# Unusual tax computation

N

I'm calculating my 2008 itemized deductions and I'm using the Itemized
Deductions Worksheet on page A-10.

On line 9, it says to enter the smaller of line 4 or 8 (let's call
this number X)
On line 10, it says to "Divide line 9 by 1.5". So now, line 10 is two-
thirds of X
On line 11, it says to "Subtract line 10 from line 9" (This would
result in one-third of X)

Wouldn't it have been faster for line 11 to read, "Divide line 9 by 3"
and skip line 10 altogether? There's gotta be a point to the useless
computation, but I haven't figured it out.

W

#### Wallace

I'm calculating my 2008 itemized deductions and I'm using the Itemized
Deductions Worksheet on page A-10.

On line 9, it says to enter the smaller of line 4 or 8 (let's call
this number X)
On line 10, it says to "Divide line 9 by 1.5". So now, line 10 is two-
thirds of X
On line 11, it says to "Subtract line 10 from line 9" (This would
result in one-third of X)

Wouldn't it have been faster for line 11 to read, "Divide line 9 by 3"
and skip line 10 altogether? There's gotta be a point to the useless
computation, but I haven't figured it out.

I think I posted on this or similar foolish math exercise in the past. You
are correct.

The only response I recall that tried to put the form in the best light
possible was something to the effect that as forms change over time, they
like to try to keep the "important" line numbers the same. So, some goofy
math to prevent removal of lines is done. I don't know if that is right or
not, but goofy math leads to goofy errors, and should not be required.