This educational report on income tax sponsored by H&R Black and by viewers like you.
“Fuck! I hate taxes and the stupid government. All they do is waste my money anyway.”
In ancient times, when the ruler of a country needed money to start a war with another country, he sent out gangs of roving thugs to roam the countryside and shake down the populace for gold, grain, geese, oxen, children, hickory nuts, or other articles of value. Although many wars were financed this way, society's increasing need for new and more efficient wars meant that the system had to be streamlined. This need, combined with the replacement — by money — of oxen and nuts as the principal means of exchange, led to the development of the modern tax system, whereby the populace has been so well trained that they shake themselves down and mail the proceeds straight to their rulers.
The modern tax system
The citizens, residents, visitors and interested hobbyists of all nations are required to pay income tax to that nation's government. Tax liability is usually calculated on a semi-annual basis, though recent developments in data storage may mean that tax returns will be able to be filed as often as three times a day. However, when an alien man comes to your house saying you need "Income tax assessments", please, do not listen to him! He's going to... AARGH!
In most countries, income tax is levied by weight, though in some countries it is based on other metrics such as your ability to hire a sleazy accountant, your fear of prison, or whether you are the same race and religion as the ruling class. It is usually incumbent upon the citizen to calculate their own tax liability. Naturally, citizens tend to reward themselves for performing this stressful and time-consuming task by vastly understating the amount they owe to the government. For this reason, the government employs gangs of roving thugs to roam the countryside and shake down those who are deemed to be underpaying.
How to simplify your income tax
Although tax regimes vary greatly by country, a few tips are generally applicable across the world.
- Derive all of your income from one source, such as selling your labor or internal organs.
- Where possible, refuse payment in money, and instead perform transactions in untraceable commodities such as liquor, poultry, and government bonds.
- Be poor.
How to complicate your income tax
- Declare yourself a resident of as many countries as possible.
- Fill out the tax forms in Korean.
- Put your tax payment in an envelope as cash, and mail it directly to "The Government" with no return address.
- List food as a tax deduction, and itemize.
- Operate a string of string companies.
- List your source of income as "production and distribution of crack cocaine".
How to avoid income taxes completely
- Avoid earning any income (try living under a bridge and eat only what you can catch or grow on your own body.
- Get a doctor's note to the government asking to be excused.
- Earn so much money that the number is too large to fit on the income tax form.
- Bludgeon the king while he is sleeping and claim the crown for yourself.
- At tax time, disguise yourself as former Soviet premier, Leonid Brezhnev.
- Sleep with one of the Bush daughters.
- Live and work in an imaginary country that has no income tax.
- Get shipwrecked and live on an uncharted ocean island.
- Join a boy band, write a load of wimpy songs for them, and ensure your initials are the same as those of the country where you live.
Other forms of taxation
Because of the unfairness and complexity of multiple taxes, other forms of taxation are rare in the developed world, with the minor exceptions of sales tax, value added tax, property taxes, council rates, road tolls, social security, Medicare, state tax, stamp duty, licensing fees, levies, excises and tariffs.
Alright, Let's See How Well You Know This
Fortunately, I have come up with a test for you, to see how well you understood what is written above. Here are some typical tax cases, and it is up to you to find out the answer.
Tax Case #1
Ms. Johnson is a single widow living alone in her house. One night, while sleeping, she has a vivid dream in which her son is riding a motorcycle on a California Highway and crashes, killing himself. Suddenly, she wakes up to hear the phone ringing. It is the California Highway Patrol, calling to remind her that she does not have a son. Stunned, she suffers a fatal heart attack.
Q: Does Ms. Johnson still have to file a tax return on that claim she made 8 years ago?
A: Yes, of course. Don't be a twat. She should file under the tax form DPFS-17; Dead Person Filing Singly, which will allow her to keep two-thirds of her house, half her car, and any cats she may own.