Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Art Imitates Life: The Estate Tax on Last Night's Law & Order

Last week, I blogged my Creighton lecture on The Costs of Estate Tax DIthering -- in which I showed a clip from Throw Momma from the Train (originally coined by Paul Krugman to refer to the 2001 passage of the one-year repeal of the estate tax in 2010), discussed two papers showing the impact of estate tax changes on the timing of deaths, and concluded by discussing the estate tax consequences of three recent celebrity deaths (Casey Johnson, Ruth Lilly, and Dan Duncan).

Last night's episode on NBC's Law & Order, The Taxman Cometh, centered around the estate tax:

Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) are called in to investigate the death of a young heiress, Annie Douglas (guest star Morgan Lynch), who died of an apparent drug overdose. The detectives begin to suspect her cousin, Randy (guest star Daniel Abeles), whose inheritance was increased due to Annie's death. As the investigation continues, Annie's greedy relatives reveal another recent loss in the group. The case becomes more than a family matter as an experimental cancer clinic, fraudulent adoptions and unborn children are tied into the case.

My favorite line, from the CPA who arranges for the killing of wealthy people in 2010 to take advantage of the one-year repeal of the estate tax:

"The only charge I am guilty of is explaining the tax code."

(Hat Tip: Dorothy Brown, Sarah Lawsky.)

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Hahahaha! I'm going to download this episode now!

Posted by: William | May 11, 2010 8:22:56 AM