The Early Show's Dave Price was having a few issues figuring out his own tax forms. So, in search of some guidance, he turned to the students at the Peabody Elementary School in Cambridge, Mass., for their insight into the American taxation system.
Some youngsters read the instructions and translated in plain English what Price needed to do to fill his tax forms.
Instructions: "Remember you must report all wages, salaries and tips even if you do not get a form W-2 from your employer."
Explanation: "You have to file your taxes on April 15. And if you don't, you'll get personalized."
Words of wisdom: "Sometimes people get really angry like my father. He doesn't like to pay taxes a lot because they want to save up money to buy something."
Instructions: "Sign form W-9. You may be requested to sign by the withholding event."
Price's question: "Income. It says wages, salaries, and tips. How much do you think I make?"
Answer: "I would think if you got all of those, you would make about $50 a day, if you worked every day."
Instructions: "Use this worksheet only if you plan to itemize deductions."
Price's question: "So does your mom or dad pay taxes? A lot?"
Answer: "No, on April 15."
Price's question: "What do you think capital gains would be?"
Answer: "Umm gaining the capital, umm the state. I mean, the country's Capitol gaining money.
Clarifying question: "So you're saying that Washington D.C.'s gaining capital."
Instructions: "Other payments include payments made in the course of the requester's trade or business."
Price's question: "How much do you think we pay a year in taxes? How much do you think your parents pay a year in taxes?"
If the instructions point you to "www.irs.gov, what happens if you go there?
Price: "What do I think? They confuse you more, but I don't know."
Price watched a child long on, reading the instructions: "Only if you itemize deductions."
The child's conclusion: "I think it is supposed to help you. But I don't know what the words mean."
Price: "Neither do I."
Child: "I think they send you a phone number, and then, I would call it and tell them what do they mean. That's what I would do."
So the child phones the IRS on Price's behalf, saying, "It's kind of like a prank call, though. Calling the government, I think I'm going to get in trouble!"
Asking the IRS: "How much money do I have to pay the government? Oh. What form am I filing?"
Price answers: "Oh. I think it's the 1040."
On the phone: "1040."
Price's question, as he throws change on the table: "You think that's enough to cover my taxes?"
Price: "No? That's 33 cents!"
Question to IRS: "What do I have to pay taxes on?"
Repeating answer to Price: "I have to make $7,000."
Price's question: "You have to make $7,000? Did you make $7,000 last year?"
Answer: "I only made $20!"
Question to IRS: "Do you know a way for me to make $7,000?"
Repeating answer to Price: "Do you get paid with our tax money?"
Price's answer: "No, the weatherman does not get paid with tax money."
To IRS: "Okay. Bye."
Price to young helper: "You owe me $7,000 for using the phone. I got to pay my taxes."
Child throws head back in despair.
Price's disclaimer: "By the way, In case I'm audited, the kids did the tax work."