It’s the day before Tax Day: Have you filed your taxes yet? If not, you’re not alone. The Internal Revenue Service says there were as many as 40 million people who had yet to file their tax returns late last week, just before April 15 (which fell on a Saturday this year). Waiting until the last minute, of course, is practically an American pastime: as many as 25% of taxpayers file in the last two weeks before the deadline, according to the IRS.
But U.S. filers are especially late this year, which means that procrastinators will have their work cut out for them this week: The tax deadline for 2017 is tomorrow, April 18, at midnight (Eastern time). With those of you in mind, we thought we’d ease your pain by creating a lighthearted diversion: A true story about Tax Day 2017—set to rhyme.
From the problems plaguing the people who collect your taxes, to the hopes of at least some in Donald Trump’s administration—namely, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin—to make Tax Day better (not only with tax cuts but with other reforms), this poem has everything you need to know, whether you’re settling your tab with the government or expecting an ample refund. Please enjoy, even if you don’t enjoy paying Uncle Sam.
Make Tax Day Great Again
‘Twas right before Tax Day
When the word got around
Changes were coming
A new boss was in town.
But on Wall Street they knew little
Of the troubles the taxmen had
For all its fearsome power
Could the IRS really be this bad?
To make matters worse
People were late to pay
Hoping that Trump
Would make their taxes go away.
Ignorant as he was
Of why it’s still so hard to file,
Mnuchin hoped that Congress
Would help on both sides of the aisle.
Politicians laughed at the banker;
And as the taxmen processed the news,
“We thought you wanted to abolish us!”
They said, “Haven’t you heard of Ted Cruz?”
But the Secretary had a vision
As he surveyed his new domain
And he pledged to pursue a new mission:
To make the IRS Great Again!
But as Tax Day got closer
Some hurdles came to arise
When Trump unfurled his budget
There was another surprise.
Mnuchin did not get his wish
For enough money to hire,
The proposal was just more cuts;
The funding was even more dire.
“No matter,” said Mnuchin
As the IRS begged for deliverance,
As cheap e-filing increases,
“It’ll surely make up for the difference!”
By then the Secretary was on board
With the President’s ambitious plan
None of it would even matter
‘Til tax reform was law of the land.
For filers, there was one small reprieve:
Amid the tax prep rush, a holiday fell between
Meaning this year’s taxes are not due
On their usual deadline of April the 15.
“Take the weekend,” IRS said:
“Tax Day’s the 18th; that’s a Tuesday.
If you needed an extension,
Forget about it, you’re excused, ‘k?”
But a different deadline was looming
In the mind of Steven Mnuchin;
His boss wanted tax cuts by August;
So far there was only confusion.
“I’m going to cut taxes big league,”
Was the promise Donald Trump made:
“Those companies who moved to Europe?
How they will all wish they had stayed!”
“We’ll slash rates for corporations,
For individuals, we’ll whack it,
Americans’ tax’ll be so low,
You won’t even have the same bracket.”
The price of making it happen, though?
It may be the Border Adjustment Tax.
Meanwhile, Americans dreamed of refunds,
The size of bonuses at Goldman Sachs.
That could take a while, Mnuchin knew,
And Trump, after all, kept changing the deal;
One minute he wanted tax reform,
Now he wants Obamacare repeal?
Plus, it had also become harder
To convince some people it was fair
That they had to file their tax returns
When the President’s were God know’s where.
Many people hadn’t paid what they owed;
It became clear there were far too few:
Bitcoin investors who disclosed profits
Numbered a mere eight-hundred-and-two.
Mnuchin had to find the answer
The U.S. can’t afford to lose this bet;
To pay for Trump’s infrastructure plan
The country needs every cent it can get.
Maybe we would collect more money,
The Treasury Secretary mused,
If filing were a bit easier,
The tax laws wouldn’t be so abused!
Finally, the key to fixing the state;
Mnuchin may have discovered the clue:
If you want to make America great,
We’ll also need a better Tax Day too.
For more Fortune poetry, see the week’s news review in haiku.