AS THE MOVERS and shakers of the world continue to move and shake, the Baby Boomer generation is concentrating on remaining as motionless as possible. Those of us in the B2 Generation are concentrating on the next big adventure in life…retirement.
As the Gen Xers and Gen Yers — and whatever other alphanumeric generations are out there — fight their way up the corporate ladder, those of us who have already abandoned the climb are preparing to fold up the ladder and stick it in the garage. We have a busy retirement planned, and we want to drop out right now and start having fun. All we need is money. … And lots of it.
To that end, it is the job of financial planners to help people like me. I depend on the skills of my financial planner to grow and protect my assets, but sometimes I need additional help. One of those times was just upon us. I am referring, of course, to the annual national bloodletting known as Income Tax.
Like the rest of you, I struggled with my tax return this year. I never know what to enter on the line labeled “Occupation.” I have no idea how to describe what I do to my family, let alone to the IRS. Every description I think of — speaker, entertainer, comedian — has the potential to raise a proverbial red flag to the taxman. If I were an IRS agent in charge of finding tax returns that might be askew, I would start with the pile of returns from comedians, entertainers, and speakers. Fortunately for me, the IRS doesn't think like I do.
To assist you in preparing next year's income tax forms (or this year's if you are tardy), I have prepared the following compilation of easy to understand tax terms.
DALE'S E-Z TAX TERMS
Ordinary Income — If you are an ordinary guy, doing an ordinary job, the money you make is ordinary income.
Gross Income — If you earn a living by eating boogers or flatulating on command, the money you make is considered gross income. People who fall under this category are Howard Stern, anybody who eats a bug on “Fear Factor,” and the writers of the American Pie trilogy.
Net Income — If you are a fisherman, a butterfly collector, or a tightrope walker who falls a lot, your livelihood depends on a good net and your earnings qualify as net income.
Accrual — This is an accounting method rejected by Elvis in his song, “Don't Be Accrual.”
Tax Lien — When you trim all of the fat out of your taxes, you wind up with tax lien, which is far healthier.
Income Stream — Have you ever made an investment so stupid that it was like flushing money down the toilet? Those flushed funds empty into the income stream.
Dependant — If you care for an elderly relative who wears adult diaper products, you can claim that person as a Dependant. If the relative is male, he must be claimed as a Dependuncle.
If the IRS questions any of your deductions based on this information, just tell them you're a speaker, entertainer, or comedian, and they'll understand.
Dale Irvin knows nothing about taxes but he knows a lot about adding a humorous dimension to your next conference. He also knows a lot about insurance and is the author of “Insurance as a Second Language.” Visit Dale at www.daleirvin.com. For booking information contact Ruth Levine at Speak Inc. (858) 457-9880.