Tax Advice for the Grinch

The holiday season is in full swing, and we expect you’re on your best behavior to make Santa’s nice list. But there’s one famous guy who works harder than anyone else to be naughty this time of year, and that’s everyone’s favorite Dr. Seuss anti-hero, the Grinch. We don’t care if you prefer the original […]

IRS Employees Make the Naughty List

Back in 2002, Steve Epstein, the director of the Pentagon’s Standards of Conduct Office, faced a common dilemma among ethics officials: how to keep his training sessions fresh and relevant? His answer was to avoid discussing dry statutes like 18 U.S.C. § 205, and focus instead on telling stories. “We discovered that the first thing […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 stomp your foot and call for the […]

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 […]

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, […]

Tax Man Makes $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 […]


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 […]