IRS Quotes, Commentary & Tax Talk

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No one likes paying taxes. Here is a light hearted look at the IRS and tax collection.

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

The more you earn, the less you keep,
And now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to take,
If the tax collector hasn’t got it before I wake.
–Ogden Nash

Indoors or out, no one relaxes
In March, that month of wind and taxes,
The wind will presently disappear,
The taxes last us all the year.
–Ogden Nash

All that happens is, you take your financial records to the IRS office and they put you into a tank filled with giant, stinging leeches. Many taxpayers are pleasantly surprised to find that they die within hours.
–Dave Barry

The average man now lives thirty-one years longer than he did in 1850. He has to in order to get his taxes paid.

Taxpayers everywhere shudder at the mere thought of their tax return triggering the mysteriously unpredictable IRS red flag. Kathryn Glass,
–FOXBusiness, 3-14-08

This past week there was a lot of comment on the IRS spending $41.8 million to send letters to people regarding the tax rebate. The IRS could have saved a great deal of their money, excuse me, our money, if it hired someone to send 130 million e-mails to taxpayers.
– Jeff Mullin,
Enid News, 3-9-08

Forget the concussion. Get out the defibrillator, grandma. That’s correct — our government is spending $41.8 million in taxpayer money to let us know the check is the mail.
– 3-10-08 Everett Herald.

“There are countless better uses for $42 million than a self-congratulatory mailer that gives the president a pat on the back for an idea that wasn’t
even his,” Sen. Charles Schumer said Friday, arguing the IRS could spend the money more effectively to catch tax cheats.
–Statesman Journal 3-10-08

 

“It was a terrible, terrible job: everybody I met was either afraid of me or hated me, and they took ****(profanity) out on me that had nothing to do with me, and I unwound to a horrible day’s work by listening to the Clash’s Clampdown and learning the true meaning of irony. My co-workers were whiny and humorless and unmotivated and their faces seemed drained of blood, and the atmosphere in the office was a lot like the film Office Space, with people going mental over copy machine malfunctions and feeling murderous about their bosses and more than a few employees looking like candidates for full-blown psychotic breaks.”
– Former IRS Revenue Officer Cornel Bonca
Quote appeared March 9, 2006 Writing in the Orange County Weekly

Electronic Filing: With every technological breakthrough, an old-fashioned tradition dies. In this case, we’re losing the tradition of burning the midnight oil: Sweating over a pencil and paper the night of April 15, trying to calculate those deductions, then spilling cold coffee all over the tax return and having to start all over. Whew, aren’t we glad those days are over? In this new, improved era, we can sweat over a computer keyboard and unfamiliar software program the night of April 15, then spill cold coffee into our computer, resulting in a shower of sparks and a small fire.
— Steve Brewer, Albuquerque Tribune Columnist, March 30, 2006

“It’s income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.”
– Dave Barry

The IRS should protect Americans’ privacy, not let it be sold to the highest bidder,. The idea that the IRS could have thought this was not a significant change is simply unbelievable. It shows how distant a bureaucracy can be from people’s lives.” U.S. Rep. Nancy L. Johnson, commenting on the IRS proposal let tax preparers sell taxpayer person tax information to marketers and others.
– New Haven Register 03/27/06

Here’s my proposal, which is based on the TV show Survivor: We put the entire Congress on an island. All the food on this island is locked inside a vault, which can be opened only by an ordinary American taxpayer named Bob. Every day, the congresspersons are given a section of the Tax Code, which they must rewrite so that Bob can understand it. If he can, he lets them eat that day; if he can’t, he doesn’t. Or, he can give them food either way. It doesn’t matter. The main thing is, we never let them off the island.
— Dave Barry

The president named a Tax Advisory Panel. Its mission was to reform and simplify the tax code’s 60,400 pages. Close call, but the Panel solved the problem as usual – by adding pages.
— Jack Markowitz , TRIBUNE-REVIEW, March 27, 2006

Getting a letter from the Internal Revenue Service is often like your dentist saying that you’re facing expensive and painful dental work. It’s never welcome, but it shouldn’t always be a surprise.
— John F. Wasik, author of “The Merchant of Power,” 03/26/06

IRS Motto: “We’ll Answer the Taxpayer Assistance Hotline When You Pry the Coffee Cup From Our Cold, Dead Fingers”
— Dave Barry

Never open an IRS envelope on a Friday. No need to turn the weekend into two more Mondays. Open it on a week day morning. Ruin a work day.
— Jay Cronley , ESPN.com 3-27-07

A businessman entered the IRS offices and asked:
“Could you please give me two weeks of leave? I want to take my family for a vacation.”
“You must be out of your mind,” – said the clerk.
“Why are you asking us for leave?”
“Where else would I go? Aren’t you the ones I work for?”

Your function is to send money to the government, not to understand what the government does with it.
— Dave Barry

Today the Internal Revenue Code constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
— Arlen Specter

April 15 is lurking around the corner, so if you have yet to file your federal tax return, it’s time to set aside a few hours, gather together your financial records, and flee the country.
— Dave Barry

The current tax code is a daily mugging.
— Ronald Reagan

In 1952, Jospeh Nunan., IRS commissioner from 1944-47 was busted for evading taxes. It turned out that Nunan had won an $1,800 bet that Harry Truman would win the presidential election but failed to report his winnings to the IRS.
— Source AOL

“Worried about an IRS audit? Avoid what’s called a red flag. That’s something the IRS always looks for. For example, say you have some money left in your bank account after paying taxes. That’s a red flag.”
— Jay Leno

The owner of a small New York deli, was being questioned by an IRS agent about his tax return. The owner had reported a net profit of $60,000 for the year.
“Why don’t you tax people leave me alone?” the deli owner said. “I work like a dog, everyone in my family helps out, the place is only closed three days a year. And you want to know how I made $60,000?”
“It’s not your income that bothers us,” the agent said. “It’s these business travel deductions of $125,000. You listed ten trips to Israel for you and your wife.”
“Oh, that?” the owner said smiling. “Well…we also deliver.”

“No one wants to get that envelope with Internal Revenue Service in the upper left-hand corner. No good can come of that, usually.”
— Denise Sposato

“The government deficit is the difference between the amount of money the government spends and the amount it has the nerve to collect.”

Congress shall also create a tax code weighing more than the combined poundage of the largest member of the House and the largest member of the Senate, plus a standard musk ox.”
— Dave Barry

A financial planner suggested to a wealthy client that he should invest in a circus. The client expressed great surprise at such an unusual recommendation:
“A circus? Why on earth should I buy into a circus?”
The financial planner replied: “Because of the elephants.”
The client, puzzled even more, then asked: “The elephants? What is the connection between circus elephants and investments?”
The financial planner asked: “Well, do you know much it costs to feed an elephant?”
The client, slightly annoyed, responded: “No, of course I do not know much it costs to feed an elephant.”
The financial planner explained: “Well, neither does the IRS Commissioner.”

We’ll try to cooperate fully with the IRS, because, as citizens, we feel a strong patriotic duty not to go to jail.
–Dave Barry

From an interview of Dave Barry in Reason magazine conducted by Glenn Garvin:
Reason: Do you ever get complaints that you&Mac226;re making people cynical?
Dave Barry: Every now and then, when I write my annual tax column, some ex IRS agent will complain, There you go IRS bashing again. They’re always saying that they’re just doing their job. Someone I know once said, You could get another job.

How is a mugger different from the Internal Revenue Service? Both take your money, but the mugger doesn’t make you fill out forms.
–Jacob Sullum

A woman was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to her and said, “If you kiss me, I&Mac226;ll turn into a handsome prince.” She bent over, picked up the frog and put it in her pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a handsome prince, I will stay with you for one week.” The woman took the frog out of her pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to her pocket. The frog then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a prince, I’ll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want.” Again the woman took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into her pocket. Finally, the frog asked, “What is the matter? I’ve told you I’m a handsome prince, that I&Mac226;ll stay with you and do anything you want. Why won’t you kiss me?” The woman said, “Look, I’m a tax accountant. I don’t have time for a boyfriend, but a talking frog is cool.”
4-12-06 in Reason

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
– New Testament. Nothing has stopped it since then.

It mocks tax equity that wages are reported by a third party to the IRS, but capital gains are not. What’s up with keeping a tighter tax rein on ordinary workers than on the high rollers?
Gerald E. Scorse The Baltimore Chronicle. 2-20-06

The bartender would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze even one more drop of juice out would win the money. Many people had tried over time (weightlifters, longshoremen, etc.) but nobody could do it. One day this scrawny little man came in, wearing thick glasses and a polyester suit, and said in a tiny, squeaky voice, “I’d like to try the bet.” After the laughter had died down, the bartender said OK, grabbed a lemon, and squeezed away. Then he handed the wrinkled remains of the rind to the little man. The crowd’s laughter turned to total silence as the man clenched his fist around the lemon and six drops fell into the glass. As the crowd cheered, the bartender paid the $1000, and asked the little man, “What do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack, a weightlifter, or what?” “No,” the man replied, “I work for the IRS.”

Of all debts men are least willing to pay the taxes. What a satire is this on government! Everywhere they think they get their money’s worth, except for these.
— RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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