Humor Feed

The only thing we Texans take more seriously than our football (high school, college and pro) and politics (equally crazy at local, state and federal levels) is our barbecue. So it's no surprise that two of the three converged in George W. Bush's Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. A handwritten note from W's brother, then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current candidate to follow in his father's and sibling's White House footsteps, alerted Bush 43 of a Georgia barbecue joint's "Dubya's Texas Specials" and the meals' associated tax breaks. "Some people support that tax plan!," Jeb tells his older brother,... Read more →

Rand Paul 'kills' tax code with chainsaw, fire & woodchipper

The hubby and I have a deal. Klutzy Kay doesn't get on a ladder when he's not home and he doesn't use power tools when I'm out of the house. That way we can serve as emergency room drivers for each other if, God forbid, the need ever arises. Our arrangement came to mind when I watched Rand Paul's latest video attempt to boost public awareness of his 14.5 percent flat tax proposal (and punch up his GOP presidential wannabe polling numbers). In the YouTube piece posted by his campaign, Paul uses a variety of methods to, in his words,... Read more →

HBO's John Oliver defends the IRS as April 15 nears
And Grammy winner Michael Bolton serenades the tax agency

Wednesday is Tax Day. Those of us who've yet to file (guilty!) our taxes have until midnight our local time on April 15 to get our returns (and money) to the Internal Revenue Service. That means that these next three days are filled with frustration and anger, much of it directed at the IRS. That's understandable, notes John Oliver, comedian and host of HBO's Last Week Tonight. Dealing with the IRS is a dreaded obligation, says Oliver. "It often functions badly and it combines two of the things that we hate the most in life, someone taking our money and... Read more →

It's the time of year when most folks are on their best behavior. After all, Santa Claus is coming to town and he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! That includes, as every mother's child knows (pardon my mixing of Christmas carols), not using foul language. Some folks, however, can't resist talking a blue streak when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service. It's not just the random cursing we hear each filing season as folks struggle to fill out their annual tax forms. Salty language pops up whenever the IRS asks the... Read more →

Kansas' rapidly diminishing state treasury is about to get a boost from an unlikely and decidedly adult source. The Sunflower State will be getting the money from the auction of thousands of adult novelty items, from lingerie to handcuffs to remote-controlled vibrating thongs. The items, which the Kansas City Star reports are all new and in their original packaging, were seized in July from a company that didn't pay $163,986 in state sales, income and withholding taxes. The Kansas Department of Revenue confiscated the inventory from five adult stores owned by United Outlets, LLC in July. The company, which does... Read more →

UPDATED Sept. 19, 2017 Yo ho, all ye salty sea dogs and scalawags. Just a quick reminder on this annual Talk Like a Pirate Day that ill-gotten gains, including but not limited to pillaged pirate loot, are taxable. I suspect that Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder and 2013 MLB National League MVP, and his crew of sports team buccaneer mascots will escape Internal Revenue Service scrutiny for their plundering of ESPN's lox. But look out all ye other crooks, both landlubbing and on the high seas. Don't try to show your heels to the IRS. It was, after all, the... Read more →

Count me among those who were around for the first Saturday Night Live, or SNL as it's known in this acronym age, show 39 years ago. Also count me among those who firmly believe the original cast (plus Bill Murray a few years later) and quality of their skits were the best ever. Tom Snyder interviews Lorne Michaels and the original SNL cast before the show's debut on Oct. 11, 1975. Don't worry. This isn't going to be a nostalgic geezer stroll down TV Land lane. Although I have fond memories of the original, I also happily acknowledge that some... Read more →

And they're gone. After delaying their annual August recess for a day to complete some politically motivated votes, Representatives and Senators finally cleared out of Washington, D.C., Friday night. They had to, and not just because the country couldn't take much more posturing. It's the law. No kidding. Just following rules: Part 6 of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 deals with Congressional time off. Sec. 132 specificaly states that the House and Senate shall end their sessions "not later than July 31 of each year" or in odd numbered years "from that Friday in August which occurs at least... Read more →

U.S. VP Joe Biden, HBO 'Veep' Selina Meyer hang out

Yeah, I watched the White House Correspondents Dinner last night. I admit it. As well as being a tax geek I'm an unashamed political wonk. You can't spend almost 20 years in Washington, D.C., and not have some of it stick with you even after you leave. And yeah, President Obama was pretty witty, although he still too often tends to be amused at his own jokes. As has come to be expected at the event, the president poked some self-deprecating fun at himself, mostly connected with the botched federal health care exchange opening. Obama also got off some decent... Read more →

John Paul Pinette, the portly comic who is probably most recognized as the carjacking victim who set in motion the trial in the 1998 finale of "Seinfeld," died April 5. If the 50-year-old Malden, Mass., native had followed his original career path, he likely would be working on tax returns today. Pinette earned an accounting degree in 1996 from what is now the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and, according to the New York Times, "embarked on a brief, unhappy career in the field." "I was a very bad accountant," he told the Montreal Gazette in 2006. "I knew the book... Read more →

If you're rushing around this Christmas Eve to finish up your shopping, I hope you find everything you're looking for without too much trouble. And I hope it doesn't cost you as much as the collection of gifts given to a true love in the classic Christmas song The 12 Days of Christmas. Yes, I'm still stuck in a song loop, having just wrapped up the Christmas Tax Tip Tunes feature on the day before the day before Christmas. And while it's not strictly tax-related, the annual PNC Christmas Price Index is always fun. So fun, in fact, that the... Read more →

Sleepy Hollow already was my favorite new show of the fall television season. It's got an incredibly easy-on-the-eyes Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) with a wonderful British accent. Then there's Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), the perceptive deputy sheriff who is starting to believe Crane's tales of time travel and witches and a Hessian soldier he turned into the Headless Horseman. Add in Abbie and Ichabod's chemistry, word that John Noble (aka Fringe's Walter Bishop) is joining the cast as a recurring character and creepy special effects and Fox has done it again. I'm seeing the next Mulder and Scully. And if... Read more →

If you can pull yourself away from that DVR of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl -- Hey, don't be embarrassed; I watch it as often as I can myself. -- it's time on this International Talk Like a Pirate Day to discuss some swashbuckling taxes. Yes, taxes and pirates have many connections. Pirates as tax collection catalyst: Let's start with some early U.S. tax history. Before we broke away from Great Britain, we had relied on that country's vaunted naval force to help protect colonial ships from Barbary Coast pirates. During the Revolution, Benjamin Franklin... Read more →

Happy National Failures Day! Yeah, I have no idea how official this is or who came up with this lame loser unconventional commemoration. But I've seen a couple of comments about it on social media and, as the saying (or television commercial) goes, if it's on the Internet it has to be true. Bonjour! Plus, Fail Blog and its Facebook page are two of my favorite ways to waste time get insight into the myriad ways people do, or don't, accomplish life's tasks. So I'm celebrating Nation Failures Day, inspired by Thomas Edison's wise words: "I haven't failed. I've found... Read more →

In case you missed it last night, The Daily Show took a look at tax reform efforts. And the ol' tax blog got a shout out ... sort of. Click image to view the Aug. 6, 2013, Daily Show episode. John Oliver, who's filling in while regular host Jon Stewart is off making a movie (or maybe not; Oliver says there could be a Jeff Bezos connection to Stewart's absence), puts the show's usual wry spin on the ludicrousness that is our tax code and all things associated with it. Oliver nails the out-of-control Internal Revenue Code itself, the special... Read more →

You know you are a beyond-all-hope tax geek when you see a headline like the one below and immediately think "Why did Buffy hire a ringer to do her taxes and what exactly is a tax ringer?" instead of realizing that the story is using one of the other possible, non-IRS meanings for "taxing." Tax Forum focus: In my defense, it's been a long day. Who can tell me why every road in North Texas is under construction? But, despite road crews' and detours' best efforts, I'm finally settling into my hotel room just outside of lovely Grapevine, Texas, where... Read more →

Donald Duck's debut and pro-taxes effort during WWII

Happy 79th Birthday, Donald Duck! On June 9, 1934, Walt Disney released The Wise Little Hen, in which we were introduced to a duck named Donald. Before long, the easily exasperated duck with the distinctive delivery style was a cartoon star on his own. And within a decade, Donald Duck was making animated films not just for Walt, but also for Sam. Uncle Sam, that is. A ducky tax proponent: During the height of World War II, Disney worked with the War Activities Committee of the Motion Picture Industry to produce an animated short encouraging folks to pay their income... Read more →

Nerd Prom, otherwise known as the White House Correspondents Dinner, showcases D.C.'s lighter side

I'm sure you had your own fun stuff to do Saturday night, so you might have missed the Barry and Coco Show. You probably know the duo better as Barack "Barry" Obamaand Conan "Coco" O'Brien. The president of the United States and the late night TBS comedy show host headlined Washington, D.C.'s annual Nerd Prom, or as it's officially known, the White House Correspondents Dinner. C-SPAN, the cable television outlet that provides coverage of federal government proceedings and other public affairs programs on its three channels, has been covering the dinner since before it was cool. You can check out... Read more →

The Pulitzer Prize winners for 2013 were announced today and I must mention Steve Sack, who took this year's top honors for editorial cartooning. No, it's not because I regularly read the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where Sack has been using his art to put a spin on events since 1981. And it's not because Sack also was a Pulitzer finalist for cartooning in 2004. It's not even because, as the Pulitizer jury put in selecting Sack, he produces a "diverse collection of cartoons, using an original style and clever ideas to drive home his unmistakable point of view." It's because... Read more →

Tax season isn't official until David Letterman welcomes New York City area accountants to his late-night show to read a tax-related Top 10 list. This year's topic, presented Tuesday, April 9, was the Top 10 things you don't want to hear from your accountant. Click image to view the Late Night Top 10 presentation on YouTube. The clip is only 3½ minutes, but if you're a swamped tax preparer and just don't have even that much time to spare right now, here's the list: 10. Take off your clothes and sit on the examining table. (Harvey Tanton) 9. Good news... Read more →