Reddit’s r/relationships forum is one of the internet’s favorite soap operas. Posters sum up their angst in a snappy shorthand: “I (22M) have fallen in love with the woman I serve (21F). I left to seek my fortune. But now she thinks I’m dead so she agreed to marry a pompous jerk (30sM). How do I make her love me?” They add a few paragraphs to fill in the gory details, then wait for responses. Clearly none of the readers weighing in are trained therapists, which leads to much hilarity and maybe explains why so much of their advice involves lawyers, guns, and money.
If that sounds like the plot of The Princess Bride, well, that’s because it is. Last month, a particularly clever Twitter user asked her followers to describe their favorite movie written as an r/relationships post. Like, for example: “I (17M) am trying to get my parents (17M, 17F) back together but my mom has the hots for me. TIME SENSITIVE!” The thread went viral, as the cool kids say, and millions enjoyed the joke. “I (42M) am in love with my boss (34F), trapped in a small town reliving the same day over and over. It’s been 10,000 years — how do I make her love me?”
Naturally, this got us wondering, what if we reimagined some of our favorite tax planning challenges as r/relationships threads? Have we discovered comic gold here? Or should we stick with our day jobs? You be the judge!
- I (36F) hired my husband (38M) to work for my business to establish a medical expense reimbursement plan and write off my LASIK surgery as a business expense. That makes ME the boss in a real and legally binding sense, which of course I love. But managing him is a bigger challenge than I expected, and now I have to fire him.
- My wife (42F) and I (39M) rented our home to our business to host an employee offsite retreat. Our dog Walter (7Pug) decided that would be a fine day to drink dirty creek water, and threw up on the office manager’s linen trousers. Do we write off the dry cleaning under “employee benefits” or “maintenance and repairs”?
- My husband (72M) and I (70F) want to wait as long as we can before cracking open our retirement accounts (401k), but the IRS is telling us we have to start taking distributions now or start paying tax on them anyway. How can we use the gifts we make to support our local minister (43M) to help convert those accounts to Roths?
- My wife (26F) and I (26M) left Boston for Memphis to work for a white-shoe tax law firm. But it turns out the firm is a front for the mob, and now the Quaker Oats guy and his creepy albino henchman are chasing me with guns. How do I make the Morolto brothers (64M, 62M) love me?” (Okay, so that’s the plot of The Firm.)
What sort of relationship do you have with the IRS? Is it like the boring guy your mother likes (but you don’t, not really)? Or more like the crazy clingy girl who rocks your world, then keys your car when you break up with her? The planning you do now is the key to that relationship. So call us now before you and your taxes wind up in therapy!