TaxProf Blog

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

Friday, June 10, 2005

Jimmy Don't Lose That Number: Busboy Finds Buffet's Cell Phone, Calls Bill Clinton

Try as I might, I could not find much of a tax angle to this story from The Smoking Gun, but I want to pass it on anyway.  A Florida busboy found Jimmy Buffet's cell phone outside a jazz club.  The phone contained the numbers of several celebrities, including Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Al Gore, and Harrison Ford. During a night "smoking weed," the busboy says a friend called former President Clinton, after which local police and the Secret Service came and confiscated the phone.  For the full police report, see here.

Rikki don't lose that number; you don't wanna call nobody else.
Send it off in a letter to yourself.
Rikki don't lose that number; it's the only one you own.
You might use it if you feel better, when you get home.

Tax angle:

  • Florida has the 3rd highest cell phone tax rate in the U.S. (blogged here last month)
  • Strategies to avoid cell phone taxes (Forbes):

As for the ethics of my tax dodge, phonying up an address (even in a fit of pique) seems to cross the line. "I don't think you should be going out of your way to cheat the government," says Victor Fleischer, a UCLA law professor who just so happens to be another Los Angeles resident with a New York area code on his cell phone--and pays the extra taxes.

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