Neil Offen: How to tax your brain
Final check before filing:
Begin by adding line 18 — number of people you run into whose names you can’t remember — to line 14, number of times you try to avoid saying their names during a conversation.
Add lines 23 through 35 and try doing it without a calculator if you start to get cocky.
If line 38 is $150,000 or less, multiply $3,900 by the number on line 6d or divide by the number of times you look for line 6d and can’t find it.
If your spouse itemizes on a separate return, tell her to hurry up or you’ll be late for the movie.
Subtract line 36 from line 22 unless line 22 is already involved in an illicit relationship with Schedule C-EZ and doesn’t want to be subtracted.
Attach Form 8903 to Schedule E, preferably with a paper clip, not a staple. If you use a staple, subtract Form 3903 from Form 2106-EZ and watch out for paper cuts.
Divide household employment tax — Schedule HET — by your IRA, your EIC, your RRTA or your CBS if you watch “The Good Wife” on Sunday nights.
Divide line 5 by line 6 even if line 5 proves recalcitrant and would rather go shopping for shoes. Enter the result as a decimal rounded to at least three places, as long as one of the places has good parking.
At any time during 2013, did you have a financial interest or signature authority over a pizza take-out account, not including pepperonis?
If yes, are you required to file Form 114, reporting whether there also was pineapple on the pizza and why, in heaven’s name, would you have ever put pineapple on a pizza?
If Form 8888 is attached, check here. If Form 8888 is not attached and you are out of staples and paper clips, look in that kitchen drawer where you’ve put the old metal skewers that you haven’t used since you tried to barbecue cucumbers.
Check this box if you were born before Jan. 2, 1949, and can’t remember who was the losing presidential candidate in the 1956 election.
Check this box if you were born after Jan. 2, 1949, and can remember the starting lineup of the 1961 Yankees.
Add lines 62, 63, 63a, 64, 65, 66b and 71, and determine what they have in common except for 71 which is an outlier.
Find line 64c, which is not where you put it when you came home.
Subtract line 42 from line 41. If line 42 is more than line 41, what is the capital of Jordan?
Add depreciation from Section 7901 unless you have previously carried over operating expenses from 2012, Form 1079, line 12, third syllable, second consonant.
If line 72 is more than line 61, either subtract line 63 from line 49 or simply recognize that you have made a grievous mistake and must start all over again.
Neil Offen can be reached at email@example.com.