By Gawain Hollowe, Arithmetician-in-Exile
Hail, friends of The Realm! Alas, the Feast of Fools has cometh and goneth, which means that Tax Season circles once more o’er our heads.
While Tax-related stress is verily the second-leading killer of middle-aged (18-24) commoners behind manticore maulings, there is nevertheless goode news:
Tax Season does not have to mean an early grave!
There are resources available to help you navigate this oft-complicated process, even if you have waited until the last minute to prepare for “The King’s Reckoning,” as they call it.
To help you survive April 15 with your sanity (and perhaps even a few shillings!) intact, I have assembled this list of “Last Minute” Tax Advice gleaned from my career as a Royal Arithmetician — and more recently, Arithmetician-in-Exile.
Mayhap my humble recommendations shall save you time, tears, and money this Tax Season!
DISCLAIMER: Gawain Hollowe & Fellowes, A.G., is no longer recognized by The King as a sanctioned Arithmetic Guild. In the unfortunate event of reader imprisonment, dismemberment, or death as a result of heeding the below advice, Gawain Hollowe & Fellowes, A.G. may not be held financially, legally, or theologically responsible for aforementioned damages.
1. Request an Extension
If you have utterly run out of time to prepare thy accounts, your best option may be to request an extension. Simply ask the Royal Tax Collectors, “May I please request an extension?”
The Goode: Survey data shows that nine-of-ten times, Tax Collectors will oblige requests for extension. This is great news for the late filers out there!
The Badde: After your extension, your wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles will all be painfully dislocated. But take heart, Ye Olde Extension Device is not fatal, as some claim! Also, you will still need to pay taxes at a future date.
2. Choose an Advantageous Filing Status
If you forgo the extension and decide to file, check your filing status! The 1223 Tax Code permits you to file as Single (S), Married (M), or Married-but-Spouse-Taken-by-Trolls (MSTT).
The Goode: Filing as MSTT qualifies you for the King’s Empathy Credit, which can halve your tax responsibility! Also, troll abductions are notoriously difficult for Royal Auditors to verify – so consider filing as MSTT even if your spouse is safe at home. You can always file a SEFT form later on (Spouse Escaped from Trolls).
The Badde: If you are caught abusing the MSTT filing status, you will of course be bound, gagged, and handed over to trolls yourself. Always weigh the risks as you make tax decisions!
3. Disclose (or Dispose) All Movable Property
Remember: carts, carriages, and horses are now taxable as Movable Property under the revised 1223 Code. The only exceptions are knight’s horses and carts carrying communion wine. But if you’re reading this article, you are not a knight or a cleric, are you?
The Goode: One effective strategy for minimizing the Movable Property tax is to take all your movable property into a field and burn it. They cannot tax what they cannot find.
The Badde: There is always a danger of setting one’s own clothing ablaze whilst burning property to avoid tax liabilities. Kindle thy flames carefully.
4. Claim Your Goats as Dependents
The 1223 Tax Code, as in 1222, allows you to claim as dependents: “… All manner of babes, children, kids, and younglings who rely on thee for sustenance” (Section IV: III).
Fortunately for you, the 1223 edition of Ye Royal Dictionary defines “kid” as both: “a human child” and “a young goat.” Until the Royal Auditors close this linguistic loophole, we highly advise rounding up every goat in sight and claiming them as your dependents.
The Goode: Per the Code, each dependent you claim reduces your tax debt by one shilling.
The Badde: Unless you amass an army of goats, the shilling-per-goat deduction is not very profitable. On the other hand, your newfound beasts can provide quite delicious nutrition.
5. Don’t Skip the Health Verification
The revised Tax Code now requires all Realm subjects to complete a Health Verification statement. Do not skip this section, as the penalty can be quite high! Remember, the correct answer is: “No, I do not have The Plague and my family does not have The Plague and no one in this town has The Plague.”
The Goode: Completing this section correctly will help The Realm move one household closer to Vision Zero 1223 – our Publick Health goal for a Plague-free Kingdom!
The Badde: Be warned. The slightest cough or sniffle during your Tax Collection, even if it is just Hay Fever, will result in your immediate, permanent exile to the Bog of Mortal Suffering.
6. Declare Charitable Contributions
Remember, The King rewards subjects who, echoing His Majesty’s Own Benevolence, charitably assist their neighbors in The Realm. Be sure to declare such contributions when filing!
The Goode: The current Tax Code lacks standard, defining parameters for “charitable contributions.” Unofficially, this means that cheerfully “tipping” (note, I do not sayeth “bribing”) one's Tax Collectors counts towards this deduction.
The Badde: The Tax Collection profession, like all professions, doth be filled with a minority of “Do-Goodes” who will not accept “tips” and throw thee in the dungeons for trying. Assess your individual Collector carefully before attempting any “charitable” maneuvers.
7. Undeclared Wealth & Offshore Accounts
Last but hardly least. Have you come into an unexpected fortune you wish to keep private from the rest of thy taxable assets? You may want to consider Offshore Treasure-Stashing, an emerging solution for men and womyn of fortune like yourself.
The Goode: The Screaming Isles are just a short boat-ride from The Realm’s western shores. Once onshore, a man named Sir Cayman will be happy to open an account for you (for a small annual fee). Be discreet during your visit – as you may encounter some famous Merchants, Lords, and even Bishops of The Realm!
The Badde: The waters between The Realm and The Screaming Isles are choppy and well-infested with man-eating sea monsters. Many clients of Sir Cayman do not survive the round trip, and thus never live to enjoy their tax-sheltered treasure-stashes.
A Final Word
The last advice I wish to impart is this – do not worry overmuch about Tax Season. Life is but a short 30 years beneath the heavens. Dost anyone want to spend that time worrying?
And if you simply must worry – then let a certified Arithmetician do it for you! Call upon me anytyme. I’m just over the Kingdom’s Edge!
A Note from Ye Olde Tyme News
We regret to inform readers that, soon after preparing this article, Sir Gawain Hollowe was slain during a fatal manticore mauling near his place of business. His remaining Guild Fellowes are not available for consultation during this difficult tyme.
Rian Casey Cork is the author and host of The Gargoyle, a newsletter and podcast exploring themes of authenticity, creativity, and curiosity. You can read his work at:
At last someone is bringing up the bright side of troll-related spouse deduction.