Sunday, February 12, 2006

Harpooning a loophole

My supermodel wife and I were working on the 2005 tax return this weekend. The mere mention of the "T" word makes me shudder with nausea.

Most of the year, unless I'm drawn into a political discussion, I can exercise some mental gymnastics to at least convince myself not to think about all the money that I earn that the government takes from me to spend on things like buying cigarettes for homeless people or fighting wars against poverty, terrorism, drugs, hurricanes, wildfires, ozone, or whatever the cause du jour is.

But during tax time, I have to face it. The figures and dollar signs are all right there in black and white in triplicate. I have a theory that per-capita alcohol consumption increases during this time of year, and it's not because of the Super Bowl.

Luckily, I think I've found a loophole. All I have to do is change professions. As I was googling for information regarding the limits and processes for deductions on charitable contributions of property, I ran across this little chestnut in IRS Publication 526.
"Expenses of Whaling Captains

Beginning in 2005, you may be able to deduct as a charitable contribution the reasonable and necessary whaling expenses paid during the year in carrying out sanctioned whaling activities."
That's right. All I have to do is become a Whaling Captain, and I'll be able to deduct pretty much all of the "reasonable and necessary" expenses of doing my job.

Now, granted, it might be difficult to find a lot of whales in Kansas. I mean, the Missouri River and Tuttle Creek Reservoir are the largest bodies of water (not counting the Ogollala, which is drying up anyway.) But I didn't read in IRS Publication 526 that you had to be a successful whaling captain.

For once the government has passed a tax law that helps me.
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