Welcome to Your Taxes: The Board Game! — the game you can’t not play. This brand-new 2020 edition is sure to challenge even the most skilled players.
Objective: The object of the game is to accurately determine how much money you need to pay the government in the previous tax year. The government and your employer already have most of this information, but they can’t just tell you, because then this fun board game wouldn’t exist.
The first player to accurately assess their tax burden gets to be the first to pay their taxes.
Game Components: You’ll need the following game pieces:
Schedule 1 (Form 1040)
Schedule 2 (Form 1040)
Schedule 3 (Form 1040)
Schedule A (Form 1040)
Schedule B (Form 1040)
Schedule C (Form 1040)
Schedule D (Form 1040)
Schedule E (Form 1040)
Schedule EIC (Form 1040)
Schedule F (Form 1040)
Schedule H (Form 1040)
Schedule J (Form 1040)
Schedule R (Form 1040)
Form 2210 AI
Form 8995-A Sch A
Form 8995-A Sch B
Form 8995-A Sch C
Form 8995-A Sch D
Two extra-large six-sided dice
Players roll the dice to begin. The player with the lowest roll plays the role of the IRS. The player with the second lowest roll plays the role of Professional Tax Preparer. All other players are tax filers.
The player with the highest roll goes first. This player begins the game by rummaging through all of her mail for the past year to find anything labeled “Important: Tax Information Enclosed.” The player arranges her income and decides how to divide it up between lines 1-7 on Form 1040.
Players unsure of how to classify their income may take one of two actions: they can either consult the official 6,550 page tax instruction manual (not included in gamebox; sold separately), or they can roll the dice.
If the player rolls a 2 or a 12, she may ask the IRS one yes/no question. For example, a player could ask, “Does my roommate who doesn’t pay rent count as my dependent?” Or “Is my emotional support hamster a qualified business expense?” The IRS must find the appropriate answer in the instruction manual.
If the player rolls a 3 or an 11, they are at risk of being audited. When an audit occurs, the IRS asks a series of rapid-fire personal questions to the player. If the player hesitates at any point, she must throw out all completed tax forms and start the game over.
Not all players who roll a 3 or an 11 will be audited. To determine whether an audit should occur, the IRS looks at the player’s total income from lines 1-7 on Form 1040. If the number is less than 200% of the national poverty line, an audit will commence. If the player’s income is more than $200,000, the IRS has to leave the room and sit outside for the duration of the game.
If the player rolls a 4,5, or 6, she qualifies for a deduction or an exemption, and if the player rolls an 8, 9, or 10, she qualifies for a tax credit. In either case, the player picks a form at random, and then must figure out how it applies to her income. For example, if the player draws Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, the player must find a way to reclassify the broken set of wooden drawers she threw out last year as a contribution to society. If the player draws Form 8906, Distilled Spirits Credit, the player must come to terms with the contents of her liquor cabinet and make the government pay for it. If the player does not have an old set of wooden drawers or a full liquor cabinet, she must throw out all completed tax forms and start the game over.
If the player rolls a 7, she may ask any question to the Professional Tax Preparer. The Professional Tax Preparer looks at the player’s total income from lines 1-7 on Form 1040; if the number is less than 200% of the national poverty line, the Professional Tax Preparer ignores the question. If the player’s income is more than $200,000, the Professional Tax Preparer sits in silence for one hour and then makes up an answer.
A player’s turn ends when she is too fatigued to continue.
Ending the Game
Gameplay continues in this fashion until all players have completed their taxes.
At any point in the game, players have the option to Early File. When a player Early Files, she scribbles down numbers at will as quickly as possible on all forms and schedules, piles them all into an envelope, and runs to the Post Office. The IRS and the Professional Tax Preparer must try to stop the player from leaving the house, using any means necessary. (In the event of a physical altercation, qualified medical expenses are tax-deductible.) If the player returns from the Post Office before the other players have completed the game, she is declared the winner of the game.
When the game is finished, players immediately play the entire game over again at the state level. Gameplay repeats on an annual basis until each player dies, moves to Canada, or becomes wealthy enough to no longer be at risk of being audited by the actual IRS.
Warning: This game is only intended to be played in the United States. Your Taxes: The Board Game! is not available in Europe, Asia, or anywhere else in the industrialized world. Your Taxes! can be played in the Cayman Islands, however, with the special “Investment Fraud” Expansion Pack (sold separately).
Your Taxes: The Board Game! is a registered trademark of Intuit Inc., the makers of Turbo Tax.