Greek-American Stories: That Time’s a’comin’, Again

December 10, 2018
Phyllis “Kiki” Sembos

When I tell you about ‘that time’, I don’t mean your doctor’s visit, a birthday party or getting your cat to a vet. I mean tax time. Wait! Don’t turn the page! It’s one of those times that comes without fail like death and, yeah, taxes. Everyone has to do it – excepting politicians, drug dealers, homeless and millionaires. If you have trouble with filling out the 1040, Individual Income Tax Return there’s a number on page 3 that you can call. Then, good Luck! I tried it and every time I didn’t understand a line (There’s 79 lines). When someone did pick up, I got, “You again? What is it this time?”

Most times I’m put on hold where I have to listen to music I hate. I believe it is designed to prepare us for when an agent finally answers. I got a violent headache that took the starch out of me.  But, I persevered and I discovered there are certain facts you should be made aware of. So, let me, as a caring friend and citizen, list them for you. But, first, I feel I must impress upon you that if you don’t file your income taxes truthfully, give a false address, or list a dead uncle as dependant, be prepared to wear an orange suit that is completely unbecoming. Then, if you become belligerent and still refuse to own up to your civic duties you could be occupying a cold cell and be introduced to a bunk buddy, Vito (the exterminator) Dejesus.

First, you must always place your current information in the right place at the top of the page, ‘Filing status’. Then, refrain from listing your dog, cat, parrot or goldfish as exemptions. Do not list a business that failed but never existed. They really do check on that. In answering each line, deductions and additions, be aware that the tax examiners have no sense of humor. Neither does Vito. In fact, personnel are chosen for their resemblance to Bela Lagosi, Vincent Price or the Hulk. You must, also, be made aware of the fact that our government needs our money in order to buy certain items like computers, fax machines, cell phones, and other state of the art equipment that would cost us several hundred dollars but for them, millions. You must never, ever ask for proof or receipts for those items! When I had questioned, most politely, about the costs of one of their machines I was told, in a very definite tone, “next question!”

All we are required to do is send in the money. Don’t quibble or try to make a deal.

When I informed the tax examiner I’d called several times before completing the forms and that I might be a little late sending in the cash, he said, “I understand. I’ll just let Vito know you’ll be a little late.” I told you they have no sense of humor.

So, in closing I beg you to try and understand what is required of you. Your duty is to send in that bag of money to help erase the national debt. (A check is very acceptable if, God forbid, it doesn’t bounce). Then, relax because all you have to do is worry about your personal debt – the one the tax examiner has no interest in. If you have any questions or you decide you don’t think you should be responsible for the national debt just ignore the whole thing and call your travel agent and book a trip to any remote village in Uzbekistan. When you get there, tell them I recommended the place. And, say, “Hi,” to my cousin there.


Three newspapers: Apogveumatini and Macedonia (Salonika) and the National Herald (New York) reported on June 20 and July 10, 1936, regarding the detention of Greek prisoners of war some 14 years after the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne in July, 1923.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Woman Fatally Shot while Pushing Stroller on Upper East Side

NEW YORK — A 20-year-old woman was fatally shot Wednesday night while she pushed her infant daughter in a stroller on the Upper East Side, police said.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.