Benjamin Franklin wrote on November 13, 1789, “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Ben F. would find that although much has changed if he were to reappear today—but death and taxes would be all too familiar.
I would like to amend Ben’s quote to “love and taxes,” since the search for love is also a constant.
And I would like to propose that being single should be tax-deductible.
Recently, I met with a kindly-looking gentleman with gray hair, high forehead, and spectacles at that well-known tax firm whose name resembles a nursery school toy. Because of the loss of my house to a divorce-induced short sale several years ago, plus the other peculiarities of my income, he informed me that I would be paying more than the equivalent of six months of take-home pay to cover this year’s tax obligations.
It’s the first and only time in my life when I’ve agreed with Ronald Reagan, who said (or more accurately his speech writer): “The taxpayer—that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.”
If I were only a multinational corporation, Donald Trump, or Mitt Romney with my funds off-shore, safely vacationing on the beach in the Bahamas, I wouldn’t have these problems. At this rate, I’ll never be able to afford to sun bathe my own body in the Bahamas, let alone the offshore funds I wish I had.
I propose that as part of a much-needed and long-awaited tax reform, being single should be a deductible expense.
First, there are the expenses of subscribing to dating sites. The estimate is that each cyber-searching single spends at least $340 a year on online dating. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
There are all those coffee/lattes/Frappuccino’s at coffee dates (described in this blog in detail in The Business of Dating)—certainly an expense for men who are High Flyers or merely gentlemen—not to mention women who are meeting Beverage Scrooges. Yes, Starbucks should be tax-deductible.
There’s the fact that singles use more gas—getting to and from coffee and other dates–while not being able to use the carpool lane. (Unless you give up on love completely, and carry around one of those life size blowup sex dolls).
Singles can’t take advantage of bulk items at Costco and other discount emporiums without organizing their own buying co-op. And just how many rolls of toilet paper/jars of spaghetti sauce/organic rutabagas can you store in your smaller singles dwelling?
Singles end up spending more for entertainment, activities and Meetup fees because staying home means staying home alone. Yes, Meetup should be tax-deductible.
For many singles, their only constant bedmate and companion walks on all fours and sheds (although I have heard some married women claim that their husbands also fit this description). Veterinary bills, pet food, and pet sitters seriously add up. Yes, pets for singles should be tax-deductible.
Singles relentlessly pursue classes, culture, sports, and hobbies—they hike, bike, backpack, go on organized tours, cruises–just so they can make connections, hopefully meet a love interest and/or future partner, and simply not be alone. Yes, après-ski, REI, and Sierra Singles should be tax deductible. In addition, all of the above require special clothing, travel, equipment, and gear. All of which should be tax-deductible.
Less culturally or athletically inclined singles hang out at clubs and neighborhood bars. Yes, drinking alone should be tax-deductible.
Singles gravitate to self-help/self-actualization activities as ducks to water. Tony Robbins, sweat lodges, Goop, and Burning Man should be tax-deductible.
Singles should be allowed to find tax partners so they can file jointly. Relationships could even result—a high-powered attorney may meet a single father with five children in the quest for more deductions–and love ensues. (Are Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan overly—shall we say “mature”—for the film version)?
I can see the birth of a whole new online industry as singles match their compatibility, incomes, and deductions.
As you can see, tax deductions for singles are good for the economy.
Support the American Way of Being Single—singles unite! (And it’s another chance to meet someone). SAWBS volunteers please report to LI.L. Stand up and be counted. Your Country is waiting—Uncle Sam needs you.
BTW, have you ever seen or heard of a Mrs. Uncle Sam?
This is an idea whose time has come.