Done! Over!

We think there’s a modern use of “I’m done [with that]”, probably more common among people considerably younger than Dag, amounting to “I’m never going to be involved with that at all, ever again”. Do you know that sense? Is Dagwood meaning it that way – in both places? Since Blondie is taking it the standard way, is anybody doing the Bumsteads’ taxes this year?

That “I’m done” — or at least the second one? — is pretty much equivalent to Cookie’s “I’m really over [it]” here:

26 Comments

  1. Since when does the lead science nerd date the prom queen? This seems to violate standard comics reality.

  2. Good point, SingBill. But maybe Cookie’s science-class crush, now taken over by the prom queen, was not so much the top nerd but some hunkier specimen who happened to be among the back benchers of the science class.

  3. The initial question is not whether he finished the taxes but if he’s finished working on them. When she implies the former, he reiterates what he’s finished with, so to speak.

  4. OK, maybe, … But if he’s just “done working on it” and the taxes aren’t actually “finished” , there is going to be hell to pay, or at least late-filing penalties. And Blondie will have a valid complaint about Dag intentionally misleading her.

  5. I don’t see where Cookie implies the interesting part of science class is a lead nerd. Just someone in the same class as her.

  6. For the taxes, I think Dagwood means “I’m done with it forever” both times – he hasn’t completed this year’s taxes and has decided he is never going to. Blondie thinks the first time he says “done” that he has speedily completed them; only when he repeats it does she realise he means he has started a civil disobedience campaign and intends never to file his taxes, neither now nor never nagain.

  7. narmitaj, thanks, that is how I mostly read it — but could not quite believe, in light of Dagwood’s personality or generally law-abiding history. Yes, he will cheat on Dither Company time-on-task expectations, but I didn’t see him as a defiant tax-refuser. Still, if others are getting this reading, maybe it has merits.

  8. If he just means “Yes, I did it, it’s done, you can stop pestering me about it” then there’s no joke. billman’s explanatino is the only way there’s a joke. Obviously Dagwood can’t literally decide to just never do his taxes, but someone might say in exasperation “I’m done with this” even if they know that they literally can’t be done with it. e.g. “I’m done dealing with Bob, that jerk at work” doesn’t literally mean that I have some plan for getting rid of Bob and never having to see him again. It’s just a statement of exasperation.

    The comic was for April 12th. Clearly it was scheduled to be “topical,” coming out as we were all frantically working to finish our taxes due in a few days, and then they didn’t bother to reschedule it after tax day was postponed.

  9. Is this Geezer Week here on CIDU? This is presumably a new Blondie, but it’s a strip I associate with Chic Young and the 1950s and 1960s. And the previous CIDU posting was from The Heart of Juliet Jones, which as an adolescent I only read for the art (9 Chickweed Lane being many years in the future).

  10. I took it in the sense of ‘I’m done for’, as in, the taxes were messed up and he expects a call from the IRS any day now.

  11. Am I the only one who was creeped out a little by the Cookie gag? I took it to mean she had a crush on the teacher — who is now dating another student.

  12. I’m not sure what the “proper” interpretation of the first BLONDIE strip is, but it resonated with me because I finished doing all of my gathering and adding and note-writing this morning and turned a big wad of tax stuff over to our accountants just three hours ago, so I’M DONE !

    (Until they contact me to say I’m missing Form X-1 and they can’t read my handwriting on the notes and ‘who am I trying to kid listing this’ and so on, but for now I’M DONE.)

  13. Meanwhile the IRS has a million or so 2019 returns that have not yet been processed.

  14. MinorAnnoyance – I’m with you. When I first read this, I thought it was the teacher too, and was going to send this in as a ‘Ewwww’. However, on closer inspection, I figured it must be another student that Cookie’s talking about.

    There is ambiguity here though, for sure. Due to the lack of information, she could easily be referring to the teacher.

  15. I don’t believe that timely filed 2019 original returns have not been processed.

    There were a bunch of Questionable Refund returns (taxpayer amounts don’t match employer amounts) that came to my department, Examination, and were surveyed by us because we didn’t have the time to work them in a timely manner, but Income Verification kept the refunds frozen.

    And we seem to be way behind on amended returns. I just got an amended return that had been filed last May.

  16. Todd: It depends on what “processed” means. It may mean “entered into the system and sent to a department” but to a taxpayer it means “fully processed and the refund sent out.” I know someone who filed in March of 2020 and had his refund frozen. The IRS has not yet sent him the letter they are supposed to send him so that he can take the next step. The IRS won’t even tell him what the problem is. He has to wait to receive the letter the IRS is maybe never going to send out. And according to an article in the Boston Globe (April 25, 2021, Page B6, “The Color of Money” by Michelle Singletary), he is one of 4.7 million taxpayers in that situation, some with 2019 returns and some with 2020.

  17. Robert always says to me “This year let’s file our tax returns before October, please!” Easier to do these days as I am down to a handful of clients.

  18. IRS – oyyyyyyyy!!!

    Yes, IRS has not finished processing 2019 tax returns!

    I have a client (one of my dad’s clients that I “inherited”) who is normally living in Florida for the winter and files his returns on extension in October. In December he contacted me that he had not received his (rather sizeable) tax refund. I told him that I knew IRS was behind and to wait a bit longer, as per their website they were about running far behind in processing.

    In February I started trying to reach IRS. It was not a question of sitting on hold, the problem was much beyond that. At first whenever I called I got a telephone company message that the lines were full and I could not be connected. I tried calling on different days of the week and from when they opened to when they closed for the day. (I learned early on in the pandemic when trying to reach a large company call as late as possible – in the middle of the night if a 24 call line – was able to reach a credit card co at 2 am that I had not been able to reach during the day). No luck.

    There is a place on their website to check for updates about one’s refund – I kept trying and it kept telling me to call – which, as mentioned did not work. I finally managed to get to the point where sometimes I was I getting IRS message telling me their lines were busy and to call back. This actually solved one concern of mine – they had not mailed him the check and it got lost in the mail.

    In April while trying to figure out what to do for the client, I found a taxpayer assistance line – which was intended to help with this problem, but I figured what the heck. It took 2 days of calling them and sitting on hold for only 1/2 hour to talk to someone, who could not really help me with the problem. She did explain to me that IRS was more than 6 months in processing returns and there were even checks (to IRS) sitting more than 6 months unprocessed. What she was able to do for me was to put me into the queue at IRS that I had not been able to get into as the lines were too busy.

    An hour and a half hold later I was able to speak to someone at the main IRS number. Basically she said the same thing – they are that far behind in processing returns due to being short staffed due to employees who are out sick, died, took leave as concerned about coming in during the pandemic and they have not been able to hire enough replacements.

    So every Monday I have been going to the IRS site and checking for his refund. My big concern, (since they had not the mailed the check) was that his return went astray on its way to IRS. I did reassure the client that if there was a problem of some sort other than the backup, we have 3 years from when he filed the returned to straighten it out and get his refund.

    Today (Monday, May 3) over 6 months after he filed his return, when I went to check for his refund it actually shows that his return was received and is being processed!!!

    IRS did start the 2020 filing season (the current one) about a month late to start accepting and processing returns.

    So, yes IRS is really that far behind!

  19. The IRS has had its budget cut in recent years. I wonder why. One thing to note is that auditing a return claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit is generally fairly inexpensive to do. Such a taxpayer typically has one or two W-2’s or 1099’s and that’s it. A wealthy person’s tax return can run to hundreds of pages, requires two or three auditors with CPA-style credentials, and can take months to verify all the items. So if you’re a small-time tax cheat you’re likely to get caught, but if you are screwing the government on a monumental scale you are more than likely to get away with it.

  20. It seems hard to even find a plausible way to cheat on your taxes if all you have are one or two W-2’s or 1099’s. The IRS has those, so presumably they can automatically check by computer whether the input numbers are correct, and whether the math is all correct. I guess you can always claim a bajillion dollars in charitable contributions, but that seems pretty risky.

  21. It seems like a lot of “audits” these days are just letters kicked out by computer when something doesn’t look right. The financial forum I read has people with questions. Usually, if it was done correctly, a response letter to the address given clears it up.

  22. The way you cheat on your taxes if you are a low-income person is to have someone issue you a bogus 1099 or W-2 which shows just enough income to get the maximum Earned Income Tax Credit. This is a refundable credit, which means you can get the money even if your taxable income is zero, which will be the case for people who make less than the standard deduction amount.

    The credit is small if you have no children, and increases if you have 1, 2 or 3 children. It does not increase beyond 3 children.

    If you have no children you can “borrow” a friends’ children, entering their social security numbers. This is why the IRS delays EITC refunds, because they have to check for SSN’s that turn up on multiple returns. There are ways around this such as harvesting SSN’s from deceased children. With earned income of $14,000 and three children you can get a refund of more than $6,000.

    This is enough to make it worthwhile for the IRS to closely examine EITC returns.

  23. Mark in Boston: Thanks for the tips. I already did my taxes this year, but good stuff to try next year. 🙂

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