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Mike Tasos: It’s that time of year — time to do taxes
Mike Tasos

The Taxman cometh. And I’m not so sure I want to see him. 

I’m counting on Ginger The Tax Guru to help make sense of it all. From what I’ve heard, I might be better off dealing with my phone friends in Mumbai.

You probably have those same friends. You know, the ones who call you and demand you pay the $10K you owe the government. They usually hang up when the conversation turns nonsensical.

I try to ask questions.

“Hey bud, I love to hear Donovan sing Riki Tiki Tavi. Why doesn’t a mongoose have feathers and honk? Do they do their business on golf courses like they do here?”

Or “In your opinion, my Calcutta amigo, who serves the best Tandoori Chicken around here?”


I’m begging for these guys to call back. I promise, no more questions about whether the caller has ever been bitten by a cobra. By April 15, I may be starving to take another pass at having this year’s tax rules explained. 

I haven’t visited with Ginger yet. She says all will be fine. The results will harken back to a blind date experience after being set up: You gotta go and you’re sure you won’t like the outcome.

From my seat, it looks like deductions are disappearing like a watchable 15-minutes on the Oscars broadcast (you knew I’d get one or two slaps at that ridiculous mess).

No more home-office expense deductions, no more business miles being written off. Everything is being eliminated because of a super-sized standard deduction.

What is most troubling about meandering down this untraveled road?

How will it affect all the local 401c3 organizations, where donations could previously be written off? That means financial support to your church, high school booster clubs, hospital charities, etc., will no longer present a tax incentive to be generous.

This was the most troubling aspect of the new law. Will there be less money funneled into these deserving entities. I wondered if the flowing river of giving will be reduced to a trickle?

It formed a question in my mind: Do those who give generously open their wallets because of the write-off? Or do people support charities because (up yours, Spike Lee) it’s the right thing to do?

That question will be better answered when Ginger and I have this conversation a year from now. I hope we won’t meet in debtors’ prison. I pray I’m not asking her if this orange jumpsuit makes me look fat.

All this pre- April 15th angst drives home a sad but undeniable truth: We have no say. Elected officials can take as much as they want. And we can’t do a thing about it!

I’d love to hear a “You make this much, you pay this much” proposal.

Oh wait, that sounds like the dreaded Fair Tax. It’s as popular with the folks in office as “Term Limits.”

To heck with we can’t do anything about it. Let’s up our game and make smart decisions. Why is it that a small percentage vote, yet rail on about the actions of elected officials?

We need to take our duties seriously, doing our part to get good people make some rules.

Note to teachers of government, civics or whatever we call it now: Forget what H&R, Turbo, or any others of their particular ilk are telling you. There is no such thing as a “tax refund.” It’s your money that you’ve lent to the government for the last 12 months. Don’t be afraid to call a scam a scam. And put away your phone!

Tell your students that discussing Term Limits and a Fair Tax with someone in office is like a bowl of fresh garlic to Dracula.

I can’t say I blame the Count. I avoid garlic and after wasting nearly four hours a week ago, I’ll now avoid the Oscars.

I know, I know. I could have turned it off. 

But as is the case with a roadside wreck, I just had to keep watching. I wanted to see how bad it could get.

It was putrid and made me come to a decision: Have a seat Oscar. Plenty of room on the couch. Sit next to the NFL. Give me the remote. We’re all watching something else.


Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday. Comments can be sent to