My Tax Questionnaire

Honesty always appreciated


As part of our comprehensive tax service, we ask you to fill out this form as thoroughly as possible. Any change in your life, work, family, and habits may have tax implications, and we wish to find the best approach to helping you with your tax responsibilities.


Have you left your job in a huff, insulted and excoriated both your immediate superior and the foul and evil corporation for which you slaved all these long years with minor recompense and unending melodrama, or retired suddenly, willingly or not?


Do you floss on a regular basis, which does not mean once a fortnight after seeing a commercial for floss, but twice a day—what kind of being would expect to ever kiss anyone else or even have a normal conversation with people without flossing upon awakening and after every meal?


Have you purchased any major weaponry, legal or illegal, in the last 12 months? Ceremonial daggers? Karl Ove Knausgård novels?


Have you read any single actual paper or electric book in the last 12 months, including lurid novels? Or, if you happen to be a man, are you the sort of man who pretends to idly look at women’s magazines at the dentist’s office while actually keeping a hawk eye out for lingerie ads? You are, aren’t you? Do you also do this at the doctor’s office? You never actually have picked up Guns & Ammo or The Journal of Eviscerating Elk, have you?


Do you, when you come to a stop sign, actually come to a full and complete stop, or do you slow down, looking both ways carefully for cops, and then gently roll through the stop, rationalizing that you did slow down, which essentially covers the safety issue, and you would have stopped had there been any other vehicles, but not if there was a sneering bicyclist in spandex so tight that he looked like a bright yellow sausage casing, whizzing through his stop sign because he is a bicyclist with a bike that cost more than your car is worth?


Did you father any children in this past tax year? Should they be listed as dependents, or independents? Did you, even briefly, entertain the thought of putting an advertisement in the newspaper, in which you offered your twin sons for sale, noting that they were clean, and run well, and were up to date maintenance-wise, but not mentioning that they were incredibly surly and vulgar, with feet the size of Borneo, and sneakers that have decimated insect populations?


In the last year, did your lovely bride come to her senses, and regard her entire romantic misadventure with you as a long strange dream from which she has finally awakened, and thus decided to become a nun of the Order of Saint Benedict? If not, why not? Use a separate sheet of paper if necessary. Use two, or up to 10. If more than 10 are needed, call the office for assistance.


Have you, in the last year, quietly enjoyed any heavy metal song at all, for any reason? Please think before you answer. Your honesty in this matter is of great assistance in the preparation of your taxes. We strive to be the best—as should you, for a change.

Thank you.

Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

Brian Doyle, an essayist and novelist, died on May 27, 2017. To read Epiphanies, his longtime blog for the Scholar, please go here.


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