TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Last-Minute Gifts for that Special Tax Person

Christmaspresent2Here are some suggestions for last-minute gifts for that special tax person in your life (from contributions on the TaxProf Discussion Group, reprinted with permission): 



  • The Internal Revenue Code on an Etch-a-Sketch (with the frequent changes to the Code, often time-limited, one needs no tax research tool more permanent than an Etch-a-Sketch) – Michael Waggoner (Colorado)
  • For female Tax Profs: a set of pins in the shapes of squares, triangles, and arrows to wear when teaching or working on corporate reorganizations, and an Yves St. Laurent scarf to wear when teaching the Pevsner case – Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.)
  • It doesn't make any difference. Just be sure that the donee can exchange the gift or return it for a refund (not a credit). I've been married for 45 years. At the rate of three significant gift opportunities a year (Christmas, wedding anniversary, birthday) that means I've had 135 chances to get it right. On all but five or six occasions, my wife has returned my thoughtfully chosen gift. And, one other thing: don't ever give something that can be plugged in, or used in the kitchen. That's considered a tool, not a gift. – Michael Mulroney (Villanova)
  • Two "gifts" to be given by December 31: marriage (if you're in a "marriage bonus" situation) or a child (to take advantage of the dependent deduction and child care credit) – Robert Nassau (Syracuse), who was born on December 30 and married on December 31.
  • An up-to-date Code (really – have you seen one yet?) – Linda Galler (Hofstra)
  • An abacus (for the Tax Prof needing a reminder of the joys of modern technology) or a copy of the revenue acts of the People's Republic of China (just to remind folks it could be worse) – Jim Maule (Villanova)
  • A "Tax Sheltie," a hanging ornament in the shape of a small dog, with a pencil behind its ear
    and clutching a 1040 in its paws – Roberta Mann (Widener)

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