Nothing Is Certain but Yarn & Taxes

Many of us groan when April 15 approaches and we have to file our taxes. Even if you’re one of the lucky folks who gets a refund, filling out a tax return always involves some anxiety. I think many of us deal with the pressure by fantasizing, complaining, and worrying.

Why can’t you claim your fiber-bearing animals as children?

Will auditors ever discover the $150 someone paid you to knit a dog sweater?

Is it legal to deduct your crafty purchases—say, that set of addi Turbo needles (new set launching in June!) you simply had to have?

Can you consider your craft workspace a home office so it’s a business deduction? What about a home improvement project that includes a solar-powered studio?

Could you deduct all your yarn and fiber purchases if you worked in a yarn shop? (Ask your accountant, but remember that working in a yarn store would expose you to a lot of temptation. That job might actually bring in zero or negative income.)

This year when I calculated my taxes, suddenly the best idea of all slapped me in the butt: What if we could pay income tax and get refunds in yarn! If you’re gonna dream, dream big.

Your Taxes, in Yarn

Here’s how it would work. Say you owe $1,000 in income tax. You dig through your stash, grab the equivalent amount of yarn you don’t want anymore, and ship it off to the IRS. Or if you’re expecting a tax return of $350, you request certain yarns in certain colors. Maybe they can even set up direct deposit. Yes, that means the IRS would suddenly get swamped with lots of acrylic, or single skeins of sock yarn we never got around to knitting up. And the folks getting refunds would want luxury yarns–imagine a sweater’s worth of fine cashmere yarn! I personally can live with these downsides.

This could be you, checking over your stash and figuring out which yarns to send to the IRS! Photo by Getty Images/Hero Images

And we could make this dream even better. Once the IRS and certain state agencies have essentially become yarn clearinghouses, they’ll need knowledgeable staffers to take in yarn payments, assess their value, sort and store incoming yarn, and ship out yarn refunds. Our expertise could (finally) become a valuable skill worth a decent hourly wage, plus benefits, plus a government pension.

Meanwhile, we yarn collectors become popular people–everybody loves the yarn tax lady and requests an audit! All crafters (including those of us who work for the government) regularly clean out our stash so that it contains only the yarns we really want and will actually use. Every citizen now looks forward to calculating taxes and filing returns. April 15 fills the nation with joy.

Just imagine that those bags are filled with stash yarn you no longer want! Illustration by Getty Images/Qvasimodo

A New Yarn Order

Maybe this plan could go global, too. People might embrace yarn as legal tender, instead of cash or debit cards. This could be better than bitcoin! It’s a new yarn order, people! Let’s make it happen.

What stash yarn would you send in? What refund yarn would you want? If we’re going to build moment and get this initiative onto ballots, we’ll need a slogan–Make America Yarn Again? Hope, Yarn, and Change? Stronger (Yarn) Together? Yarn Morning in America? A Shining Yarn Shop on a Hill?

Okay, slogans aren’t my forte, so please suggest better ones in comments.

Happy Yarn Daydreaming!

Header Photo Credit: Photos by Mike Kemp/Getty Images (left) and LightFieldStudios/Getty Images (right)

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