You Don’t Say – Income Tax – Capital Punishment

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Ray Hudson

Vol. 66

Ray Hudson
Ray Hudson

by Ray Hudson

As most of you know I love puns, and this clever thought by Jeff Hayes is a great way to administer the Novocane and dull the taximus gluteus pain with a little humour as we descend into Income Tax time.

This week, following the new federal budget and the inevitable outcome of that – taxes, I thought a little philosophy and humour might make the medicine go down a little easier.  So hold your nose and take it like, well, a taxpayer.

First a wee poem by Ogden Nash:  Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, that month of wind and taxes, the wind will presently disappear, the taxes last us all the year.

As they say there are only two inevitable things: death and taxes, at least you can arrange a payment schedule with Revenue Canada, and Philosophy which teaches a man that he can’t take it with him; taxes teach him he can’t leave it behind either!

Income tax, that temporary measure that was brought in, in 1917 by Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier was to aid with the war effort (first world war).

In fact the government didn’t start with income tax, that came after a luxury tax and a tax on goods and services (echoes through time?) like train and bus tickets, telegrams, tea and coffee and even – gasp – business profits.

In an article in the Legion Magazine, written by Sharon Adams, she revealed:

‘By 1916 the cost of the war had risen to $600 million (close to $11 billion in today’s dollars), and there was nothing for it but to introduce personal income taxes, too.

In introducing the tax, Finance Minister Sir Thomas White said he had placed no time limit on the measure, not knowing how long the war might last. But a year or two after the war “the measure should be reviewed…with a view of judging whether it is suitable to the conditions which then prevail.”

That was 95 years ago folks.  Didn’t know the war went on that long eh?

Well, that was then but even today loyal Canadians are still eagerly paying their taxes. The following anonymous letter to the Canada Revenue Agency stirs the patriotic strings of your heart!

Enclosed and/or attached, you will find my 2007 tax return showing that I owe $3,407.00 in taxes.

     Please note the attached article from the Toronto Globe and Mail; dated 12 November, wherein you will see the Canadian Department of National Defence is paying $171.50 per hammer and Fisheries and Oceans Canada has paid $600.00 per toilet seat for it’s icebreakers.

     As payment, I am enclosing four (4) toilet seats (valued @ $2,400) and six (6) hammers valued @ $1,029), which I secured at Canadian Tire, bringing my total remittance to $3,429.00.

     Please apply the overpayment of $22.00 to the ‘Help Stephan Dion Election Fund,’ as noted on my return.

     You can do this inexpensively by sending them one (1) 1.5′ Phillips Head screw (see aforementioned article from The Globe and Mail detailing how the Department of Public Works pays $22.00 each for 1.5′ Phillips Head Screws). One Philips screw is enclosed for your convenience.

     It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year.

     God Bless Canada !

     Sincerely, Tax Payer
As Mark Twain intoned, the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector is that the taxidermist takes only your skin.

So I’ll leave you as I sort through my shoebox of receipts and T4s with two thoughts that appealed:

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. Author unknown, from a Washington Post word contest
and,
– Dear IRS, I am writing to you to cancel my subscription. Please remove my name from your mailing list. Charles M. Schulz (Snoopy).