On Doing Your Taxes When Your Child is Kidnapped

My wife came home from work on a Tuesday, peered into the kitchen, and asked where our Danny was. Not at the neighbors, not in his room, not in the crawlspace again. Danny was gone. She looked at me, and we shared that immediate and indescribable chill of every parent’s worst nightmare: Your son’s been kidnapped, and you don’t know if you can still take him as a tax deduction.

This is a piece of satire posted on The Morning News. I thought it was real at first, but quickly realized it was fake. But! The IRS really does have a section that tells you how to file your taxes if you have a kidnapped child you need to claim as a dependent: “The child must be presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child’s family.” Yikes. This makes my insides hurt.

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