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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:

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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.

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