Tax Conversation

[Despite my procrastinating nature, I managed to file my taxes ONE FULL DAY EARLY this year. Nonetheless, the process was not smooth. What follows is an exact transcription of a portion of my evening.]

ME: So, I’ll just take that student loan interest deduction …

TAX-PREP SOFTWARE: Sorry, buddy. You’re not eligible for that.

ME: The hell you say! I’ve taken it for years.

TAX-PREP SOFTWARE: Yes, but you’re married now, so I can’t let you do that anymore.

ME: Say what?

TAX-PREP SOFTWARE: As long as you file a separate return from your spouse, you’re no longer eligible.

ME: …

TAX-PREP SOFTWARE: If you want to file a joint return, I could help you out.

ME: If I file a joint return, my spouse’s income will count towards my loan obligation, won’t it?


ME: And I would pay quite a bit more through increased loan payments than I stand to gain from this tax deduction, right?


ME: Are you smiling?

TAX-PREP SOFTWARE: I am a piece of software. I cannot smile.

ME: But you’re talking …


ME: Is there a whisky-related tax deduction?

TAX-PREP SOFTWARE: You don’t qualify.

Spin 101

If it’s bad, and it happened on your watch, it was the result of the interweaving of several complex factors, no one of which could have been significantly influenced by your actions.

If it happened on your opponent’s watch, it’s totally his fault.