6 Fun Tax-Related Facts

Hey, Shmoopers,

It’s April. We’ve turned our clocks forward and eaten Creme Eggs till we dropped, but it doesn’t feel like spring has truly sprung until the first tender growth bursts from the frozen ground, claws its way out of the soil, and takes about a third of your income.

We’re talking about the IRS.

The tax deadline’s coming up, but to help you procrastinate until the absolute last minute, we’ve compiled a list of tax-related fun facts that you don’t have to declare on your 1040EZ.  

Who Wants to Tax a Millionaire?

The IRS attempts to make taxes fun with the Tax Trivia Challenge! (Their exclamation point, not ours.) It includes questions every American should know the answer to when filing their 1040 forms, like “What is a duck stamp, and how much is it worth?” and “How many cocoa beans do you think you would need to buy a rabbit from the Aztecs?” We’re not making this up.

Survivor: Taxes

The winner of Survivor‘s first season, Chatty Naked Guy (also known by the nickname “Richard Hatch”), served jail time for not paying taxes on the $1MM dollar prize he earned after eating rats and being forced to live in the jungle and literally jump through hoops. Reality TV: even tax evaders love it.

Indulgence Tax

You know Lady Godiva as that woman on your grandma’s favorite box of Belgian chocolates. But Lady Godiva didn’t ride bareback through England for the fun of it: she did it to protest high taxes. Hey, at least they don’t tax chocolate. Oh wait.

Leaving Lost Wages

Noted vampire Nicolas Cage built a pyramid-shaped tomb in New Orleans’ historic St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. The tomb will never hold the the body of Nicolas Cage because, as a vampire, he will never die, so what is it for? Some suggest he hid money from the IRS inside his tomb after being charged for $6MM in back taxes in 2009.

Virtual Insanity

While you don’t have to pay taxes on all the Miitomo coins you’re hoarding in your virtual piggy bank, you do have to pay taxes if you’ve been conducting transactions with Bitcoin. It’s even more complicated than figuring out what a Bitcoin actually is. 

Everything Is Bigger in Taxes

Video games are a billion-with-a-B dollar industry. U.S. states like Texas and California offer tax breaks for video game companies, but the U.K. is trying to lure digital entertainment across the pond. They’ll provide tax breaks if games prove they are British enough. If Nathan Drake talks like a chimney sweep from Oliver Twist in the next Uncharted game, you know why. 

P.S. The IRS will not accept funny stories in lieu of actually paying your taxes. If you want real tax information, like, uh, what your taxes are used for, check out our Finance Learning Guides…and consult a tax professional.

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Quote of the Week

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

~ Benjamin Franklin

And Shmoop.

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