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Saturday, December 25, 2004

Tax Issues in Jib Jab's Santa Claus Video

Jib_jabThe folks at JibJab, who brought us the hilarious This Land! video of President Bush and Senator Kerry (blogged here), have a new Christmas video Santa Claus!.  Participants in the Tax Prof Discussion Group have noted the many tax issues in the video:

Stuart Lazar (Thomas Cooley):

  • Would cash gifts be includible in income? Clearly, the milk and cookies would be a de minimis gift. But, in the words of the immortal Jon Stewart, cash might be de maximus. Or it might be seen as the sale of the presents for the cash.
  • Can Santa claim the elfs as dependents?
  • Does the repossesion of Santa's workshop give rise to COD income? Or, does Santa fall under the insolvency exception?
  • Can Santa deduct the costs of making children's presents against the income he earns from appearing at department stores? Can he show a loss or is he limited by Section 183? Do the passive loss rules come into play?

Jim Maule (Villanova):

  • If no income and a gazillion dollars of expenses, does the section 183 hobby loss limitation apply?
  • Are the milk and cookies taxable income?
  • What about cash given in lieu thereof as requested?
  • Is there a tax convention between the U.S. and the North Pole?
  • Medical expense deduction for the physical?
  • Tax consequences of the creditors' seizure of the sleigh and the factory foreclosure?
  • What method of inventory accounting in use?

Gail Levin Richmond (Nova): Can Santa deduct his "uniform"?

Stuart Lazar (Thomas Cooley): I would guess that Santa probably wears his "uniform" year round -- it is a chick magnet. As such, it does not pass the Pevsner test.

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Comments

Santa isn't concerned about income taxes because he is a 501(c)3) tax exempt organization.

Posted by: steve karpa | Dec 27, 2004 8:54:36 AM

Well! conditions on which the taxes are based are never meant to be friendly. So what' the hush-hush?

Posted by: John | Sep 6, 2006 12:04:39 PM