Reading About Taxes Can Be Fun

Reading about taxes doesn’t make you smile very often, but a little known page on IRS.gov offers a variety of historical -- and sometimes humorous -- quotes.

When it comes to taxes, everyone has an opinion. These quotes reflect the opinions of their authors; their inclusion here is not an official IRS endorsement of the sentiments expressed.

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

"The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the very existence of government."
— James Madison, U.S. President

"To tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men."
— Edmund Burke, 18th Century Irish political philosopher and British statesman

“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

“People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women."
— Unknown

"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

You may like these other stories...

Starting in October, the IRS will send warning letters to tax return preparers who appear not to be complying with Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) due diligence requirements.Section 6695(g) of the Internal Revenue Code...
BKD LLP adds Illinois accounting firm Wolf & Co.Springfield, Missouri-based CPA and advisory firm BKD LLP and Chicago-based accounting firm Wolf & Co. have agreed to merge, the firms announced on Monday. Wolf will...
A new government report on Monday found that the IRS may not be completing the required research steps in collecting delinquent taxes before considering the cases “not collectible.”The Treasury Inspector General...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 9In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards.
Oct 15This webinar presents the requirements of AU-C 600, Audits of Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors).
Oct 21Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience’s communication style.
Oct 23Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.