Monday, May 12, 2008

A Memo from the Office of Steven R. Lawlor, CPA, to Indiana Jones

Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr.
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, California 94118

Dr. Jones,

We are in receipt of your Form 1040 for this past year, and there are several items on your tax return that the Internal Revenue Service would undoubtedly take issue with. These are items that, as your accountant, I would be greatly remiss in not bringing to your attention. While we appreciate your continued use of our qualified tax preparation team and we understand that your financial situation is far from straightforward, we are compelled to make note of the following issues:

  • It is exceedingly difficult for our accounting personnel to review your Form 1040 when it is mailed to us in a leather bound diary and written entirely in Aramaic. We could greatly reduce our administrative overhead if we did not need to staff a team of four cryptologists to decode the various drawings and glyphs on your Form 1040, the vast majority of which have very little bearing on modern tax code. When submitting your tax return next year, please take the time to organize your receipts into useful categories (medical expenses, mortgage interest, business-related expenses, etc.) rather than haphazardly inserting them into your so called “Grail Diary,” and mailing it to us.

  • In order to qualify as a dependent, an individual must be no older than 24 years of age. You have been claiming one “Short Round” as a dependent for 29 consecutive years which, by our math, places him at a minimum of 29 years old. Mr. Round can no longer be claimed as a dependent and must now file his own tax return. As per our numerous previous requests, please provide us with his social security number so that we may begin drawing up the necessary SS-5 paperwork.

  • More documentation is required for the Theft Losses (IRS Tax Section 515) which you are seeking to claim. What exactly is this “Chachapoyan Golden Idol of Fertility?” Does this item have an actual appraised monetary value other than what you state as “supernatural powers of incalculable measure?” Did you file an official police report when it was stolen from you by “that bastard Belloq” whom you make repeated reference to? This is information that would need to be substantiated and reported on your Form 4684 (Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Losses) in order for us to proceed further.

  • While we appreciate the fact that your medical expenses for the past year were minimal, (no small feat for a man of your age), we see no need for you to have written “medical claims not necessary—drank from the goddamned Holy Grail” on your Form 1040.

  • As per your request, we have attempted to contact your university’s personnel department to request a W-2 form and/or a 1099 form listing your gross income for this year. However, when we contacted your university, they claimed to have terminated you several years ago, citing a laundry list of exceedingly subpar coursework, shoddy tenure papers, and poorly attended emeritus lectures. With no formal wage earning statement, are we to assume that your income is derived solely from the interest earned on the sale of your father’s house?

  • We have concerns about your attempt to claim a tax deduction for a mine cart as an Alternative Fuel Vehicle. This “rickety mine cart which seats three” and is “capable of leaping across fiery chasms” that you make reference to may indeed be an alternative means of transport due to the fact that it does not require gasoline, but it nonetheless does not fall under the classification of an Energy Efficient vehicle and is therefore ineligible for a tax credit under IRS Tax Topic 508.

  • The Business-Related Expenses you are seeking to claim also raise several concerns. For example, we question the necessity of you travelling from San Francisco to New York City via a two passenger propeller driven seaplane to present a lecture on the Third Reich to the Anti Defamation League. This mode of travel seems terribly inefficient by modern standards. Furthermore, what was the purpose of commissioning a video editing team to create a montage of your plane flight superimposed with a red line travelling across a map from San Francisco to New York City? Finally, when we contacted the ADL to request supporting documentation for your business trip, they appear to have completely disavowed you due to the fact that your lectures consisted of primarily of standing at a podium brandishing a bullwhip and revolver and stating “Nazis! I hate these guys!”

  • We are in receipt of all the necessary paperwork for you to receive a deduction for your Charitable Contribution of $5,000 to the San Diego Zoo. No word from them yet concerning their willingness to allocate your donation as you requested to “anywhere but the goddamned reptile house.” Additionally, we are not certain how a donation of $2,000 to a mongoose husbandry program in Burma qualifies as a Charitable Contribution—please provide support documentation or we will be required to strike it from your Form 8283.

Dr. Jones, each one of these individual issues which I have detailed could easily lead to an IRS audit if not properly addressed. Rest assured that the IRS has men working on reviewing your tax returns. Top men. Please respond to the concerns which I have enumerated as quickly as possible, as we are already well past the filing deadline. If possible, we’d like to avoid a repeat of last year’s incident when you phoned an IRS auditor and told him to “prepare to meet Kali in Hell.”

Additionally, please note that as we have repeatedly stated in the past, black market antiquities such as the Holy Stones of Shankara do not constitute appropriate payment for our firm’s accounting services. We gladly accept check or money order.

Steven R. Lawlor, CPA, LLC
3900 Geary Boulevard, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, California 94118

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16 comments:

Adam said...

Superb! The minecart as an Alternative Fuel Vehicle kills me. I think his "pro bono" work with 18 year-old co-eds could be worth looking into as well.

Rickey Henderson said...

Technically, he could still claim the minecart as a business expense. The IRS reimburses business related transportation expenses at a rate of 44.6 cents per mile, so all Indy would have to do is calculate the number miles he travelled through the slave mines in India. Additionally, he should also seek reimbursment for the depreciation of the mine cart (worn out brakes) as well as a new pair of shoes.

Harold said...

That is the funniest thing I've read in some time. Awesome.

Haley said...

“medical claims not necessary—drank from the goddamned Holy Grail”

HA! I was just musing about this little pesky plot point the other day, and how it will surely be ignored in the new movie...

Funny, funny stuff.

Mark said...

I will totally see this one. What are you calling it? Indiana Jones and the Audit of Doom?

Great work!

Toasty Joe said...

Methinks Rickey has tipped his hand as to his profession with this post.

Rickey Henderson said...

Actually, believe it or not, Rickey ain't a CPA (if Rickey was, he'd lack the sense of humor required to write an article such as this). Rickey's job involves numbers, but not tax code.

Gregg said...

Brilliant Rickey - and quite impressive for someone without a tax background ... so you say. In any event I freakin loved it. Just remember, casualty and theft losses are governed under code section 1033, not 515. Good work.

Alex said...

I smell a sequel: how about the opening statements made by senior partner Daniel Friedrickson in defense of Niko Bellic, Eastern European immigrant who recently moved to Liberty City??

Suzanne Morris said...

Is it just me, or was the tone of the letter uncomfortably familiar?

A Good Husband said...

Just arrived via the Manival. Absolutely freakin' hilarious. The mine cart and the Holy Grail bit...awesome!

OneCitizenSpeaking said...

Dear Mr. Lawlor,

As the attorney that represents the corporeal entity that owns the entirety and totality of the rights to "Indiana Jones" and all of his worldly and otherworldly artifacts in perpetuity and beyond, we must protest your use of this faux "Indiana Jones" tax letter as a clever viral Internet marketing scheme for your services.

As you must be well aware of the fact that the corpus known as Henry Jones, Jr. or more colloquially as "Junior," AKA Indiana Jones sold us the rights to his earthly, heavenly and otherworldly possessions as well as the exclusive use of his name, signature and likeness; whether in the form of a photo, painting, sketch, or graven idol, we must therefore protest on his behalf.

If you do not cease and desist INSTANTER from any contractually prohibited activities at once, we shall be forced to seek redress in a court of competent jurisdiction as well as summon the high priest of ars legalica AKA the Jeddi Knight Yoda, to invoke a life-threatening incantation to the cosmos that will most assuredly start with a tingling in your right calculator hand.

We shall deal with the disclosure of Mr. Jones' non-public, personal information that is actionable under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act at another time and in another venue.

Please note that we have charged Dr. Jones a tax-deductible total of $25,000 to write this letter. $24,500 for research on the venues pertaining to the prosecution of otherworldly rights in netherworld regions; $450 for the name partner who called this egregious marketing attempt to Dr. Jones' attention and $50 for the paralegal who typed this letter.

Your humble servant,

/s/ the gatekeeper

P.S. FYI, the attached ten pages of numbers are legal citations so don't bothers adding them up and cross-footing the totals.

Please note that this is a parody and the author is not licensed to practice law or provide professional services in this dimension and media.

AmyV said...

ok, that's just frakkin' funny.

Planet Frugal said...

Very funny but I feel compelled to point out that if you are claiming 44.6 per mile for the minecart you don't get to claim depreciation as well. That flat rate is all inclusive, no double dipping, sorry:)

Alice said...

Superb! Sending this on to my dad who does all that mind-numbing form stuff for an actual living. He'll eat this up!

Izellah said...

This is great info to know.