Thursday, December 31, 2015

Three Things Thursday

1. I know Spider-Man is popular, but I'm only familiar with newspaper comics Spider-Man. He is an EXTREMELY bad superhero there, and he basically blunders his way through solving every crime. I think it's because the authors are trying to stretch out each story as long as possible. The only way to keep things going is if Spidey screws up a lot.

2. I'm trying to learn tax law, so I can help my wife at her volunteer tax preparation site this next year. I have lots of questions, and it's driving her insane. Apparently, I keep asking questions about complicated things that don't show up until the very END of the book.

For example, there's a chapter on Form 1040 Lines 7-11, which is where you put your taxable income. You do not put your non-taxable income there. So I naturally asked, "Where DO you put your non-taxable income?". The answer seems to be so confusing, it requires a working knowledge of astrophysics.

3. The problem with the tax form materials is that they're written by math people who don't know how to write or organize thoughts in a coherent fashion. The start-of-chapter summaries almost NEVER match up with the end-of-chapter summaries, almost like the author changed their mind about the chapter's topic, halfway through writing it.

For another example, the Obamacare tax chapter is at the very start, before anything else. So newcomers have to learn about Obamacare's special tax penalties, before learning what tax penalties are. Or what tax credits are. Priorities, you know? And this apparently is Lesson 1 of 5, about Obamacare, the other five being located at the end / in another document. Could you maybe put all the Obamacare tax chapters together next time, instead of putting one of the start of the book and the others at the end?

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