Taxes Are Hilarious: From Ronald Reagan to Jay Leno

Taxes always make your head hurt but in these fiscally-challenging times, they’re a full-on, shut-the-blinds, I’ve-got-to-lie-down migraine.

You know that expression, “They look at you like you’re a piece of meat” — well today, it’s more like, "They look at you like you’re a bag of money.”

Case in point: An accountant was recently awarded $4.5 million in the first IRS whistleblower award. The man tipped off the Feds that his employer, a financial-services firm, was cheating on its taxes. The tip netted the IRS a cool $20 million in tax revenue. The IRS mailed the man’s lawyer a check for $3.24 million — that’s $4.5 million minus 28 percent in taxes.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

To help ease the pain, here are a bunch of hilarious quotes about taxes:

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

“The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.”
— Will Rogers

“The problem is that you keep thinking about it as your money.”
— IRS auditor

“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

“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

”I just filled out my income tax forms. Who says you can't get killed by a blank?”
— Milton Berle

”I'm spending a year dead for tax reasons.”
— Douglas Adams

“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
— Ronald Reagan

”If you are truly serious about preparing your child for the future, don't teach him to subtract — teach him to deduct.”
— Fran Lebowitz

“If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don’t get wet you can keep.”
— Will Rogers

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

“The taxpayer — that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.”
— Ronald Reagan

“I’m proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money.”
— Arthur Godfrey

“Did you ever notice when you put the words “THE” and “IRS” together, it spells “THEIRS?!”
— Author unknown

“People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.”
— Author unknown

”I love America, but I can't spend the whole year here. I can't afford the taxes.”
— Mick Jagger

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

Shout out to our friend, financial advisor Jerry Lynch, who compiled several of these quotes to help ease his clients’ pain.

Don’t forget: Taxes are due April 18. This year, thanks to a well-timed holiday, taxpayers have an extra three days to get their taxes in.

More on Taxes and Money:



  • Will Ferrell took the Class of 2003 on a wild verbal ride, touching on everything from the Berlin Wall to that guy voted most likely to eat nachos in his car – and even managed to fire an assistant in the process! “You're about to enter into a world filled with hypocrisy and doublespeak, a world in which your limo to the airport is often a half-hour late. In addition to not even being a limo at all; often times it's a Lincoln Towncar. You're about to enter a world where you ask your new assistan

    From business titans like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to celebrities like Stephen Colbert and Bono, here are 12 of the best graduation speeches of all time.

  • Math and science guys (and ladies) crushed it on the best jobs list this year. They are in demand. *HIGH FIVE!*

  • Few things unite us like complaining about our jobs. Think you have one of the worst? Click ahead for the 10 worst jobs for 2014.

  • On the best jobs list, STEM careers dominate—High-five, math and science guys!—and the worst can be summed up in one word: Timber!

Contact Pony Blog

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.