Monday, June 26, 2006

Eighty-eight Pages of Pure EVIL

Ding-dong the witch is dead!
I SO wish I was making this up...
Filed pursuant to section 1.911-7(a)(2)(i)(D).

Most of you will know that I've been doing my US taxes so I can act as Coz' sponsor to live in the states. This will be because I have been fuming about it more-or-less continuously for the last 6 months.

Don't look at me like that! You don't know what its like! Its like being forced to write an Emily Bronte novel the length of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Timelessness(ness) (13x 2000+ page volumes, last I checked) while listening to nothing but hold music and living on SPAM, Cheez-whizz, and Coors Lite. I have to do it in 5-hour stretches minimum, because it takes me at least 4 to tie my brain up into enough of a pretzel to understand what I was doing the last time I worked on it. I once read a technical paper by Stephen Hawking just for the hell of it, and I think by the third pass I almost understood the basic gist of the abstract. But Hawking is like reading "One Fish Two Fish" compared to the IRS; there is a whole generations worth of fucked-up abstract physics that will never be discovered because these guys became tax lawyers instead.

In the booklet that explains the instructions* to the form that allows me to avoid paying US tax on my Australian income and then having to deduct the Australian tax paid**, which Australian tax obviously takes into account Australian tax on all of my US income but then deducts any US tax paid***, there is a note down on page 34**** which casually mentions that if you file this form more than 12 months after the taxes were originally due AND you owe them money then you have to hand write in the space at the top of some other form, in the margin because there isn't a blank for it, the words "Filed pursuant to section 1.911-7(a)(2)(i)(D)"*****! Ngrablah!

Well HA! I'm DONE! Finito! Finished! Assuming I haven't just passed an event horizon of infinite tediousness and emerged in a parallel universe, this puppy is DEAD. Its 88 pages long, not counting the numerous forms I had to half fill out in order to work out that I didn't have to fill them out, nor the number of times I had to fill each one out as I found some obscure subclause that made everything I'd done so far wrong. I conservatively estimate that its taken me about 60 hours worth of work and 5 years off my life. If I, perhaps, partook rather enthusiastically of the fruit of the agave on Saturday night now you know why (sorry about the furniture Scruff; I dance like that even when I'm sober...)

Whew. Got that out of my system. I'll shut up now, honest.

* I'm not making this up.
** Seriously.
*** I'm not kidding!
**** Ok, I made that up, but only because I couldn't be buggered to look up the page number - the booklet IS 44 pages long.
***** I shit you not!

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