Income Tax Prison

When I was 18 years old, a senior in high school, and working part-time on the school’s maintenance crew for $.50 cents an hour I filled out my first income tax return. It was what was known as the “short form” and I made a mistake.

I used the chart that was provided in the instruction manual and mistakenly took the personal exemption not realizing that the exemption was already figured into the chart. Thus, I took two personal exemptions. Even though my income wasn’t enough to justify a tax liability I had nevertheless not done things correctly.

'I got 2 years for filing false returns, but I did save a bundle by doing my own taxes.'
‘I got 2 years for filing false returns, but I did save a bundle by doing my own taxes.’

One day I was called to the office and there was a suited man wanting to talk with me. Turned out he was an IRS agent and he had driven all way to Greenfield just to chew my butt out for not filing an accurate return. I was sternly given a grace period to file a correct return or face life in prison.

I may have written about this before but the thing comes roaring back each time I see wealthy and powerful people like Donald Trump using an army of accountants and lawyers to avoid paying any taxes. It’s so hard to accept that a kid making fifty-cents an hour gets the crap scared out of him while the Trumps of the world rarely even get a finger pointed at them. Matter of fact, Donald Trump on several occasions has bragged about how smart he is at avoiding taxes.

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