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How to Throw a Tax Season Party

This article was written as a response to the question:
Income tax season is very stressful. Everyone enjoys a theme party to relieve the stress and take a humorous look at the whole ordeal. Borrowing some events from the depression like food ration coupons and gas tickets make great game prizes. Food should be very inexpensive but plentiful offerings. A punch, koolade, beer on tap, box of wine are great drink options.

April 15th is the deadline for filing state and federal income taxes in the USA. Hopefully you took advantage of some money-saving coupons to online tax services like TurboTax. Perhaps you found tools like a document scanner helpful in organizing your tax receipts and miscellaneous papers. For many this is still a grueling experience if not expensive. What better way to relieve the stress than to throw a tongue-in-cheek Welcome to the Poorhouse Party the next day or following weekend.

Food for this event is simple: a large platter of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and bologna & cheese sandwiches along with a large pot of chicken soup complete with a ladle. An alternative menu can be a pan of steamed hotdogs and a pot of baked beans.

Beverages can be a small beer keg, a water bottle with spigot, a large self serve coffee pot, or a punch bowl of spiked kool aid or lemonade.

Décor is fun and inexpensive. A 2’ wide roll of white craft paper available at sites like CreateForLess or a roll of white wrapping paper cut to fit tables as a runner are made to look like checks to the IRS or Uncle Sam using a large black marker. A few can be refund checks. Photocopy tax forms on assorted pastel paper and hang individually from the ceiling with ribbon or string. If ceilings are low, tax forms can be strung on twine and hung across walls.

Plan fun party games with theme prizes. Tax trivia questions and answers on index cards can range from income tax history to common form questions like amount of standard deduction. Prizes can be coupons printed out from your computer, loaves of bread from the thrift store, candy bars, and canned goods. Door prize can be a food basket. A gasoline gift certificate would be a nice prize for the best tax related story or dance contest. A grocery store gift card can be awarded to the best charades player.

If your party is a large affair or a fund raiser, rent an Uncle Sam costume. Uncle Sam escorts various attendees to the pauper prison brought to him by IRS agents dressed in black. The prisoner must be bailed out by another attendee for a pre-determined minimum bail in an allotted time period. Local celebrity tax evaders bring in the big bucks. Those who post bail are immune to arrest. The pauper prison is created by hanging streamers from ceiling to floor in a square or circular cell. A seat inside can be a castoff toilet, commode, or toilet seat placed on a trashcan or sturdy plastic bucket.

Have guests bring a canned good or nonperishable item as an entrance fee to be donated to the local soup kitchen or food bank. Cash donations will also be accepted as they are used to supply the perishable items.

This is a fun event and just another reason to party hearty.

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