A truly taxing screenplay

While excavating the paperwork for preparation of my 2009 taxes, I came across last year’s filing. Those who were following this blog at the time may remember that I took advantage of an obscure provision which allowed me to forsake conventional methods in order to file my return in free verse. https://davisw.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/o-america-i-file-now-my-taxes/

This year, however, I’ve been inspired by Sunday night’s Oscar ceremonies, and choose to present my information — not in the hyper-realistic style of stark numbers penciled into even starker boxes — but instead as a screenplay. Perhaps next year at this time, it will be I who stands in Hollywood’s Kodak Theater, tears streaming down my face and onto my classic black Elie Saab couture gown, thanking the Academy for honoring my adaptation of yesterday’s visit to my accountant.

The scene opens at the small Fort Mill accounting firm of McAdams and Dade, CPA. Davis sits in a well-appointed waiting area, pretending to read The Wall Street Journal so the receptionist will be impressed. A door opens and Ken enters, hand extended in greeting.

Ken: Davis! Good to see you again. Come on back. How you liking this gorgeous weather?

Davis: What would be the answer that gets me the maximum refund?

Ken (slightly perplexed): Ha-ha. They haven’t figured out yet how to tax a beautiful early spring day.

Davis (looking directly into the camera, in a menacing tone): Oh, they will. They will.

Cut to Ken’s office, large windows on two walls and an expansive oak desk. A train whistle blows mournfully in the distance.

Ken: That’s quite a shoebox you’ve got there. Careful you don’t drop anything.

Davis: Yes … quite a shoebox. At least it looks like a shoebox, but you never really know, do you? It could be an explosive device. An IED, I believe you call it. Maybe you should get out your bomb disposal suit.

Ken: Oh, I don’t think that’ll be necessary. Let’s take a look and see what kind of year you had.

Davis: Not too bad, I guess. Still have a job but not doing as much business travel, unfortunately. I collect röentgens … you know, units of radiation from the X-ray machines in security. When I get one million of them, I get a free case of cancer, and I get to sit next to the pilot.

Ken: That would be nice, I suppose. Were there any major changes in your income or family situation in 2009?

Davis: Well, I did adopt a hulking 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive lineman. So I guess that gives me an additional dependent.

Ken: You adopted a lineman? Why didn’t you go for a skill position player?

Davis: You’re not prejudiced, are you? You know, it’s the guards and tackles that establish control of the line of scrimmage, which lets your running game take off, which lets your quarterback look like the star.

Ken: No, no, that’s very admirable. Yes, that should have a good impact on your refund too.

Davis: Are there any special tax credits for killing Nazis? I did a lot of that last year, too. Mostly in the fourth quarter, though. That won’t look suspicious to the IRS, will it?

Ken: You did save your receipts?

Davis: Sure did. (Again, looking directly into the camera). I sure did.

Ken: I think I might be able to come up with something there. Did you happen go into the future, by any chance? Maybe help invade a distant planet to steal their natural resources? Because there’s a special one-time energy tax credit Congress passed …

Davis: If I said I did, you’d have to believe me, right?

Ken: Let me check this new edition of the tax code I just received.

The accountant rises slowly from his desk. A gentle fog rolls in, and a slight rain begins to fall. Somewhere, a robin dies.

Davis: I might have some stuff that counts as charitable contributions too. I took an abused inner-city teenage girl on a balloon trip to South America.

Ken: What was the point of that?

Davis: I did it because it seemed like the right thing to do. Does everything have to have a price tag in your perfect little world of accountancy? Can’t we simply help our fellow man because it feels right?

Ken: No, I’m pretty sure you can’t.

Davis: Good God!

Davis pulls a can of cat food from his briefcase, and offers it to Ken.

Davis: As you can see from my income, I don’t have enough cash to pay you for this consultation. But you will accept cat food, right? It’s a special veterinary diet designed to reduce urinary tract infections.

Ken: I have been having a little trouble (he clears his throat), um, down there.

Davis: Here, help yourself.

Ken leaps up onto his desk and begins purring contentedly. After finishing the cat food, he licks his tiny hands clean.

Ken: One last question, I guess. Did you take any distributions from any IRAs or 401(k) accounts this year?

Davis: Who told you about that?! How do you know so much about me? Have your spies been working overtime?

Ken: You would’ve received a statement from your financial institution if you did.

Davis: Oh, yeah. I’ve got that right here. That’s the Schedule 3(b), right?

Ken: That’s it. (Ken examines the document, stroking his long chin, his eyes flashing with anger). Yeah, I think I can work with this. Since you had a decrease in your W-2 earnings, I think we can amortize or depreciate or do one of those financial things, and get you a tidy little refund.

Davis: So, we’re done then?

Ken: Pretty much. Just remember to email that home equity loan interest rate and the exact date your rental property was occupied by your new tenant, and you’ll be good to go.

Davis: Great. Oh, it’s such a relief to get this off of my plate and onto yours. I really appreciate your time … I know how busy you must be at this time of year.

Ken: Glad to help. Yeah, we’ve been pretty busy but it’ll be all over soon.

The two men rise and begin to shake hands. Suddenly, there’s a deep rumble in the room, and out the window, you can see a huge extraterrestrial insect, a “prawn,” descending from its spaceship.

Ken: Arrgghhh!

Davis: Well, there goes my refund.

The end.

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2 Responses to “A truly taxing screenplay”

  1. Heather Says:

    I was on the edge of my seat the entire time!

  2. S Fox Says:

    A darn site more interesting than anything than actually won an Oscar. Send it to the Cohen brothers immediately. No, on second thoughts, give it to Cronenberg.

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