Dear Kindly IRS Agent,

Dear Kindly IRS Agent,

I’m writing to present my case for a silent and all-too-common flaw in the U.S. tax code, causing thousands of dollars of misrepresented fiscal reporting and threatening the livelihoods of many a responsible taxpayer: namely, the failure to recognize horses as dependents.

Before you object, allow me to explain.

My horse clearly meets all of the legal tests for dependency.

Dependent Taxpayer Test: All good there. Just because you turned down my offer to pay for my taxes with natural organic fertilizer last year doesn’t change that. I’m still on my own–by the skin of my teeth.

Joint Return Test: He’s definitely unmarried. Despite his overtures to the mares next door.

Citizen or Resident Test: Born in Canada, permanent resident of the U.S. He can confirm–he has no intention of going anywhere on that terrifying monster of a trailer. Check.

Relationship Test: Considering that I pay more for his education than I did for my own, I think we can safely call him my adopted child. If not, see Member of Household.

Age Test: Under age 19: check. Also younger than me, as I have aged prematurely over the course of our relationship.

Residency / Member of Household Test: Mucking, watering, dressing wounds, very occasionally riding, cleaning hooves, soaking feet, repairing blankets…yep, if you tally up all the hours I’ve spent in my second home (a.k.a., “his stall”), he has absolutely lived with me for more than half the year. Just ask my friends and family.


[deep breath]

Moving on.

So, you can see, dear kindly IRS agent, the only barrier between me and an accurate representation of my financial straits is that teensy, tiny word “person.”

Wouldn’t you agree that it’s time for an edit?

One Harried (and One Hairy) Citizen,

Jen (and Court Verdict)

P.S. In lieu of editing the tax code, please revisit the aforementioned offer of alternative payment methods. Craptocurrency is the finance of the future. -J

A Harried Citizen Horse-Owner


Published by Jen

The author of Snark on the Side is not your average run-of-the-millennial generation. Jen is a contradiction in terms: a graceful klutz, a smart blond, a math-savvy English degree-holder, a southern liberal, and an adult amateur equestrian who doesn’t match her saddle pads. Snark on the Side is a work in progress, born out of years of rambling email newsletters and anthropomorphized Christmas letters, small town observations, and the ever-present irony of pursuing a career with a degree in English literature. Thanks for visiting!

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