Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tomorrow Is the Fateful Day

By Chester Campbell

Before Congress in all its beneficence gave us another month to get ready for the IRS, Tax Day was March 15, the Ides of March. It brought to mind the soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March.” That was the fateful that Brutus and his co-conspirators assassinated the Roman ruler in 44 B.C.

But, according to the Roman calendar, the Ides of April falls on the 13th. So tomorrow is simply the middle of April and the day our 1040s are to be off to the taxman. I’ve had mine ready to go for about a week, awaiting only a final K-1 form, which came by email a couple of days ago. Now I have to get my mind re-engineered from blogging to e-filing. Somehow I suspect the IRS doesn’t give a big fat rat’s.

Your friendly taxman is offering all kinds of “Last Minute Tips” on his handy website. Some of them relate to the few recent congressional giveaways that benefit the little guy (or big guy if you happen to be Ben Small). “Buy New Car, Get Tax Break” says one. Another touts a big credit for first-time homebuyers. And they advise that people who lost their jobs may (emphasis mine) get help with insurance premiums.

I wonder what the monster banks and insurance firms who got billions in bailouts put on their returns? “Gift from Uncle Sam (giver pays the tax).” When’s the last time anybody gave you a billion dollars?

I lived through the Great Depression as a kid. My father was what we now call a small businessman. He ran a tiny electrical shop, repairing burned-out motors and answering trouble calls from businesses with electrical problems. Unfortunately, he was not much of a businessman. If somebody couldn’t pay, he’d take a dozen eggs, or whatever. As a result, when things got really bad, his business just about went under.

My mother told me later how an anonymous friend left envelopes of cash that got him through. It was no government bailout, but the generosity of a compassionate acquaintance. As far as I know, he never learned the giver’s identity.

There are still plenty of decent folks around doing good deeds because they want to, not because they have to. That’s why I’m confident this current depression/recession will end in the hopefully not-too-distant future with America bouncing back better than ever. But pending that fateful day, I’d better get prepared for the one coming up tomorrow.

Happy 1040, y’all!

P.S. Tomorrow is also the day I start my blog book tour for The Surest Poison. I’ll be at the Book Roast blogsite. Drop by and say hi.


Jean Henry Mead said...

Happy Tax Day, Chester. I'm looking forward to your blog book tour and to reading your new release, Surest Poison.

Chester Campbell said...

Hi, Jean. My e-file went through, so I guess that's a good thing. Yes, the tour is off and running. Tomorrow I'll be at Joanna Campbell Slan's blog, talking about promotion.