The easiest ways to cheat on your taxes, according to The NY Times

NYT illustration by Peter Oumansk.

Our tax system is so flawlessly constructed and fair that I’m cashing out my retirement package from my last job to pay for the obscene amount of freelance taxes I owe this year. That’s how it works, right? Well, either way, if you’ve got yourself a fancy tax person, they’ll tell you the ways to game the system, much like all those rich people who do financial Houdini to get out of paying anything. Last week, the New York Times and those public radio masterminds at Planet Money published a very Brokelyn sounding guide called “What’s the Easiest Way to Cheat on Your Taxes?” that highlights several loopholes you could exploit. Their No. 1 tip might not be exactly useful this year: run your own company so you can write everything off as a business expense. But the rest of the piece helps illuminate the kinds of loopholes people exploit (cosmetic surgery), what looks like a red flag to auditors and other ins and outs of tax frustration. Hint: writing off your travel and entertainment expenses is like putting a bright red AUDIT target on your forehead. Which means I need to go adjust my tax forms immediately.

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