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The Almond Tax Returns: A Few Explanatory Notes

Maybe Mitt Romney isn’t ready to explain his tax returns, but author Steve Almond wants to reveal every sordid detail of his own. Pictured: The site of today's "document dump," Boston's Prudential Center. (AP File Photo)
Maybe Mitt Romney isn’t ready to explain his tax returns, but author Steve Almond wants to reveal every sordid detail of his own. Pictured: The site of today's "document dump," Boston's Prudential Center. (AP File Photo)

After months of mounting pressure, I have decided, after consulting with my staff and family and then flipping a coin, to release a dozen years of tax returns. The years in question range from 2000 to 2011, as well as 1981, my first year of formal employment, which I am including for sentimental value.

My intention is to effectuate the release via what is known in political circles as a “document dump.” Specifically, I will be climbing to the very top of the Prudential Center in downtown Boston and dropping the returns over the side of the building at 5 this afternoon.

Reporters will then be free to inspect whatever portions they can locate.

My intention is to make my personal finances—which have been the source of so much malignant speculation—entirely transparent. In the interest of furthering this goal, let me offer a few explanatory notes about the returns.

First, the total taxable income for 2002 was not $26,314 as reported, but $26,764. I neglected to include payment from the trade publication Dank, which was in kind.

Second, the deductions listed on the 2005 return, which totaled $171,058 and resulted in a tax refund in the mid-five figures, should have been listed on Schedule C.

Third, the affidavit included with my 2011 return, concerning a charitable contribution to the End Panhandling at the Intersection Closest to My House campaign, should not have been recorded on the back of a Dunkin Donuts receipt.

Fourth, the two years in which the taxpayer in question is listed as “Erica Jones” rather than “Steve Almond” (2008-2010), should be regarded as a clerical error, as should the use of Ms. Jones’ total income, home address, Social Security number and weight.

Fifth, the total cost of the “elective cosmetic surgery” cited on my 2007 return did not include the pain medication I have taken, on and off, since my surgery, and which I was legally prescribed by my personal physician, Dr. Hiram “Hank” Boodle, whose signature I have never attempted to forge.

Sixth, the total gross income cited in 2001 ($2,514) was, in fact, $25.14. This error was made by my accountant, Marty at H&R Block.

Seventh, and perhaps most regrettable, the Steve Almond Fund for the Prevention of Internet Porn Addiction, while founded with the most noble of intentions, apparently never filed formally as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This was due to a clerical error on the part of my personal assistant, Dolph, who struggles with sleep apnea. Accordingly, all “research expenditures” associated with the fund should be viewed as speculative in nature.

Finally, the signatures attesting to the veracity of all my tax forms (under penalty of felony conviction for perjury) may appear obscured on certain returns. Those are jelly stains.

I am delighted, after so many months of being misrepresented as “secretive” and “evasive” and “possibly no longer in this country,” to have provided these documents. I hope and expect they will put to rest any lingering questions as to my personal integrity.

Further questions should be referred to my accountant, the aforementioned Marty, who is no longer employed by H&R Block and who was, last time I checked, living in a small cardboard domicile outside Davis Square.

This program aired on July 31, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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