Billy Hamilton channels Ambrose Bierce, who gave us The Devil’s Dictionary and such classics definitions as:
Conceit, n. Self-respect in one whom we dislike.
Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.
Tarif, n. A scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer.
Tax Analysts published Hamilton’s The Devil’s Dictionary of Taxation, 50 State Tax Notes 118 (Oct. 13, 2008). Billy Hamilton was deputy comptroller at the Texas Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts from 1990 until he retired in November 2006. He is now a policy consultant.
Here are a couple of examples of the Devil’s definitions of tax terms:
Capital Gains Tax: 1. A tax on the few good uses to which you have put your money since you outgrew baseball cards. 2. Circa 2008: An obsolete concept.
Charitable Deduction: Among faith, hope, and charity, the only one of the three theological virtues that can also help you avoid rendering unto Caesar.
Blogging credit to Paul Caron at Tax Prof Blog.