June 13, 2016

A Brief Respite from the April 15 Blues

A Brief Respite from the April 15 Blues

“When it comes to taxes, everyone has an opinion.” So says the IRS, on its website (www.irs.gov).  Believe it or not, the site is not only a virtual superstore of tax information, it is also a humor treasure chest. In addition to tax topics and options to request a copy of your tax transcript or find out about the status of your refund, the IRS website offers a respite from the serious business of taxes.

For those who need inspiration, it offers fascinating articles such as a Brief History of the IRS. Or, how about special pages devoted to children? The Student’s Page – Elementary has a “Fun Activities” section which encourages children to “Get a head start with learning about taxes” and includes an IRS Crossword Puzzle. (FYI, the answer to 3 down (“Filed against your property”) is LIEN. I am not kidding about this.)

My favorite feature, however, is a section entitled “Tax Quotes.” Who knew that the IRS has a sense of humor? The agents I’ve dealt with over the years, most of whom have been very nice people, never impressed me as whimsical.  

Be that as it may, as we hunker down in these cold and bleak days of winter, here is a smattering of some quotes provided courtesy of the humorists at the IRS. (Note: The IRS has a disclaimer on this page which states, “These quotes reflect the opinions of their authors; their inclusion here is not an official IRS endorsement of the sentiments expressed.” Thank you for very much for telling us.) 

“Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.”
 — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice

“I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is – I could be just as proud for half the money.”
 — Arthur Godfrey, entertainer

“No government can exist without taxation. This money must necessarily be levied on the people; and the grand art consists of levying so as not to oppress.”
— Frederick the Great, 18th Century Prussian king

“Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood, but seldom forgotten.” 
— Lord Bramwell, 19th Century English jurist

“The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.”
 — Arthur C. Clarke, author

“Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund.”
 — F. J. Raymond, humorist

“A tax loophole is “something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform.” 
— Russell B. Long, U.S. Senator

“Few of us ever test our powers of deduction, except when filling out an income tax form.” 
— Laurence J. Peter, author

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
 — Albert Einstein, physicist

“Taxation with representation ain’t so hot either.”
 — Gerald Barzan, humorist

“Where there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.” 
— Plato

“Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf.” 
— Will Rogers, humorist

Hope you enjoyed this brief respite from assembling your tax information for your Marcum representative. After April 15th, I will be here all week.