So someone starts working at a job, and after their first week, they receive their first paycheck: They are overjoyed... only to discover that a large percentage of their own pay had to be deducted for tax-related issues, at which point they are angered. This is a Truth in Television.
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- Subverted in FoxTrot, where Peter mentions how much of his pay was cut when he received his first paycheck from his summer job at the movie theater, and Roger says "Welcome to the world of taxes." Peter then reveals that he wasn't referring to taxes, but to the price of all the theater snacks he helped himself to.
- Dilbert: Dilbert and Wally are very well aware of this trope. When they have to give a new worker their first paycheck (a person who previously got paid in full for her jobs), they donned earmuffs to block out her screams of anguish when she saw how much was deducted. It didn't save their coffee, though.
- Friends: "Who is Fica and why is she getting all my money?"
- In 8 Simple Rules, an episode focuses on Bridget getting her first job. When she receives her paycheck, the check is blank and she owes the store she works for money because she bought so many clothes and "forgot about tax".
- Our Miss Brooks: Happens to Miss Brooks in Easter Outfit. Miss Brooks finds the $50.00 she earned working at the board of education during spring break to be considerably eroded by tax deductions.