Berger’s Burg: The tax man has no pity on those who have to pay

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The Eiffel Tower is the Empire State Building after taxes. — Anonymous

Today is Income Tax Day, the last day to prepare your 1040s. I now ask all you late filers to bow your heads and pay. Remember, everyone has to fill out a 1040, except of course, U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel and half of President Barack Obama’s cabinet.

Incidentally, why is a 1040 called that? Because, weepers, out of every $50 you earn, you keep $10 and the government gets $40. The Internal Revenue Service claims that the tax forms have been simplified. So why is it that only a certified public accountant with a tax law degree and an IQ of 2l5 can figure them out?

Albert Einstein was busy preparing his income tax and it was not going well. After long hesitations and pauses, his wife turned to him and said: “Al, you dummy, adding and subtracting is not that difficult.”

April 15 is the mind-boggling day when millions of Americans test their powers of deduction. If our president truly wanted to abolish poverty, he can do it by simply abolishing the IRS. But, I owe a lot to the IRS — ulcers, nausea and shingles.

Auditor to income-tax filer: “I’m sorry sir, but I can’t accept your ‘ego trip’ as a legitimate expenditure.”

My neighbor’s wife, Lorraine, called the IRS to ask if birth control pills were tax deductible. “Only if they don’t work,” was the reply. One year I declared $75,000 for personal grooming products. They called me down, took one look at me and allowed the deduction.

America is still the land of opportunity: Everybody can become a taxpayer.

An IRS auditor phoned a charity and asked, “Did a Mr. Alex Berger donate $1,000 to your fund last year?” “I don’t know, but I’m quite sure he will.” There was a time when this country did not have an income tax. It was known as the Garden of Eden.

Gloria to Alex: “Stop throwing snowballs at Joe the letter carrier. It’s his job to deliver your 1040 form.”

One of my out-of-town friends asked what I write about in my columns. “Fairy tales, fantasy and jokes.” “Will you prepare my income tax?” he asked. I confess I always lie on my income tax returns — I list myself as the head of the household.

Unshaven Alex to Gloria: “Dear, I’m almost done. Is it April 15 yet?”

One of the great blessings about living in America is that we have complete control over how we pay out taxes. We can choose to pay either by cash, check or money order.

As the tax season faces its last day, did you ever notice that when you put the words “the” and “IRS” together they spell “theirs?” A California man was shocked when three burly IRS agents came to his place of business and demanded he pay what he owed in back taxes since 2006: 4 cents. With penalties and interest, he was assessed $202.35.

Death and taxes are certain, but at least death happens only once.

I make it a point to pay my taxes every year with a smile, but those guys keep asking for money. Why is it that nothing from the IRS ever gets lost in the mail? I have no problem filing my income tax, but I do have trouble paying it.

I saved so much money on taxes last year that Gloria wanted to go to Paris. I wanted to go to a bikini beach in Hawaii and the government wanted to send us to Leavenworth. The IRS is the only enterprise that really knows what to give a person who has everything: an audit.

The government needs our money so badly the president has issued a new regulation: In 2010, it will be illegal for any taxpayer to die.

In 2009, I won an award for humor. It was given to me by the IRS. Taxpayers, take out your calendars and notice how Tax Day and Election Day are deliberately and intentionally set seven months apart. Hmm! When an IRS employee comes to work with an upset stomach and headache, he is immediately transferred to the Audit Section. It is a fact that only two classes of people complain about paying income taxes: men and women.

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

But what does the money I send to the government pay for? Can it be for a new vacuum cleaner in the U.S. Senate building, a can of coffee for the crew on a nuclear submarine and/or a full month of dry-cleaning the robes of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg?

I think it would be far better if my money was used to send me to Las Vegas where the odds are better.

Contact Alex Berger at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com.

Updated 5:54 pm, October 10, 2011
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