In 1886, a chemist named John Pemberton concocted a sweet, carbonated “brain and nerve tonic” made with coca leaves and cola nuts. Six years later, he sold his recipe for $2,300 to the druggist Asa Candler, who spun it into multinational gold. While the current product has just half the caffeine and none of the… Read More

    Here in our United States, our government is sliced and diced between Uncle Sam, 50 states, 3,141 counties, and 89,000-odd cities, towns, and villages. You would think that 244 years of independence, along with a dollop of Yankee ingenuity, would produce a crisp, streamlined system for paying for it all. Instead, we’ve got… Read More

To Boldly Tax WHAT No Man Has Taxed Before Last week, we wrote about the sad fate faced by astronauts preparing for a brave new world of space commerce. Specifically, they’re fated to wind up paying the same tax bills on their interplanetary income as they do on the earthbound work they do today. But… Read More

    Cross-border tax questions present some of the thorniest issues in tax. For example: when an American company like Apple takes components from 43 different countries, assembles them into an iPhone in China, and sells it in London or Paris, who gets the income tax on that profit? The day-to-day work of answering that… Read More

A hundred years ago, billionaires were a big big deal. Tycoons like John D. Rockefeller, worth the equivalent of two Jeff Bezoses in today’s dollars, were celebrities, the overachieving substitutes for today’s merely overexposed Kardashians and Tiger Kings. Today, though, CNBC reports there are at least 630 billionaires in the U.S. alone, which means if… Read More

    What’s Your Tax Sign? Once upon a time, the number 13 bragged “I’m the unluckiest number of all!” Then 666 came along and said, “oh no, I’m worse.” Then 2020 arrived and said “hold my beer.” Between the coronavirus, the murder hornets, the hurricanes, the wildfires, and the ugliest presidential election in recent… Read More

  Teach Your Children Well   “If you are truly serious about preparing your child for the future, don’t teach him to subtract — teach him to deduct.” Fran Lebowitz Here in the United States, we spend about $1.3 trillion on education, including early childhood programs, K-12th grade, the whole college-industrial complex, and adult learning… Read More

That Fine Line Between Genius and Insanity Writing a weekly tax column probably looks like effortless fun. But it’s not always easy mining comedy gold from the Internal Revenue Code. Believe it or not, sometimes, taxes just aren’t funny. When you see us trying to jam a tax angle into something like, say, National Feta… Read More

Back before Covid-19 shuttered theaters, courtroom dramas were a cinema staple. In Twelve Angry Men, Henry Fonda shines as Juror 8, trying to convince his fellow jurors the case they were considering wasn’t so clear-cut. In A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise proves he could handle the truth while baiting Jack Nicholson into admitting he… Read More

  Crypto-Compliance Thirty-five years ago, cartoonist Bill Watterson published the very first “Calvin and Hobbes” strip. Calvin, an irrepressible six-year-old who’s surely destined for a therapist’s couch or an orange jumpsuit (or both), tells his dad he’s off to check his tiger trap: “I rigged a tuna fish sandwich yesterday, so I’m sure to have… Read More