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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane

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Hello. Welcome to Taxtime, your Interactive Tax Preparer Program. Do you feel like doing your taxes today?

I see. Well, don't you think you should do them anyway? After all, it's April 14. And who knows? Maybe you'll get a refund.

That's the spirit. Let's begin with your name, address, and marital status.

Sorry to hear about the divorce. But don't let it get you down. That alimony deduction will come in handy.

Please don't cry. Things are bound to improve. In the meantime, let's talk about dependents. Do you have any children?

Wow! I hope they're not all in college.

You're having visitation problems on top of everything else? Gee, I can't help you there. But you might try our Interactive Matrimonial Lawyer Software.

I hate lawyers too. But we're really veering off track. Do you have any other dependents?

Sorry. You can't deduct your dog, even if she's your only friend.

I agree. The IRS is unreasonable. But let's move on to income. What were your wages in 2008?

Wow! You're having a bad go of it. But at least you're getting the Unemployment Benefits max.

I'm afraid Unemployment Benefits are taxable. The government giveth and the government taketh away.

Hey, don't blame me. I'm just the messenger. Anyway, did you have any interest or dividend income or capital gains?

Your spouse got everything, huh? Well, look on the bright side. If you don't earn it, they can't make you pay taxes on it.

Please don't exit. It was just a joke. I don't suppose you were able to sock anything away into an IRA.

I didn't mean to insult you; I'm just doing my job. They make me ask about IRA's and Keogh Plans too.

Okay, okay. I get the point. You're broke. So let's go over your deductions and see about getting you a healthy refund.

And speaking about health, I need a complete list of your non-reimbursed medical expenses.

That's great -- a fractured sacroiliac. And your income was so low that most of it will be deductible.

You're absolutely right. I should have asked you how you're feeling. That was inconsiderate of me. But in my defense, we're really fighting the clock.

Okay, I apologize. Let's move on to your state income taxes and real estate taxes.

Boy, they weren't kidding about New York taxes. But that huge mortgage tax deduction should really increase your refund.

You had to sell the house to pay for the divorce? What a shame. But I thought you said you didn't have any capital gains.

You sold it at a loss? So tell me. Are there any good housing buys out there? One of my other users is looking for a home.

You're absolutely right. That was a selfish and thoughtless thing to say. I'm a new program, and I guess they haven't gotten all the bugs out.

Let's go back to your deductions. What did you pay in mortgage interest?

I'm afraid deducting credit card interest is a major no-no. But you may want to consider our Interactive Bankruptcy Software.

Don't get your nose out of joint. It was just a suggestion. Anyway, it's time to list your charitable contributions.

I know you can't afford them, but list a couple hundred in cash anyway. Everybody does it, and it's impossible to check.

Good. Now I'm almost afraid to ask, but did you suffer any unreimbursed casualty or theft losses last year?

That's pretty much what I expected. Just give me the numbers and I'll take it from there.

Is there anything else you want to tell me?

Well, of course they canceled your policy. They always cancel your policy. But what I meant was, did you have any other income or expenses?

Fine. Now why don't you rest for a second, so I can do some quick calculations.

I have good news. Not only don't you have any tax debt, but you're entitled to a $157 refund. Would you like to apply it to your 2009 tax?

I beg your pardon. They don't pay me enough to listen to that kind of language.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
1st Published PC LAPTOP Magazine

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