Monday, April 15, 2013

Timeless Advice on Paying Your Income Taxes

The actor and comedian Jonathan Winters passed away last week, but his advice on paying your income taxes, delivered 50 years ago in the 1963 movie It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, should live forever. Or at least as long as there is an income tax.

"What do you mean tax-free? ... Sure, if we find the money we still have to pay taxes. Otherwise, it's like stealing from the government. ... Everybody has to pay taxes. Even businessmen who rob and cheat and steal from people every day - even they have to pay taxes!"
A lot has changed in the last 50 years, but not death and taxes. The U.S. income tax has moved away from the self-assessment system that was its hallmark. Nowadays more and more third-party reporting is required with each passing year so that everything than can be is verified.

Golf, the last sport where you keep your own score is having it's own identity crisis with the controversy concerning Tiger Woods's scorecard at this year's Masters tournament. One can only look back wistfully at the days when signing your own scorecard was good enough.

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