May 27, 2024


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Tax Collector and IRS Costumes

Tax day, it’s not something we look forward to but it’s inevitable, like death, so they say. According to the Tax Foundation, it takes the average Joe 99 days to earn enough money to pay his annual tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels. Instead of getting depressed at the statistics, why not put a little character into the fated 15th of April by dressing up in a costume to protest the forced forking over of money to the government.

It all started back in a couple thousand years ago in the Roman Empire with the “publican”. No one today is surprised to learn that these early tax collectors were almost always described as being greedy thieves who almost always took more than what they were entitled to. By the Jesus era, tax collectors were still being rightly stereotyped as avaricious and tightfisted officials, even though Jesus taught the parable of the remorseful tax collector being judged higher than the prideful Pharisee because the former recognized his sin with humility. Make your point that even this despised profession needs forgiveness by dressing in a biblical tax collector costume designed as a long robe trimmed in fine damask.

Another historical costume idea is to dress up as a protester at the Boston Tea Party circa 1773; many of the actual dissenters who pitched the crates of tea into the harbor were disguised thinly as Mohawk Indians while others were in standard colonial-era garb. If you’d like to dress up as a modern-day money grabber, it isn’t hard to put together a drab outfit reminiscent of an employee of the Internal Revenue Service. Hit the resale shop for a pair of polyester trousers and a short-sleeved button down shirt; add some horn-rimmed glasses, an oversized calculator and an large prop money bag overflowing with play money. This reminds us of a joke. It’s Halloween and a man rings your doorbell. You answer, annoyed that he is seemingly wearing plain, drab clothes, and ask “who are you supposed to be?”. The man answers, “I’m an IRS Agent and I am here to take 28% of your candy, which he shoves into his briefcase, and then leaves!

Another way to put a little social-economic-political commentary into your day is to dress up as your not-so-favorite politician supporting all the coffer-lining money grabs in your city, state or country. Some of the most infamous politicians have realistic latex masks found in costume shops that you can simply pair with a dark suit. Speaking up and being an advocate for your own fair tax rights and creating a little stop-and-gawk attention at the same time is a great reason to dress up in these men’s and womens costumes.