Dost thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

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Sir Toby BelchAt times methinks that Malvolio never died but merely assumed the embodiment of immortality in the guise of the IRS. If only Sir Toby Belch were the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service instead of Daniel Werfel, oh, Reuben and Rachel, what a fine world this would be.

Instead of all of our clients only receiving 50% of their expenses for wining and dining and playing, they could write it all off without saving all those receipts that are easily lost, sparing them the perennial embarrassment of requesting a receipt from their waitresses and waiters in front of their clients, creating the impression that this entertainment was in truth all for business and not pure fun.

What better way to stimulate the economy than to allow everyone to deduct on their tax returns all necessary living expenses, including recreation. Isn't this the land of the free? Are we only to receive credits for business expenses, and not those for enjoying and appreciating our very short lives here?

The Pilgrims, the religious fanatical fringe of the Puritans of merry Ole England, kicked out of their motherland for pissing on everybody's parade over there, settled New England and codified the laws of life, forbidding any pleasures here on earth: thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife (really now, as if that could really work); thou shalt not cavort and drink and play; thou shalt not swear (I am going to Hell on that one alone); and on our one day of rest, after working twelve hours a day, thou shalt spend hours and hours sitting on a hard wooden bench in a Church listening to speeches of fire and brimstone. And our forefathers were not whack jobs?

That Calvinistic work ethic, work until you drop, haunts us to this very day. We CPAs are the Malvolios of today, working 72 hours a week, grinding away till all hours of the day, only to await the cardiac arrest to relieve us from all of this toil and trouble, at the ripe old age of 50.

If only the Royalists had settled the Colonies instead of the Pilgrims, imagine how the tax code may have been written: tax deductions for drinking, smoking, going to Red Sox baseball games, losing at Casinos, going to Disney Land, building a vacation home in Florida, frequenting concerts of country western singers….okay, that may be going too far.

Wouldn't this solve so much of our debt problem? People wouldn't owe the IRS hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes for spending their money on enjoying life since there wouldn't be any tax liabilities after all was said and done. Only those from the planet Kolob, or those stashing all their savings on the 19th floor of that one building on the Cayman Islands, would have the cash to pay all of our taxes. I'm all for that.

If only Sir Toby Belch, Falstaff, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, and their cronies had gotten drunk and taken a wrong turn at the Globe and landed on Plymouth rock, imagine the creative possibilities of our tax code. There might have been more cakes and alehouses. 

The Barefoot Accountant

About William Brighenti


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