Listen up pledges! You should be honored that we’ve selected you, but you haven’t made it in just yet. You wanna be in Sigma Pi? You’ve got to make it through pledge week.

Now, due to last year's unfortunate incident with the university fax machines and mozzarella cheese, our fraternity is no longer permitted to do any initiation activities that could be legally classified as “hazing.” But one little repeated incident doesn’t mean that you're off the hook. No way. This year, you’re going to need to do our taxes. All of our taxes.

What’s that, Tony? You thought that the worst you’d have to do would be to go streaking through the quad, or maybe to do some keg stands? Times have changed, buddy—and we’ve got something way sicker for you. Ever heard of a Form 1099-OID? That’s what I thought, Tony. Grab a calculator and a cup of coffee, and start chugging!

I don’t want to hear complaining from any of you cowards. Especially not you, Crawford. If you want to be a Sigma Pi, you’re going to pick up every Schedule from A to SE and start finding some eligible deductions. Tommy now has two successful online weed startups that operate across multiple jurisdictions, and he owns four tractors. Don’t hog the IRS handbook to yourself—take it and pass.

Alexei, what’s that number doing in Box 2b: Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain? Last time I checked, Tommy here did not recapture any gains from 1250 at any point last year. Just figure out whether that amortized bond requires an extra Schedule B (Form 1040) in accordance with Reg. §1.6045-1(n)(5). But we’re brothers, so we’ll do this together. Let’s get a chant going for Alexei: Read! Read! Read!

Come on, Tony—put that flask away! This is no time for being impaired: I have a part time self-employed business with a home office deduction!

Oh, wow, what a surprise: the sorority sisters of Lambda Rho and Chi Theta Sigma are here to join in the fun. How embarrassing it would be to make a basic accounting mistake around all these beautiful ladies, even though you’ve never made a real income in your short adult life. Scally, come up here and tell these lovely ladies about whether Tommy and I should itemize our deductions. Don’t be afraid: let’s see you destroy that whole pile of 1040s!

Carlos, stop moaning on the floor and get back to figuring out how to classify Glenn’s work as an online thinkfluencer. There’s no W-2 for that, but you can’t just pretend it doesn’t exist—Substack money is still money, and Tommy is going to need a Schedule C just like everyone else.

Pull yourself together, Tony! There’s no crying in Sigma Pi. I don’t care if there’s no math requirement for English majors; if you want to be a Sigma Pi you’ve got to learn how to shotgun some tax forms like a real man. And don’t forget that I pre-paid last year. A Sigma Pi always pre-pays.

Alexei, is that you puking in the snake plant in the corner? We’ve only been at this 15 minutes, and you’re already puking? You’re never going to make it through the weekend. Don’t tell me that Crawford next to you is already passed out; he barely even looked at capital gains, let alone his state return. Tommy, get over here and help me roll Scally over to his side. Did you have some kind of unspecified rental income that you didn’t tell us about? And can someone check on Carlos to make sure he’s still breathing? He hasn’t moved. Glenn, what the hell was in your taxes, anyway? I thought you just wrote a couple times for some random Internet blogs.

Tommy, get rid of all of these IRS documentation forms, quick. Burn them in the bonfire in the yard. And Bethany—if anyone from Lambda Rho or Chi Theta Sigma asks, we were just having a casual dinner when these guys passed out. Must have been food poisoning or something. Nobody was forcing anybody to do their taxes; we’d never do such a thing! Not at Sigma Pi.