Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Tax humor on television, art imitates life

tax, tv, IRS, tax lawAfter practically living at work during tax season, you’d think that I would be sick of hearing anything tax related outside of work. However, I love it when something tax related pops up in the TV shows I watch. Here is a list of a few comical examples I have seen recently. Bonus points to you if you know or can figure out what TV show each are from.

A fast food restaurant is rebranded as “IRS Burger”. The main character places an order to which he is then informed that he has to fill out “Schedule B” and should have his order in 6 to 8 weeks.

An individual says that he faked his own death about 10 years ago and has been claiming benefits as his own widow ever since.

A pirate is at the post office to mail his tax return. He takes another peek in his envelope and then adds more jewelry from his treasure chest and says he wonders why he plunders at all.

In an effort to save a failing local aquarium, the main characters of a certain TV show convince the owner to apply to be a tax-exempt place of worship. The aquarium is selected for inspection. They put on a convincing enough act to convince the IRS auditor. In a twist of events, the auditor likes it so much that he wants to join. At this point, they need to do an about face to discourage him from joining.

Upon being awoken by the New Year’s fireworks, an individual says “January 1st, time to get started on taxes.” Then while he is preparing his taxes, he pulls out a receipt from “Cash Register Inc.” To which he says is obviously a business expense, but then says “well then again I do enjoy the smell of it. Better not risk it.” He then seals up his envelope, after adding some mints to the package, and rushes to the post office to be there right when it opens (on January 1st).

A main character comes in with an envelope from the IRS. After seeing it wasn’t his tax refund, he claims it is something even better, an “Audi.” When it is pointed out that it actually says “Audit,” he claims that the “t” is silent.

On April 15th, a newscaster is doing a story about last minute filers at the post office. He interviews a few individuals and then smugly brags that he sent his stuff to his accountant months ago and is not a procrastinator like everyone else. Next, we see his accountant holding a messy stack of papers and frantically asks if someone has a calculator.

A family is watching the news broadcast. The father then states that he was smart enough to have paid his taxes a year ago. When it is pointed out that those were last year’s taxes, he goes into a panic and rushes to finish his taxes in time. He asks his wife “how many kids do we have? No time to count, I’ll just estimate. 9!” When his wife starts to correct him, he says “Shut up, Shut up! If I don’t hear you it’s not illegal.” In an effort to claim more deductions, he then takes a painting off the wall and gives it to his wife as a “business gift” and then claims his wife requires 24-hour nursing care, one of his daughters is a clergyman, his son was wounded in Vietnam, and his other daughter is 7 people.

In certain TV show, they are celebrating a fictional holiday called Freedom Day. To which the “President of the Earth” celebrates that instead of paying taxes, they can choose to spend a weekend with the pain monster. To which the pain monster replies “See you April 15th.

A lovable yet clumsy accountant, as part of a service auction, offers to prepare someone’s tax return. He receives no bids.

A small business owner is so stressed out about doing his own taxes, he hires someone else to be his own boss.

A character after discovering that he could deduct medical expenses, says “well if I knew that, I wouldn’t have used that discount surgeon.”

A waitress tells her neighbor of some money she made on the side and then asks if he thinks it could be a full-time business. The neighbor then does a quick mathematical calculation and reveals that it would be a very small amount before taxes. The waitress then says, “well I don’t have to pay taxes on this.” The neighbor then replies, “I think the Internal Revenue Service would strongly disagree.”

A main character is brought into the IRS and confronted on his questionable tax return. The IRS auditor then says: “This government computer can process over nine tax returns per day. Did you really think you could fool it?”

Richard Christensen