems he has overlooked many legitimate deductions every year. I would like to submit some recommendations for consideration.
First, I am not too happy with this April 15th deadline. I feel it is much too restrictive and rigid. What is so special about April 15 that our government should have such an apprehension about me missing this deadline? What is wrong with June 15? Or, September 22, for that matter?
I believe the Internal Revenue Service should be more understanding and practice a nonjudgmental attitude. After all, this is a new millennium calling for a new attitude on this whole business of taxes. They ought to trust me to send in my taxes whenever I'm ready, or remember.
There are some deductions I have never seen on the forms I have filled out and I have always wondered why. Let me list some:
Grandchildren - have never been listed as a legitimate deduction. Does the IRS know just how expensive grandchildren are? My jellybean budget alone could finance a small third world country!
Vacation - is another item overlooked. Does the IRS think I am taking a vacation just for my health? Oh, yea. I guess am. Well, my health is important. Every dollar I spend on vacation should be deducted from my income, which would take a lot of stress off my next vacation, not to mention more money.
Presents - do not tell me Christmas and Birthday presents are not authentic tax-deductible considerations. If it were not for buying all those Christmas presents, the general economy of our country would go into a slump. Buying Christmas presents is the one thing I can do for my country and I should expect some compensation.
Waiting in line at the post office - after all, my time is valuable. Recently the Post Office has been complaining about the loss of business. It is not that. By the time I stand in line waiting to mail a birthday card the birthday has passed. (That reminds me. I need to post my Christmas cards next Tuesday if I want them to get there in time for Christmas.)
These are just a few suggestions I would make if it were left up to me.
Some people think that they can write their own ticket when it comes to God, forgetting that God has established rules and regulations that apply to everyone. The Bible clearly states this truth: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12 KJV). And, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6 KJV).
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores.