I'm thinking of sending a letter of protest to the Internal Revenue Service. Of course, it's too late for officials to do anything now about the wording in our 2012 forms; probably everyone's 1040 filled-out return and check are already in the mail.
But my letter might persuade the IRS to change its policies on the ones we'll be sending in a year from now.
My specific protest concerns the "Exemptions" section (specifically the lines beneath 6c to be filled in), which presently limits "living-dependents" to humans only.
Surely there are plenty more of us out here who think dependents should also apply to non-humans.
For example, a couple of nearby friends provide bed and board for three cats, two hamsters, one gerbil, three goldfish and a pair of turtles, plus the two of them.
But can my friends write "13" in the box where exemptions numbers are inserted on that 1040 line? No, they're entitled to only "two," the same number my husband and I claim.
I recall when my two sons were still in grade school that a little terrier was part of our family. She was so tiny when she was born, we named her "Mousey." She lived to age 15, so she literally "grew up with the boys." She was smart; when the can-opener whirred, she'd dash to her dish where she'd wait - her marble-like eyes rolling between bowl and pet-food can.
I tell you, Mousey was one dependent dog!
In addition to our terrier, we had other non-human dependents which that should have been income-tax deductible too.
Chipmunks, for one.
The tiny, bright, striped-eyed creatures depended on me to dribble sunflower seeds atop a log in our back yard.
And don't forget the birds; they expect bed-and-breakfast service, too. Ready-made birdhouses. A birdbath near bushes where they can preen their feathers and shake off excess water following a shower bath.
Speaking of birds, you're aware, of course, that some are well-known wards of the United States.
Kill one of these protected species, and you'll receive a hefty fine, plus jail-time, regretting it.
Yet what recompense does our government give any of us for all the above non-human dependents we feed, shelter and give our tax dollars?
So, now you know one part in my letter of protest to the IRS: dependents.
Aside from "dependents" in it, another protest will also deal with "Depreciation" or "Depletion" expenses, which is to be inserted onto another line of the 1040 form. These terms mean I'm allowed to knock off a certain percentage of what I owe - merely because of the aging aspect of my computer, camera and other mechanical equipment.
But, what about me?
Those of us above age 50 will quickly admit we're aging. And depleting. And, especially, depreciating. Fast!
So in my proposed letter of protest to the IRS people, I intend to point out their inconsistencies: 1) Deductions are allowed on the non-human machinery we depend on. But, 2), deductions are not allowed on non-human dependents.
Such reasoning doesn't make much sense to me does it to you?
© Copyright 2013, Isabel Torrey. Torrey, a King City resident, is in her 41st year as a columnist.