"Caution," warns the official instruction booklet that accompanied your New! Improved! Form 1040 this year. "Only certain tax credits may be applied against the tax on premature or excess distributions from a Keogh (H.R.10) plan.
"Only the credit for the elderly, credit for child care expenses, and the credit for contributions to candidates for public office may be applied against this tax. If you apply any credit it against this tax, reduce the tax (but not below zero) by the amount of such credit and show the computation and identify the credit(s) on a separate statement."
This year, the Congress has given us bold and imaginative tax reforms on a scale hitherto thought impossible of achievement. To understand the simple instructions, all one needs is 10 years of experience as a certified public accountant and the help of a Philadelphia lawyer.
Only in America, on Capitol HIll - Incongruous Assembled - could such organized lunacy be approved and then annually "reformed" into something worse. On Page 11 this year you will find this language:
"If any of the above applies and your itemized deductions on Schedule A, line 39, are less than the amount on Schedule A, line 40, you must complete Part II of Schedule TC, Tax Computation Schedule.
"Enter the amount from Schedule TC, Part II, line 5M on Form 1040, line 34. Do not make an entry on Form 1040, line 33 and disregard the instructions on line 34. Line 34 is your Tax Table income. If (b) applies, check the box under line 33 on Form 1040."
Hower, if (c) applies and you go bananas before you finish Form 1040, you may under certain circumstances be eligible for psychiatric care except for U.S. citizens living abroad, resident aliens, married taxpayers not living with their partners, fiduciaries or ground rents, to say nothing of gambling losses, but only up to the amount you won and reported on Form 1040, line 20, but in no case less than zero except for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child.
A congressman who votes "aye" on such a tax law and then must hire somebody who knows how to comply with it to make out his own tax return ought to hang his head in shame.