In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.
Updated March 10, 2011 at 4:10 p.m.
Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at email@example.com
Find more columns by Palmer here.
Steamboat Springs Dear Internal Revenue Service,
Taxes, taxes, taxes. What else do people think about this time of year? There’s a whole lot of number crunching going on as people pick up the pace to meet this year's April 18 deadline.
I know you are busy processing the returns of organized people who already have filed, so I will keep this brief. I just have two questions and a few suggestions, nothing big. Please do not take offense at anything I am about to write and decide to audit me. The only thing less appealing than an audit is another story about Charlie Sheen. But let’s not go there. He’s already gotten too much ink.
Here are my questions. Do you get any comic relief from the deductions people submit? I read a few examples online that made me laugh. The most cited one was Chesty Love, an exotic dancer who wanted to deduct the cost of enhancing a certain part of her anatomy. She battled your esteemed organization and won. Other victories: a junkyard owner who wrote off the cost of his cats because they help control the rodent population and a couple who deducted the cost of a private plane to get to their vacation home because they didn’t want to fly commercial. And I learned professional bodybuilders can write off the cost of body oil to make their muscles glisten (rest assured, you will not be seeing that on my return this year).
Is it possible to up the fun factor in your organization? Most people are deathly afraid of the IRS and would rather drink the contents of a toilet bowl than face an audit. Just as Angelina Jolie is the goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, couldn’t you find a nice law-abiding celebrity to become the “face” of the IRS? I would not suggest Nicolas Cage, but perhaps Tina Fey? She’d be fun to have around the office.
Now, on to the suggestions. Remember these only are teeny, tiny suggestions for residents of Steamboat Springs.
■ The “S” Deduction: Season Pass, Sorels and Subarus
Residents of Ski Town USA cannot function without these items and should be allowed to deduct the full cost of all three as necessary lifestyle expenses.
■ “Thin Air” Deduction
Oxygen is thinner at altitude; therefore, lungs have to work harder. Any and all receipts for Sherpas to carry our stuff and do heavy lifting should be allowed.
■ “Snow Removal” Deduction
Whether you battle the snow with a snowblower or a shovel or pay a plow service, you should be able to deduct the full cost of snow removal from a residence or commercial property.
■ “Mud Season” Deduction
All locals should be allowed to write off their mud season getaway. It is an essential to maintain sanity and a sunny disposition.
■ “Sporting Equipment” Deduction
Steamboat residents own more sporting equipment per capita than anywhere else on the planet. Tourists depend on locals to talk to them about the latest equipment, so it’s only reasonable to buy the latest and greatest so you can talk intelligently about it on the lift, bike path or local watering hole. Therefore, dear IRS, we should be allowed to deduct the cost of all new sporting equipment.
■ “Duct Tape” Deduction
If you won’t allow the sporting equipment deduction then you have no choice but to allow the duct tape deduction so we can keep our old equipment held together.
■ “Mount Werner” Deduction
Living the dream is expensive, so there should be an automatic cost of living refund of $10,000 per resident.
Thank you for your consideration. Not to worry, I’ll have my taxes in before the 18th.