Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blogging Smart

A little while ago, I made a post talking about nannies and how challenging it is for working women to pay nanny taxes for a number of reasons. Let's not rehash that discussion.

Anyway, a couple of commenters said that I was "dumb" or "naive" for blogging about this because I could get caught for not paying my nanny taxes. Because obviously if you're writing a post about something, it must be something that affects you directly. If you're writing against the death penalty, you're probably on death row for murder.

But in any case, let's examine this assertion:

I have mentioned several times on this blog that I use full time daycare that costs me about 40K per year. If I were paying a nanny on top of that, I think I'd have to vomit in disgust. But say there's somehow some IRS agent reading my blog who thinks to himself, "Well, this person says she uses a daycare. But she wrote about nanny taxes, so I think she's lying and really using a nanny and skimping on taxes. I'm going to investigate this further."

However, I blog anonymously, so this IRS agent has to use their IRS powers in order to find out my identity. Then maybe they make further investigations and discover that I have been telling the truth about using full time daycare for many years. But, unsatisfied, this agent keeps digging, through the many states I've lived in through my kids' lives, certain that at some point, maybe for just a few months, I employed a nanny that I didn't pay taxes on. And, damn it, they will get me.

If there is any IRS agent out there who would do all this, they probably deserve to be fired for wasting taxpayer money.

So no, I had no concerns about blogging about nanny taxes. Honestly, if I really did have a nanny I wasn't paying taxes on, I'd be more nervous about it. But I don't.

I am, in fact, super careful about what I blog about. In that vein, there are three things you will never see me blog about:

1) Any patient I've seen in the last three years. That's an extra layer of precaution that I take because I can. I privately journaled all through training so I have no shortage of stories about patients I saw long ago. Even if I said it just happened yesterday, I'm making that up. And on top of that, I change all the remotely identifying info. The chance of a patient recognizing himself is essentially zero.

2) Anything negative about a coworker. Really, anything about a coworker, but especially anything negative. That's a really dumb thing to do, and the way a lot of people have been "caught."

3) Anything negative about my daycare. Is my daycare perfect? No, of course not. But you won't hear a peep about it on this blog. Because the thought of a worker discovering the blog and treating my kids badly because of something I said doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility. There are people out there who have less anonymous blogs than mine and still complain about their childcare providers. Big mistake, in my opinion.

Even though I blog anonymously, I try to plan all my entries so that if everyone I know in the whole world saw it, I wouldn't feel ashamed or scared. To me, that's blogging smart.


  1. I started to smile about your ironic statement on the IRS wasting taxpayer money, then I realized you were being serious. Under our current system there are few if any effective checks and balances left on most government agencies including the IRS. Become the target of a minor government official has ruined any number of Americans.

    1. "Become the target of a minor government official has ruined any number of Americans."

      Really, like what private citizen? Baird was prosecuted and was a cheat, and was hardly "ruined."

      I've read that the IRS actually rarely prosecutes anyone but big cases that they are certain to win so they appear more powerful.

    2. People act like the IRS is evil, but we had some tax issues and damn if everyone I worked with wasn't helpful, polite, and respectful! Now, the student loan people are a different story.

  2. The NSA already knows your name, address, SSN, and where your kids go to daycare. If the IRS wants that info, they can ask. Privacy is dead.

    1. As far as I'm concerned, they are welcome to that information. Unless they want to use it to kill me.

  3. I agree with your rules and follow those 3 myself. I don't think I'm anonymous enough about where I live, so I also make it intentionally vague about what kind of medicine I practice.

    How dumb do people think you are? If you are doing something illegal, why would you make a big stink about on a public blog? I'm sure there are dimwit bloggers who would get themselves into those situations, but clearly you are an educated person!

  4. I absolutely love that you tell it like you see and feel it. I can't read any bloggers that apologize for their opinions and back pedal when they are disagreed with. We are two of the same mind.

  5. Just an FYI :)

    There's no anonymous blogging. The IP can be traced in seconds.

    There's also no anonymous commenting, so all those people making nasty comments under "anonymous" could be fairly easily traced and, um, injured. As they should. For whining about "lack of cartoons" and "too much whining."