(AUTHOR’S NOTE: The contest is now closed. That said, feel free to keep adding haiku!)
Tax season officially opens on Tuesday. Why not get started with some free tax software – and a whole lot of fun? It’s my mostly annual and wildly popular taxgirl® Tax Haiku!
As with the last few years, the good folks at TaxAct are donating tax preparation software as prizes. This year, they’re giving me fifteen (15) versions of TaxACT Online Deluxe to give away. Features include:

  • Prepare, print & e-file your federal return from any browser on a computer or tablet.
  • Time-saving imports for last year’s return, W-2s, 1099s, investments, K-1s & donations.
  • Tips & strategies in Life Events, TaxTutor Guidance & HealthWatch.
  • Maximize your deduction for donations with Donation Assistant® – includes more than 1,300 audit-backed values.
  • Personalized help every step of the way in the Answer Center, online, email & phone.
  • Save digital copies of tax documents, receipts & photos with your return.
  • Get the status of your e-filed return & IRS refund 24/7 with Tax Return Status, TaxACT’s free app for iOS & Android.
  • Optional state return $8 (reg. $14.99).

To enter, write a tax haiku (俳句). Trust me, it’s easy. Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. The good part? It’s short. Traditional haiku consists of 17 syllables. The English version in a pattern of three 5-7-5. Haiku in English is usually written in three lines, like this:

Hiding funds offshore?
IRS will hunt you down.
Why not come clean now?


No health care this year?
Must cough up tax penalty.
No real cure for that.


IRS audit
Not fun, not cheap, not for weak
Call an attorney.

See? Super easy. And fun – trust me, you’ll get addicted.
You don’t have to be great at it. It doesn’t have to rhyme. It doesn’t have to make me swoon. It just has to be in the 5-7-5 pattern (so being able to count is a plus) and focus on tax. Any kind of tax. Income tax. NIIT. Affordable Care Act. FATCA. Sales tax. Tax reform. It’s all good.
I’ll choose fifteen winners at random from all of the entries on the blog in the comments below, twitter (@taxgirl), Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Tumblr. Be sure and read the rules at the bottom of this post for important details.
Here are some more haiku from years for inspiration:

Taxes due again?
Where are the good deductions?
Phased out – too much dough.

AMT is due
only for the rich, they claim.
Then why do I owe?

Estate tax repeal.
It’s not going to happen.
Empty Treasury.

Section 1-6-2
You allow me to expense
I think I love you.

Senator Baucus,
Will we see tax reform now?
Or in our lifetime?

And my favorite ->

It’s done, Switzerland.
No more banking secrecy.
Now you just have cheese.

It’s no fun if you don’t play along! Give it a whirl. Again, simply use 5 syllables – 7 syllables – 5 syllables. It’s so easy, even a member of Congress can do it!
Don’t forget to read the rules. Remember, I’m a lawyer, I like rules:

  • Entries must be posted in the comments below or social media (more below) by 11:59 a.m. EST on January 20, 2015. That’s Tuesday, early afternoon, in order to accommodate the folks out west and folks who receive my blog via feed.
  • To participate via Twitter, tweet your haiku @taxgirl and use the hashtag #taxhaiku. It is okay to shorten your tweet using tinyurl, bitly, etc. but you must use the hashtag #taxhaiku.
  • To participate via Facebook, post on my taxgirl page.
  • If you’re feeling extremely creative, you can post on YouTube, Pinterest or Tumblr. Make sure if you post on my YouTube channel, Pinterest board or Tumblr page to ping me so that I know it happened.
  • Don’t panic if your comment on Forbes doesn’t show immediately. If it goes to moderation because, for example, you’re new here, the time stamp on your comment is what counts.
  • You can enter as many times – and in as many places – as you like but you must leave a different haiku each time you comment.
  • Email entries or notes directly to my feed are fun but will not count for purposes of the contest.
  • Offensive comments or comments that otherwise violate the comment policy will be deleted and will not be considered valid for purposes of the contest. My mother might be reading. And you know how I feel about my mom reading inappropriate comments.
  • Pingbacks and other links will be disregarded for purposes of the contest.
  • I must be be able to contact you via email or direct message for purposes of awarding prizes. That means you must have a valid email address. I won’t publish your email address but I do need contact information for the winning entry. If you play via social media, make sure I can find you. If I can’t contact you within 48 hours, I’ll choose another winner.
  • I respect your privacy and I will not send you anything unrelated to your entry in this contest.
  • By entering the contest, you agree that I may post any part or all of your submission including your name as a part of the contest announcements or promotions, with the exception of your email address.
  • Prizes are provided directly by TaxAct and are not exchangeable or redeemable for other prizes. Sponsors on the site do not pay for placement and do not receive any compensation for contributions – neither do I! I have no affiliation, paid or otherwise, with TaxAct.
  • If you aren’t allowed to participate in giveaways because of the laws in your state or your age or an agreement you’ve made with your mother, consider this giveaway not applicable to you. In other words: void where prohibited or restricted.
  • Finally, the giveaway is about me, me, me. It’s not affiliated with or endorsed by Forbes. So leave them out of it, okay?

Haiku away.

Last Updated on


Kelly Erb is a tax attorney and tax writer.

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