April 14 2010|05.00 AM UTC

Samantha Eckles

Weird & Wacky Tax Tidbits To Chase Away the April 15 Blues

Category: Personal FinanceTags: , ,

In the spirit of humorist Mark Twain, who once remarked that the only surefire way to distinguish a taxidermist from a tax collector is that the former will let you keep your hide, BillShrink offers a bit of comic relief for those dreading the upcoming tax deadline.

Of course if you qualify for a nice refund, you’ve probably already completed the tax return process, cashed and spent your gift from Uncle Sam. In that case, sit back and gloat. This assemblage of intriguing and even bizarre tax tidbits is for the rest of the nation’s taxpayers who may be praying for a world-ending apocalypse before April 15.

For the rest of us, be sure to read “12 Common Tax Return Mistake To Avoid This Year” and try to find a few things to be grateful for this week:

Be thankful at tax time that you can’t count yourself among the fluctuating ranks of millionaires in the nation. Your chance of being selected for auditing increases in proportion to your declared earnings. The threat of an IRS audit at the million dollar income level is a panic-inducing 1 out of 17.

Appreciate your crappy salary:  If you, like most taxpayers, earn under $100,000 yearly, your risk of being audited is just 1%. A little worse than your odds of being struck by lightning or winning the Powerball lottery but not so bad that you should lose a lot of sleep over it. Sadly that is little comfort to country music and tax outlaw Willie Nelson who not that many years ago owed nearly $17 million in back taxes. And you thought you had it bad!

Grandma is filing electronically: Do you sometimes feel like you’re drowning in paperwork at tax time? All of the tax forms for a single year lined up in a row would circle the globe 60 times over. Not surprising, considering that the federal tax code currently consists of over nine million words. Don’t try to read it all in one sitting! There is some good news forecast for the planet and the forests though because in the next five years e-returns are predicted to surpass the hard copy format.

A 4-month vacation would be terrible for your diet: Ready to take a break from work for a well-deserved rest? Not so quick! As an average American taxpayer, it will take you nearly four months just to work off what you owe in federal taxes.

Just bite down on this leather strap: When it comes to taxes, the good old days really were better. Sure, they might not have had the best anesthetics for surgery but, back in the mid-19th century there was a 40 year period when the government suspended imposition or collection of federal taxes.

At BillShrink, we’re no strangers to big bills and while we may not be able to reduce your taxes or institute a “Tax Freedom Day” (we have a small petition going at the office and hope to replace Groundhog Day as a day of national celebration), we’re dedicated to helping you keep more of your hard-earned money each month. We’ve found more than one billion in savings for Americans with advice on how to cut expenses by finding the best credit card, the best cell phone plan and the cheapest gas.

photo credit: brianjmatis

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan April 14, 2010 at 5:31 am

I have an issue with you calling a refund a “gift from Uncle Sam”. Call it what it is, you giving the government an interest free loan; you are the one giving the gift!


Gene Park May 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm

“Megaton” bonus points for referencing Fallout in your picture. I have the same bobblehead on my desk.


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