Best of TaxLetter: Two Cents Worth

Tax guru, Martin Ginsburg (husband of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), at a roundtable on tax simplification: "A famous French finance minister long ago announced that the art of taxation is indistinguishable from the art of plucking a goose. Artistic success rides on extracting the maximum number of feathers with the minimum amount of squawking." (No. 72)

Partial Comments from a client to whom we delivered a tax return on July 4th: "Only an England-lover, a monarchist, a lover of red coated uniforms, an umbrella carrier, a tea-toteler, a Masterpiece Theater watcher would ever forget or, worse yet, pervert this day by delivering a person's government income tax returns on this very day when there are 364 other days of the year for such a delivery!!!!" (No. 74)

WGST Radio talk-show host Neil Boortz started an argument by stating that golfers are not athletes. His definition of an athlete is one engaged in an activity which increases the heartbeat by at least 25%. One caller retorted, "According to your definition, anyone receiving a notice from IRS is an athlete." (No. 58)

A temporary power outage blacked out the Senate Finance Committee hearing on February 4, 1986. Senator Daniel Moynihan (D-NY) called it "a clear example of legislating in the dark." (No. 52)

Sign at Executive Park Amoco: "A dime is really a dollar with all the taxes taken out." (No. 27)

A speaker at the 1981 Georgia Tax Forum tried to regain control of 700 CPA's after having made an obvious mistake concerning the new tax law: "I tell you folks, we should have gone to med school. It's a lot easier than all this." (No. 27)

"Why waste time and money debating about the moment life begins in a fetus? Just ask the IRS when we can start deducting them." -- Letter to the Editor, Atlanta Constitution.

Jerold Cohen, Chief Counsel for IRS, at the Southern States Conference of Certified Public Accountants held at the Atlanta Hilton: "IRS has a force of 1,000 lawyers. Someone once told me that any organization with that many lawyers must be up to no good." (No. 18)

At a White House conference on taxation, presidential inflation adviser Kahn praised the Administration for cutting the paperwork required of business by 15%. "What about the other 85%," he asked, and answered, "We will keep it. Rome was not destroyed in a day." (February 1980)


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Created: March 21, 1996; Last updated: January 26, 2004
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