Taxes–even Robin Hood isn’t spared

Paying taxes as a writer is a hassle (all those expenses and mileage to keep track of)and also really painful. Taxes don’t get taken out of royalty statements, advances, or school visit payments, so there’s always a big chunk to pay at the end of the year.

Never fun. When you have to pay the check, it becomes real money not just numbers on a paycheck.

Luckily my husband, Techno Bob, patiently pours over the tax code–which by the way is so thick it could be used as a step stool. Also it’s written in legalize a language about as coherent as computer code.

But at least the good folks at the IRS have a sense of humor. I mean they had to be joking when they defined income to report.

They wrote–and this is a direct quote: “If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.”

Do you suppose a lot of criminals are going, “Oh, Dang I guess I have to report those stolen cars after all . . .”

Sorry Robin Hood, but you owe a lot of taxes.


  1. Sarah M Eden
    April 13, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Good thing I returned all the loot from my last heist on December 31st. If I’d left that as a New Year’s resolution… There goes the tax return!!

  2. Weston Elliott
    April 14, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Yeah, you know someone was giggling when they typed that.

    “Let’s see how long it takes anyone to see that!” snicker, chuckle, snort.

  3. Windsong
    April 14, 2009 at 4:45 am

    *blinks in bewilderment*

    Well, I suppose it makes a lot of sense when one considers the context and the organization. 😉

  4. Laura Moffitt
    April 14, 2009 at 7:34 am

    That is incredible! Shouldn’t that be discouraged in general so is it necessary to have that in there? But maybe they have caught some dumb crocks this way.

  5. Valerie Ipson
    April 14, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Too funny!

    Good point, Laura, about the dumb crooks…do you think any of them call the IRS and ask, “What line do I list my stolen property? I don’t see it on the form.” :0

  6. azang
    April 14, 2009 at 8:31 am

    That is amazing and only adds to my frustration with the inequality of gov and rules.

  7. JaredNGarrett
    April 14, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Perfect! I love that and am not surprised it’s there.

  8. Krista Darrach
    April 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    That is hillarious. No one is exempt…
    Thank goodness for a sense of humor!

  9. Anonymous
    April 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    OMG!!! I JUST Read “Just One Wish” I really like it!! the ending made me so sad, but i feel horrible..i never cry when i read books. 🙁

  10. Janette Rallison
    April 14, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    You can just imagine how it was for me to write it and then have to go through it all of those times editing. I cried every single time.

    Note to people who haven’t read Just One Wish–it’s a romantic comedy, really.

  11. Anji Sandage
    April 16, 2009 at 1:20 am

    Maybe the dumb crook who stole my $2000 camera will file his taxes soon. LOL Maybe I should mention it to the judge.

  12. Kathi Oram Peterson
    April 16, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Hmmm. No wonder there’s so much tax fault. All along it was the robbers not reporting.

  13. Time to Blog It Up!
    April 16, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    I loved your book, My fair Godmother. It was so fun and delightful to read. In fact I think it would make a really cute movie, any plans to do that? Thanks for writing books that my family can all read. Tamee (I hope you don’t mind me commenting)

  14. Kimberly
    April 16, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I have this strange feeling that it probably wasn’t a joke…

  15. Janette Rallison
    April 16, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    The movie rights for My Fair Godmother have been optioned by the same producer that did Princess Diaries and Sky High. So I am crossing my fingers that it will make it to the theaters.

  16. Julie Wright
    April 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Do you think the thieves who stole my I Pod touch are paying taxes on that theft? It might make me feel better if I thought they were . . . The moral of that story is never ever ever pack stuff in your luggage and think that the airport security guys who check your luggage to prove you aren’t a terrorist are honest because they aren’t.

  17. Janette Rallison
    April 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm


  18. Devon M.
    April 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    You are by far my favorite writer! However, I can not find any of your books any of your books. I’ve gone on every website of book stores that are near my house and they don’t have one of them! Even my public library doesn’t have them. If you have any extra copies for me, I was wondering if I could have one and if not I totally understand.

  19. Janette Rallison
    April 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Devon,
    I’m glad you like my books. Generally if you tell your librarian that you want to read my books, she’ll order them for the library. Also, always has them in stock so you can get them there too.

  20. kalea_kane
    April 20, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Wow! Who would expect that kind of detail from the IRS! Priceless!

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