“Sam Uncle sent out a letter to his servants.
To I. M. Rich he gave five tax breaks, to John Middle he gave 2 tax breaks,
to Don Low he gave one tax break,
and to Mother Striver he gave a transfer payment.
On the following April 15, Sam Uncle received the returns.
I. M. Rich took his five tax breaks and parlayed them into five tax shelters. Sam Uncle said, “You did well. You will be tax exempt for the next 10 years.”
John Middle took his two tax breaks and found two tax shelters. Sam Uncle said, “You did well. You will be tax exempt for two years.”
Don Low reported his income, forgot his tax break, and sent his check. He was called in for an audit.
Mother Striver used her transfer payment to feed her children and obtained a student loan.
Sam Uncle, upon examining her return, denied her deduction for educational expenses and declared her income (with the loan) in excess of eligibility requirements needed for the transfer payment.
Sam Uncle subsequently demanded repayment of the transfer payment and garnished her bank account.”
From the Book: The Prostitute in the Family Tree: Discovering Humor and Irony in the Bible by Douglas Adams (pg 46)