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20 Great Tax Quotes

By Morgan Housel - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:40PM

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A little humor on tax day.

As part of tax day, here are 20 famous quips, complaints, and perspectives on the nation's tax code. 

1. "This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher." -- Albert Einstein, on his tax returns

2. "The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets." -- Will Rogers

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

4. "How much money did you make last year? Mail it in." -- Proposed simplified tax form, Stanton Delaplane

5. "What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin." --Mark Twain

6. "I want to begin by saying we have had good experience with the Internal Revenue Service; it's the Internal Revenue Code that doesn't work." -- Brian Gloe

7. "Tax reform means, 'Don't tax you, don't tax me. Tax that fellow behind the tree.'" -- Russell Long

8. "Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21" -- Actual IRS tax form

9. "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always rely on the support of Paul." -- George Bernard Shaw

10. "The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." -- Will Rogers

11. "I think the idea that the hedge fund manager gets lower taxes than the taxi driver or the physics professor is insane. The legislators who leave that policy in place are derelict in their duties to be rational and fair. There are plenty of them in both political parties. It's totally outrageous." -- Charlie Munger

12. "The only thing that hurts more than paying an income tax is not having to pay an income tax." -- Thomas Dewar

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

14. "Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today." -- Herman Wouk

15. "Congress can raise taxes because it can persuade a sizable fraction of the populace that somebody else will pay." -- Milton Friedman

16. "We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." -- Winston Churchill

17. "There may be liberty and justice for all, but there are tax breaks only for some." -- Martin Sullivan

18. "I think of lotteries as a tax on the mathematically challenged." -- Roger Jones

19. "The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison wall." -- Denis Healey

20. "In 2009, [Greek] tax collection disintegrated, because it was an election year. ... The first thing a government does in an election year is to pull the tax collectors off the streets." -- George Papaconstantinou, former Greek minister of finance 

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