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Thread: to help someone with his taxes

  1. #1
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    to help someone with his taxes

    Could anyone please help me translate or understand this sentence?

    "I helped them [his in-laws] with their taxes two years running and even mowed their lawn".

    Does it mean he actually helped them pay their taxes? Or maybe that he helped them file their income tax return?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: to help someone with his taxes

    Probably the latter. He helped them fill out the forms.
    Literally, it could mean he gave them money to pay their taxes with, but that seems less likely since the "help" is equated with a chore (mowing the lawn).

    Edit -
    Wandering J.J. rightly emphasizes that both interpretations are possible. I am only guessing above. The context may clarify it for you, terbal.
    Last edited by aztlaniano; 1st February 2013 at 1:08 PM.
    saludos

  3. #3
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    Re: to help someone with his taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by terbal View Post
    Could anyone please help me translate or understand this sentence?<br>
    <br>
    "I helped them [his in-laws] with their taxes two years running and even mowed their lawn".<br>
    <br>
    Does it mean he actually helped them pay their taxes? Or maybe that he helped them file their income tax return?<br>
    <br>
    Thanks in advance.
    <br>Unfortunately it could mean either. I can't find any way of telling from that one sentence, and don't want to guess.<br>
    <br>

  4. #4
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    Re: to help someone with his taxes

    Perhaps a little deductive reasoning might be in order.

    First, how do we know that they didn't receive a tax refund, so there were no additional taxes to be paid in the first place.

    Second, if there taxes to be paid, it seems to be that that is a bigger cross to bear than mowing their lawn. Yet, he says *even* mowed their lawn, like that was the biggest deal.

    Finally, if you actually paid somebody else's taxes, it seems to me that you would say exactly that, because that is a bigger deal than helping them file their taxes. So to me, helping them with their taxes suggests (very strongly I would argue) means helping them file their tax returns.

    QED(?)
    A man who begins with certainties will end in doubts. A man who begins with doubts will end in certainties.

  5. #5
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    Re: to help someone with his taxes

    I agree with donbeto. The natural interpretation, particularly since it is coupled with mowing a lawn, is that he helped prepare the tax returns.

    Now if he had said, "I helped them out with their taxes," I would take that as paying part or all the taxes for them.

    Sometimes what is not said helps to understand what is said.
    Last edited by RicardoElAbogado; 2nd February 2013 at 7:38 AM. Reason: add a "that"

  6. #6
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    Re: to help someone with his taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by RicardoElAbogado View Post
    Now if he had said, "I helped them out with their taxes," I would take as paying part or all the taxes for them.
    Efectivamente, con "out" se supondría que se trata de ayuda financiera.
    saludos

  7. #7
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    Re: to help someone with his taxes

    Thank you very much for your help.

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