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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane

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Did you get it together and file your tax returns on time? If not, you aren't alone. Every year, the IRS is swamped with extension requests ranging from the routine to the bizarre. Sometimes it even publicizes some of the wilder excuses, two of which featured wildlife. Who would have thought "My ocelot ate my tax forms," would work?

Then there was the late filer who claimed he was bitten by a black widow spider while extracting 1040s from his mailbox. Now that's what I call an omen.

Somehow, I managed to beat the deadline by nearly seven hours. I'm even fairly certain I put my New York forms in the state envelope and my IRS forms in the federal one. At least I was reasonably sure of this until I read about the taxpayer who asked for more time after learning he'd left his forms in a film deposit box.

That story immediately filled me with self-doubts ... even though I haven't taken photos in months. Did I really put my filings in the mail? Or did I slip them into a Blockbuster slot? And what about my local library drop?

Maybe I even ... No ... I have to stop this right now, before I begin to panic ... Too late.

I should probably go over my April 17th itinerary. Yeah, right. If I could remember what I did on April 17th, I wouldn't be obsessing over the shoe repair guy. Is he perusing my returns? Is he plotting to raise my rates?

In case you're wondering, I'm way too young for senility. Yet I often catch myself doing peculiar things. Just the other day I accidentally mailed three books.

I didn't even realize what I'd done until I arrived at the library without any books. For a few seconds, I was convinced I left them home.

The only thing that eased my humiliation was the postal clerk's reaction when I told her my plight. She actually said, "Don't worry. Whenever this happens we deliver the books."

Okay, so I'm not the only one, and that does help a bit. But what probably wouldn't help is checking in with my dry cleaner. Even if I did try to launder my tax returns, he surely would have lost them by now.

So I'm just going to assume I did the right thing until I get a delinquency letter ... or a call about an unusual bank machine transaction.

As for the taxpayer who tried to develop his returns, the IRS played hardball and nixed his extension. I sure hope there's nothing incriminating in his photos.

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