Death Over Taxes

This is my favorite instruction (so far) for this year’s Form 1040 “U.S. Individual Income Tax Return” (regarding Line 33, found on page 30 of the instruction booklet):

If you were age 70½ or older at the end of 2008, you cannot deduct any contributions made to your traditional IRA for 2008 or treat them as nondeductible contributions.

First of all, didn’t most of us stop counting half-ages at around five or six?  Only our government still distinguishes between age 70 and 70½.

Disregarding that, this instruction tells the 70½-year-olds they simultaneously cannot deduct IRA contributions and cannot treat them as nondeductible.  They can’t deduct them, but they can’t say they’re “not deductible.”

Yeah… this will just be our little secret, okay?  We both know you can’t deduct this money, but if anybody asks you just tell them you could have deducted it, but chose not to.

Paraphrasing Galaxy Quest, “Didn’t you guys ever read the booklet?”

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