The title of this piece really ought to be something like: "What to Do If a Horse Eats Your W-2", or possibly, "New Tales for The Internal Revenue Service."
Explanation: This is the time of year when most Americans think about doing their income tax in lieu of going to jail.
People who are due income tax refunds tend to file early, and happily. People who owe Uncle Sam money tend to file later, and be less happy about the whole thing. Most people do the tax thing, even if they don't like it.
There is another group of people who have trouble with the tax forms, or have other reasons for wanting to delay payment. When they get nervous about the tax deadline many of them write the IRS explaining (they hope) why they will be a little late this year.
Every year IRS veterans claim they have heard it all. Every year they hear new ones.
This is the partial text of a letter from a woman who wrote to her ex-employer explaining that she had lost, sort of, her W-2 form. Knowing that the firm would want a good reason for supplying a duplicate, she offered this interesting and detailed explanation:
". . . I moved to a country-fied area. Where I live everybody has large, huge yards, fences, of course: everybody has at least one horse and two dogs . . . My landlady, who lived --
"On returning from the downtown post office with my mail and income tax statement, I had to lay it down on a small table on the back porch to unlock my door. I did.
"I entered said house, checked to make sure everything was okay, returned to the back porch to pick up my mail and income tax statement and lo! and behold! my landlady's horse had stretched her neck over the low fence, leaned over to my back porch, and had eaten up my mail -- every bit of it . . . (I have learned later that this aforesaid horse has broken the fence down, gets out into the street and entered up other neighbors' porches . . .
"Anyway, aforesaid horse ate up my income tax statement. I cannot prepare an income tax return at this moment.
"Won't you please, please be compassionate and mail me a copy of the income tax statement so I can file my tax return?? I would appreciate it very much.
"Aforesaid horse is presently being kept in the landlady's patio pending fixing of the broken fence -- but that does not help my present state of affairs.
"Thank you so much for your help and this is the first time I have ever lost an income tax statement . . . but aforesaid horse ate it."
Names have been deleted to protect the privacy of certain taxpayers, certain landladies and a certain landlady's horse, but it is a true letter. By the way, she has been sent her duplicate W-2 form with a notice not to leave it near long-necked, hungry horses.
Congressional Pay Raises: Rep. Gladys N. Spellman (D-Md.) has introduced legislation that would prohibit a sitting Congress from giving itself a pay raise. She's one of the members who opposed the $12,900 increases that went into effect Feb. 20 for members of Congress.
Spellman's bill would allow congressional salaries to go up, but they would not go into effect until a new Congress took over.
Lonely Are The Brave: Bliss Cummings of the Internal Revenue Service is a brave man indeed. He's running as a candidate for a seat on the Bowie City Council in an election that takes place April 4 just days before the income tax filing deadline. Cummings supporters obviously hope weary taxpayers will think he works for the refund section of the tax-extraction agency.
New Deal Dinner: Veterans of the Roosevelt era plan a March 4th dinner at the Mayflower on the 44th anniversession will be evenly divided between nostalgia for the WPA, OPA CCC, and other bygone programs and a salute to the new Carter administration. Call 296-2264 for details.