Entry 94: Blockheads

I just saw a commercial for H & R Block in which an older gentleman takes advantage of a free “second look” offer to see if he missed any deductions.

“If I got some unexpected money,” he says, “my wife would want to redo the kitchen.”

This raises four possibilities:

  1. The guy earned approximately $3,578,479.38 and took no deductions, because he must be expecting an awfully large refund.
  2. His wife’s definition of “redo” is dramatically different from ours.
  3. The man is delusional.
  4. The commercial was actually shot in 1957, when you might have been able to redo your kitchen for the price of a typical tax refund, if you could travel into the future to get a typical tax refund from 2012.  I doubt that this is the case, though; from the ancient Cadillac that is shown in this guy’s driveway, and the house that the driveway leads up to, and the guy himself, it doesn’t seem as though he’s been anywhere near 2012.

As it turns out, the fellow ecstatically discovers that the government owes him $1,597.  While I realize that the vast majority of Americans would consider this a major windfall, I would conjecture that the gentleman’s wife is somewhat disappointed, unless she was anticipating remodeling her kitchen with a new sink stopper and some dish towels.  I suppose they could get a new dishwasher with the money, although if his car is any indication, their current dishwasher is him.

I realize that here on the east coast we can have a skewed view of the hopes and aspirations of middle America, and that the new kitchen these people were imagining probably didn’t include beverage centers, 6-burner stoves and an island the size of, well, an actual island, but still…I don’t think you could even reface existing cabinets for $1,500.

Middle America or not, in order to truly redo their kitchen, this couple will have to substantially supplement their refund, possibly with a home improvement loan, the interest of which can then be deducted next year, so they can get another refund, and they can maybe buy a vacation house.

And, by the way, if you were driving an old tank of a Cadillac that gets about 2 miles to the gallon, would the kitchen be the first thing you’d think about if you got a sizable tax refund?

In any case, I think I’d prefer to have my taxes done by an organization with a tighter grip on reality.

Like my accountant, Eddie.

See you soon.

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