Whilst doing my taxes (side note: screw you, TurboTax) I came upon what I like to refer to as “Awesome Adjustments” or “Shit Cool People Deduct.”
Reward from a Crime Hotline? First off, it seems like that shouldn’t even be deducted, because that’s like punishing someone for solving crimes. Secondly, what kinds of rewards are we talking here? Because I know I’d pay a lot more attention to the goings-on around me if I knew that reporting them could potentially make me a millionaire.
Then there are some boring ones, followed by a sort-of-sad-but-still-great EXPLOSION RELIEF FUND. Yes, it’s probably callous of me to think that gas explosions are cool, and if I were in one I’m sure I would feel differently, but I mean come on, if you’re going to need disaster relief isn’t a GIANT FIRE BALL a helluvalot cooler than, say, a flood?
Which brings us to false imprisonment compensation. Is that so common that TurboTax feels the need to specifically call it out as a possibility, instead of just leaving it under some miscellaneous-because-three-people-will-ever-need-this category? And who pays for this shit anyway? If I grab someone off the street and keep him captive in my basement for a week (side note: I do not have anyone captive in my basement, this is a hypothetical case in no way related to the muffled groans coming from beneath my floor boards)do I have to pay him damages? Or does the state make it up to him from some sort of weird fund that’s kept on hand for just such a scenario? And how is that compensation calculated? Emotional damage? Lost salary? All the profits earned from being forced to weave friendship bracelets for twenty hours straight? THESE QUESTIONS NEED ANSWERS, PEOPLE!
And then, as if TurboTax was saving it as a reward for getting halfway through my taxes, it gave me Ottoman Turkish Empire Settlement Payment. You read that right. Ottoman. Fucking Turkish Empire. Settlement Payment.
So many questions I felt compelled to make a list for organization’s sake:
Isn’t that some pre-WWI shit? I thought that whole thing fell apart with Archduke Ferdinand. And which side were we on with that whole thing anyway? I’m pretty sure I got an A in history that year of high school, but all I remember is the phrase “the powder keg of Europe” because I thought it was kind of awesome.
- Is this a payment to members of the old Ottoman Turkish Empire, on behalf of those who destroyed their empire? And if so why doesn’t the British Empire get one of those? I’m pretty sure they were bigger than the Ottoman Empire, even if they did sort of slowly crumble instead of going out in a ball of flames. Maybe that’s the secret to successful empire-death: sudden and extravagant will get you long-term settlements.
- OR is this a payment from the Ottoman Empire to those it dominated during its reign? Does this imply that somewhere there’s a secret fund left over from the Turks, sitting in a bank and making annual settlement payments? Or is there a shadow Ottoman Empire that still exists secretly, and the only evidence of it is in tax adjustments? And either way, what governing body is making them pay this settlement out? And who are they paying them to?
- Either way, how do I know if I should be receiving settlement payments? Maybe my ancestors were Ottoman princes, or conversely slaved under the tyranny of the Turkish yolk. Will TurboTax help me figure out the surely labyrinthine Ottoman Turkish Empire Settlement Payment application process?
And finally, tragically, we reach the end and come up with “Other Adjustments” and I have to wonder what kind of batshit adjustments are falling in the “other” category if explosions and hundred-year-old empire settlements are commonplace enough to earn a specific spot in TurboTax’s world.