There is an advertising campaign currently running on television for a tax preparation company with the theme, “The Year of the You.”
“You had a big year,” the narrator says. “Celebrate all the things you did, and all the things you’re capable of doing. Get your taxes done right with …”
These commercials make it sound like collecting bank statements, adding up receipts and filling out forms is like turning the pages of a scrapbook filled with cherished memories. We all know the process is not that blissful.
Doing your taxes is a way of reviewing your year, but it’s more about numbers than accomplishments. The first step is usually adding up your income. If it was a good year you might conclude, “I didn’t do as bad as I thought I did.” Then the fear that you might owe the government some money starts to creep in.
The next step is to calculate your deductions. As these add up you start thinking that you might actually get some money back. That would be nice.
If you’re lucky, the bottom line is close to even. This realization inspired a Hi and Lois Sunday page in 2008.
Since most Americans have to file a tax return, it is an experience we all share. Almost every year, we feature either a Hi and Lois Sunday page or a daily strip on the theme of taxes around the April 15th deadline.
In today’s Sunday page, Hi is complaining about all the work that is required to complete his tax return. It’s bad enough that he has to pay the government a large chunk of the money he earned. Being legally obligated to fill out the forms himself or pay someone to do it for him is like adding insult to injury.
Lois reminds Hi that it could be worse. This causes him to conjure up a scene from the Dark Ages when tax collectors would come knocking at the doors of peasants to demand the King’s ransom. Maybe we don’t have it so bad after all.
We hope all of our readers finish their taxes on time.
– Brian Walker