New Tax Collection “Law”

Turn the dial on the Way-Back Machine to the days of the Great Depression. Millions of Americans are jobless, struggling just to eke out a living. But one man named Willie Sutton has discovered unlimited opportunities in a truly recession-proof field: robbing banks. And why did he choose banks, an enterprising reporter asked? “Because that’s where the money is,” Sutton supposedly replied. When Sutton published his autobiography 40 years later, he denied saying those words. But by that point, they were so famous it didn’t matter. Today, med students learn “Sutton’s Law” to focus their workups on the most likely
Read More

Uncle Sam, Knowing When to Hold’em

Last month, millions of fans across America sat down in front of their televisions to watch the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets, 4 games to 1 in baseball’s World Series. But few of those fans would ever dream they could suit up and join the players in the dugout. That’s because, while many of us played as children or teens, America’s national pastime is, for the most part, a spectator sport. That’s not the case with America’s favorite indoor sport. Poker players across America look forward to the World Series of Poker, in part because, for just
Read More

Easily Satisfied with the Very Best

Few figures from recent history loom larger than British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, “the Last Lion.” He spent “the wilderness years” of the 1930s fighting the Conservative Party’s leadership, most notably Neville Chamberlain, to campaign for rearmament. As prime minister, he fought the Nazis to victory in World War II. Throughout his life, he fought the “black dog” of depression. But did you know how much he fought the Board of Inland Revenue — his country’s equivalent of our own IRS? The Right Honorable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born into privilege. His grandfather was the seventh Duke of Marlborough
Read More

Quantum Mechanics (or Something Equally Complicated)

How big a tax bill would you have to pay before it really hurt? Would sending the IRS $10,000 do it? What about $100,000? What about $1 million? Would you toast the good fortune that left you with enough income to owe that much tax, or would you stamp your foot and call for the peasants to storm Washington with pitchforks and torches? Now imagine that you’re hedge fund manager George Soros. You survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary and fled the communist regime that succeeded them. You made $1.8 billion shorting the British pound and earned the nickname “the
Read More

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

Every so often a new show hits Broadway with lights that shine brighter than the rest. In 1996, Rent celebrated a group of impoverished East Village artists struggling to thrive in the shadow of AIDS. In 2003, Wicked imagined the lives of the witches of Oz before Dorothy’s unexpected arrival. But who would have thought today’s hottest ticket would be a rap-driven bio of the Founding Father responsible for the financial system that collects those taxes we all hate? This week’s story is a bit different from our usual perspective. But stick with it . . . how often do
Read More

No Extra Credit Here

Paying your taxes is one of those responsibilities that most of us accept when the time comes. Sure, we grumble about it. But we pay, then get on with the day. We don’t expect to get brownie points just for doing our duty. In fact, if you give yourself too much credit for doing it, you might get yourself in trouble, as one tone-deaf tech company recently found out. Airbnb (shortened from “AirBed & Breakfast”) is an online marketplace for short-term rentals that lets people list and find acommodations across the world. Are you visiting the company’s hometown of San
Read More

Tax Man Turns $1 = $10,001

Here in the United States, Uncle Sam imposes a “progressive” income tax. As your income goes up, so does your tax rate. However, those rates go up incrementally. If you’re married, filing jointly with your spouse, the 39.6% top rate kicks in at $413,201. (We use the term “kicks” deliberately because that’s how it feels when you’re giving Uncle Sam nearly 40 cents on the dollar.) The good news, if there really is any, is that the higher tax applies only on the amount of income above the new threshold. If your income is $413,201, you’ll pay the higher rate
Read More

Fahrvergtaxen

Every once in awhile, some knucklehead in a position of power at one of the world’s biggest businesses does something so incredibly stupid, you wonder how they can remember to put their shoes on before they head to work in the morning. Bernie Madoff did it for decades by running a classic Ponzi scheme out of his New York office. The folks who ran Enron did it for years when they lied about their earnings. And right now in West Virginia, the former CEO of Massey Energy is on trial for covering up safety violations that led to the deaths
Read More

Yogi Berra On Taxes

Last month, one of the most truly American lives came to an end at age 90. Baseball legend Lawrence “Yogi” Berra was a superstar both on and off the field. As a player, he won 10 World Series rings and made the All-Star team 18 times in 19 seasons. He was American League MVP five times and won election to the Hall of Fame in 1972. Off the field, he managed and coached the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and Houston Astros. Yogi Berra was more than just a baseball legend. Many people are surprised to learn that he
Read More

Don’t Bogart That Deduction, My Friend

Imagine you’re a hardworking pot dealer just trying to operate an honest shop in the newly legal marijuana industry. You get audited, and the examiner hits you with a $290,000 bill. He then asks to talk “off the record,” and tells you he was lenient with your examination. The real bill, he says, should have been a million dollars higher. Then he looks you in the eye and says, “Hey . . . how about a little something, you know, for the effort?” That’s pretty much what happened to one marijuana dispensary owner in Seattle. Except the auditor’s dopey request
Read More

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Categories

New Tax Collection “Law”

Turn the dial on the Way-Back Machine to the days of the Great Depression. Millions of Americans are jobless, struggling just to eke out a living. But one man named Willie Sutton has discovered unlimited opportunities in a truly recession-proof field: robbing banks. And why did he choose banks, an enterprising reporter asked? “Because that’s where the money is,” Sutton supposedly replied. When Sutton published his autobiography 40 years later, he denied saying those words. But by that point, they were so famous it didn’t matter. Today, med students learn “Sutton’s Law” to focus their workups on the most likely
Read More

Uncle Sam, Knowing When to Hold’em

Last month, millions of fans across America sat down in front of their televisions to watch the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets, 4 games to 1 in baseball’s World Series. But few of those fans would ever dream they could suit up and join the players in the dugout. That’s because, while many of us played as children or teens, America’s national pastime is, for the most part, a spectator sport. That’s not the case with America’s favorite indoor sport. Poker players across America look forward to the World Series of Poker, in part because, for just
Read More

Easily Satisfied with the Very Best

Few figures from recent history loom larger than British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, “the Last Lion.” He spent “the wilderness years” of the 1930s fighting the Conservative Party’s leadership, most notably Neville Chamberlain, to campaign for rearmament. As prime minister, he fought the Nazis to victory in World War II. Throughout his life, he fought the “black dog” of depression. But did you know how much he fought the Board of Inland Revenue — his country’s equivalent of our own IRS? The Right Honorable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born into privilege. His grandfather was the seventh Duke of Marlborough
Read More

Quantum Mechanics (or Something Equally Complicated)

How big a tax bill would you have to pay before it really hurt? Would sending the IRS $10,000 do it? What about $100,000? What about $1 million? Would you toast the good fortune that left you with enough income to owe that much tax, or would you stamp your foot and call for the peasants to storm Washington with pitchforks and torches? Now imagine that you’re hedge fund manager George Soros. You survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary and fled the communist regime that succeeded them. You made $1.8 billion shorting the British pound and earned the nickname “the
Read More

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

Every so often a new show hits Broadway with lights that shine brighter than the rest. In 1996, Rent celebrated a group of impoverished East Village artists struggling to thrive in the shadow of AIDS. In 2003, Wicked imagined the lives of the witches of Oz before Dorothy’s unexpected arrival. But who would have thought today’s hottest ticket would be a rap-driven bio of the Founding Father responsible for the financial system that collects those taxes we all hate? This week’s story is a bit different from our usual perspective. But stick with it . . . how often do
Read More

No Extra Credit Here

Paying your taxes is one of those responsibilities that most of us accept when the time comes. Sure, we grumble about it. But we pay, then get on with the day. We don’t expect to get brownie points just for doing our duty. In fact, if you give yourself too much credit for doing it, you might get yourself in trouble, as one tone-deaf tech company recently found out. Airbnb (shortened from “AirBed & Breakfast”) is an online marketplace for short-term rentals that lets people list and find acommodations across the world. Are you visiting the company’s hometown of San
Read More

Tax Man Turns $1 = $10,001

Here in the United States, Uncle Sam imposes a “progressive” income tax. As your income goes up, so does your tax rate. However, those rates go up incrementally. If you’re married, filing jointly with your spouse, the 39.6% top rate kicks in at $413,201. (We use the term “kicks” deliberately because that’s how it feels when you’re giving Uncle Sam nearly 40 cents on the dollar.) The good news, if there really is any, is that the higher tax applies only on the amount of income above the new threshold. If your income is $413,201, you’ll pay the higher rate
Read More

Fahrvergtaxen

Every once in awhile, some knucklehead in a position of power at one of the world’s biggest businesses does something so incredibly stupid, you wonder how they can remember to put their shoes on before they head to work in the morning. Bernie Madoff did it for decades by running a classic Ponzi scheme out of his New York office. The folks who ran Enron did it for years when they lied about their earnings. And right now in West Virginia, the former CEO of Massey Energy is on trial for covering up safety violations that led to the deaths
Read More

Yogi Berra On Taxes

Last month, one of the most truly American lives came to an end at age 90. Baseball legend Lawrence “Yogi” Berra was a superstar both on and off the field. As a player, he won 10 World Series rings and made the All-Star team 18 times in 19 seasons. He was American League MVP five times and won election to the Hall of Fame in 1972. Off the field, he managed and coached the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and Houston Astros. Yogi Berra was more than just a baseball legend. Many people are surprised to learn that he
Read More

Don’t Bogart That Deduction, My Friend

Imagine you’re a hardworking pot dealer just trying to operate an honest shop in the newly legal marijuana industry. You get audited, and the examiner hits you with a $290,000 bill. He then asks to talk “off the record,” and tells you he was lenient with your examination. The real bill, he says, should have been a million dollars higher. Then he looks you in the eye and says, “Hey . . . how about a little something, you know, for the effort?” That’s pretty much what happened to one marijuana dispensary owner in Seattle. Except the auditor’s dopey request
Read More

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