A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 16, 2016
“Short form, the government gets your money; long form, the CPA gets it”

The Internal Revenue Service has Form 1040 for individual income taxes, and Form 1040EZ ("short form") for simple individual income taxes. A popular joke is that with the short form, the government gets your money; with the long form, your tax accountant gets your money.

The joke appeared in the Frank and Ernest newspaper comic strip by Bob Thaves (1924-2006) in February 1975. A similar joke appeared in the comic strip in January 1996.


IRS
Topic 352 - Which Form – 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ?
The three forms U.S. citizens and resident aliens use for filing individual federal income tax returns are Form 1040EZ (PDF), Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents, Form 1040A (PDF), U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and Form 1040 (PDF), U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Review What Is the Simplest Form to Use to File My Taxes? to see which form you should use.

4 February 1975, Fort Madison (IA) Democrat, “Frank and Ernest” comic strip by Bob Thaves, pg. 7, col. 1:
(A sign reads: “FRANK & ERNEST, TAX CONSULTANTS.”—ed.)
YOU HAVE A CHOICE, SIR...IF YOU USE THE SHORT FORM THE GOVERNMENT GETS YOUR MONEY…
...IF YOU USE THE LONG FORM, WE GET IT.

Google Books
1,001 Great Jokes
By Jeff Rovin
New York, NY: New American Library
1987
Pg. 328:
And we mustn’t forget the sage who figured out the difference between a short form and a long form. When you use the short form, the government gets your money. When you use the long form, your accountant gets it.

Cartooonist Group
Cartoonist(s): Bob Thaves Tom Thaves
Comic/Cartoon: Frank and Ernest
Viewable Date: 1996-01-14 Pub. Date: 1996-01-14
Image Number: 68588
Caption: Look at the date on our copyright- January 14th. It’s time to begin thinking about income taxes. You can use the short form or the long form. If you use the short form the government gets your money. The long form the tax consultant gets it!

Google Books
11 February 1997, Weekly World News, pg. 47, col. 3:
We mustn’t forget the sage who figured out the difference between an IRS short form and a long form.

When you use the short form, the government gets your money. When you use the long form, your accountant gets it.

Google Books
The Greedy Hand:
How Taxes Drive Americans Crazy and What to Do about It

By Amity Shlaes
New York, NY: Random House
1999
Pg. 167:
“What’s the difference between the short and long income tax forms?” “If you use the short form, the government gets your money. If you use the long form, the accountant gets it.”

8 February 2002, The Globe and Mail (Toronto, ON), pg. A20, col. 3:
At tax time, asks the Kansas City Star: “What’s the difference between the short form and the long form? If you use the short form, the government gets your money. If you use the long form, the CPA gets your money.”

Google News Archive
15 April 2003, Bangor (ME) Daily News, “Bridge” by Frank Stewart, pg. C10, col. 5:
Today’s that dreaded day: Cy the Cynic says the main difference between the short form 1040-A and the long form 1040 is whether the IRS or your CPA gets your money.

Twitter
USTaxAid
‏@ustaxaid
Here’s the difference between short & long form tax returns. Short form: the govt gets your money. Long form: the CPA gets your money.
6:30 PM - 27 Apr 2009

Twitter
Keepers Accountancy
‏@KeepersAcc
difference between short & long income tax forms is easy-u use short form, gov. gets your money.u use long form,tax advisor gets your money.
4:31 AM - 14 Sep 2009

Twitter
Carl’s Jr of Vegas
‏@carlsjrofvegas
Difference bet long & short form: If you use short form, the government gets your money;use the long form,& your accountant gets your money.
11:38 PM - 15 Apr 2010

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, April 16, 2016 • Permalink