1. Two things are certain in life: death and taxes. In this case, the taxes came first.

    This doesn’t make sense, though, since taxes, aside from the final round, always come before death. My father, for example, lived to be 87.5 years old. So he paid various taxes for decades and just one time after his death (with my assistance as executor).

  2. I agree with SB…it doesn’t make sense. It seems that this is a ‘joke’ based on the certainty of death and taxes, but even if he had paid his taxes first, death could easily come right after that…there’d be no reason to turn him away at the door.

    Perhaps in the sense that, “These taxes are killing me!”, but that’s metaphorical and I’m not sure that’s a common enough phrase to make this joke work.

  3. Singapore Bill – sometimes the estate and its income taxes go on for years until it is all settled and then there is final tax on the value of the estate itself if is large enough.

  4. I also agree with what Arthur says, but still, what the woman is saying doesn’t really jive with me.

    “Sorry, but you’re a little late…”

    As Arthur says, it makes sense that he would prefer death to an IRS visit, but what’s Death a little late for? Did the IRS murder him and now Death can’t do his job? That’s what she seems to be saying to me, which seems unlikely. However, if he’s still alive, Death should be able to march right in and do his thing, IRS visit or not. Unless there’s another interpretation I’m missing.

  5. The taxes on an estate can be much worse than that. Many things can delay the settlement of an estate, but if any of the money is earning money (for instance if a lot of it is in stocks and bonds) the heirs get a K-1 every year and have to pay income tax on the interest even though they still don’t have the money.

    I don’t know what happens if the will is contested and it has not been decided who gets the money. I guess if the taxes are not paid, whoever ends up with the money pays all the taxes with penalties.

  6. The house next door to us has been in probate for YEARS; three sisters and other family members fighting over it. Which is nice for us, as it’s one fewer family to be noisy. When we moved here [June 2017], the grass was several feet tall and a herd of deer had taken up residence. Now our lawn maintenance company maintains that lawn, too, at least when whoever’s in charge pays the bill. Which s/he hasn’t. I wonder how this will all play out; the longer the house is unoccupied, the less value it will have to the estate, I assume.

  7. Oh, and we don’t live on a ‘Billionaire’s Row’, but nothing’s under half a mill here, so a derelict house/yard REALLY stands out – the ‘estate’ has already been cited several times for yard issues. Interestingly enough (to me, anyway), one of the sisters lives across the street from the derelict house.

  8. The local governements go after “zombie houses”. Houses that the people have deserted as they can’t pay their mortgage and the banks do not keep up.

  9. I literally just a minute ago saw that Rubes in my GoComics feed, and thought “Better check out if it’s already hit CIDU”.

    I’m not sure what the threshold would be for “actual joke”, but it seems to me the potential or putative joke here is just in the premise: Hey, what if the Grim Reaper worked as an IRS agent?

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