In this comic, Cueball has attempted to train a neural net to prepare his U.S. Tax Return, but it has made several comical errors, purportedly because it was not trained extensively enough.
Could "atomizing" be a pun on "amortizing" as opposed to "itemizing"? 18.104.22.168 17:44, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
I thought 20202 could be a reference to February 2020 in YYYYM format, but the explanation provided is better.Kev (talk) 17:53, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Anyone else want to go out to lunch for wheat clams? Anyone? Okay, I'll just have these to myself... ChessCake (talk) 18:38, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Is "a really friendly pretrained neural net" a reference to a human tax preparer? 22.214.171.124 19:17, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I think "a really friendly pretrained neural net" is a reference to comic 2173.Dromaeosaur (talk) 19:45, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
I laugh a lot at anything to do with Tax Returns. PAYE works well enough for me (not having any particularly complicated incomes and expenditures to argue over, either way) and I'm glad I'm not forced to do several days of such work for the government, each year, in return for a zero or even negative effective hourly rate... 126.96.36.199 23:45, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
- Unfortunately, here in the US, even with withholding from paychecks, the numbers never come out right due to dependents and exemptions, so a tax return is needed. Using a website, mine takes me about a half hour a year. There's nothing like watching the government inaction.
- (Previous unsigned bullet-point from 188.8.131.52 being replied to by 184.108.40.206 again, from somewhere slightly different on the subnet mask.) Given how it seems to be "a thing", all the cultural references about makes your situation sounds like a exception or recent redevelopment of the situation. For me tax codes deal straight with the major fuss. Dependents aren't an issue for me anyway; but while our system has problems, the paperwork itself doesn't seem to be an annual rigmorole to maintain. Still, it seems there's an ocean between me and thee, in several senses, so forgive me my possibly misplaced amusement. 220.127.116.11 23:43, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
- Another way to look at it is as if the tax return software is a gambling video game, with the score being the amount of tax paid or the refund due. The rules change every year so it is a matter of playing with the deductions until you are comfortable with the balance between audit risk and money returned.Seebert (talk) 14:52, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Might the title-text be Randall in this case?
18.104.22.168 16:45, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Randall has trained others to do his taxes before in 1566: Board Game - Currently I am not sure HOW to introduce that to the explanation/Trivia, but wanted to make aware of it. --Lupo (talk) 07:46, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
From a European perspective, the following is unclear: "The deadline for filing tax returns in the United States is April 15, so many people in the US are beginning the process of filing their taxes at the time of this comic's publication.". Why does April 15 mean you have to begin filing now? If I'm gonna bake a cake in two months, I don't have to buy ingredients now, I can do that a couple days before I will bake the cake. Is there another reason that better explains why the comic was made? 22.214.171.124 09:18, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
- The reason many people file earlier than the April 15 deadline is because the amount they paid in taxes throughout the year is more than the amount owed per the tax return, so they will get a refund of part of the amount they paid. If you're getting money back, you're going to file as soon as possible and not wait until April 15. If you have to pay taxes on the return, you will probably wait until the deadline. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 15:17, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
- I understand that. I do the same with my German tax returns: Do them as early as possible, to get some money back. But the april deadline still gives no indication that people should be beginning doing this work on February 7th. Why not on January 1st? The date of the comic is arbitrary and has no relation to the 15th of April in my view. If there is a connection it needs to be explained. --Lupo (talk) 07:37, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
- Employers in the US are normally required to provide summary income and payment forms (Form W-2 and variations of Form 1099, for example) by January 31 of each year. Until the taxpayer has their forms, they can't file their taxes. Copies of the forms are sent to both the government and the taxpayer, and mismatched numbers tend to raise the probability of an audit.126.96.36.199 19:06, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
- That sound much more like a reason to start in early February, than the reason that was given about the deadline being in mid april. However I have already edited that line, so I do not see a need to add this information. Do so however if you feel it would be beneficial to understanding the comic. --Lupo (talk) 07:35, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
The origin of "seitan" meaning "wheat gluten" is interesting - it was purportedly coined Japanese-French writer George Ohsawa using the Sino-Japanese roots sei "raw" and tan "egg", but this term was never used in Japanese. Instead, seitan (せいたん can mean a number of abstract concepts in Japanese depending on context, ranging from "Christmas" to "plain food" to "making charcoal". I've included a little bit of this in the main explanation. Chloroplaster (talk) 11:40, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
- About seitan, couldn't it be a pun about seitan, the Arabic word for devil?
- That seems unlikely. In English, "Satan", which is pronounced fairly similarly to "seitan", is used as a personal name for the devil, so no Arabic-language connection is necessary. Besides, if Cueball had trained his neural net differently, it might have wound up referring to "Satan local income tax" instead of "seitan local income tax" or the correct "state and local income tax", and there would still have been a joke there, but it would have been a different joke than the one Randall actually used. --188.8.131.52 00:41, 15 February 2020 (UTC)