Paul L. Caron

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hemingway and Tax

The new issue of the Journal of Legal Education has a funny article, Why Am I Here? Six-Word Stories About the First Month of Law School, 59 J. Legal Educ. 653 (2010). The article riffs off Hemingway's six-word story -- "For sale: baby shoes. Never worn." -- which he called his best work. Several books and web sites have been spun off the 6-word story idea.

Some of my favorite six-word stories about the first month of law school:

  • Trained by socratic assault. Professors acquitted.
  • Dear Mom, School's fine. Send highlighters.
  • Came smart. Stayed scared. Ended confused.
  • I didn't know I needed luggage!
  • I know the answer--it depends.

I put the call out for six-word stories about tax:

  • 1040: my 10, IRS takes 40. (Chris Hoyt (Missouri-Kansas City)) 
  • Apartment building. Shopping mall. Like kind. (Jim Maule (Villanova))
  • Cheated on taxes. Went to jail. (Jim Maule (Villanova))
  • Code is my friend. It's heavy. (Bridget Crawford (Pace))
  • Deduct it. Fight Later. Then Settle. (Bruce Shnider (Minnesota))
  • Expensing means no reduction of IRR. (Calvin Johnson (Texas))
  • First for love, then for money. (Farid el-Sultaneh) (Bryan Camp (Texas Tech))
  • For sale: Tax Code. Never opened -- from an A student. (Meredith Conway (Suffolk))
  • For sale: Tax Code. Heavily used -- from a C student. (Meredith Conway (Suffolk))
  • I work. I file. I pay. (Bryan Camp (Texas Tech))
  • In tax, NOL is single word. (Calvin Johnson (Texas))
  • IRS is my involuntary 35% partner. (Chris Hoyt (Missouri-Kansas City)) 
  • Let's do a delayed three-way. (Jack Bogdanski (Lewis & Clark))
  • Lost substantiation. Lost deduction. Lost money. (Jim Maule (Villanova))
  • Negative basis -- a crime against nature. (Roberta Mann (Oregon))
  • Partnership taxation. Entity. Aggregate. Very confusing. (Jim Maule (Villanova))
  • Prime directive: adjusted basis equal FMV. (Calvin Johnson (Texas))
  • Really? Money found in piano income. (Cesarini) (Ann Murphy (Gonzaga))
  • Stupid deals done by smart people. (Definition of a tax shelter) (Bryan Camp (Texas Tech)) 
  • Tasty puu-puu platters, tax-free. (Jack Bogdanski (Lewis & Clark))
  • The dog is not a dependent. (Jim Maule (Villanova))
  • Went to tax class. Got Mauled. (Jim Maule (Villanova))
  • What are you? Check the box. (Jack Bogdanski (Lewis & Clark))
  • What happened to Glenshaw Glass: Income. (Jack Bogdanski (Lewis & Clark))
  • You can't deduct your inner child. (Chris Hoyt (Missouri-Kansas City))

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» The soul of tax wit is brevity from Don't Mess With Taxes
That Shakespeare. He truly was well before his time, penning Polonius' famous phrase celebrating succinctness more than four centuries before Twitter. Now some modern-day tax wits have taken the Bard's words to heart. The TaxProf challenged his fellow ... [Read More]

Tracked on May 15, 2010 12:16:33 PM


Don't go. No jobs. Die alone.

Posted by: MostLawGrads | May 20, 2010 9:06:14 PM

Without taxes we'd be wealthy.

Posted by: Bruce Guancola | May 18, 2010 10:53:09 AM

I slept through most of it.

Posted by: got hired anyway | May 17, 2010 9:14:37 AM

Bye estate tax! Hello carryover basis :(

Posted by: tax guy | May 16, 2010 8:07:44 PM

Studied tax. Got confused. Stayed confused.

Only thing as certain as death.

Posted by: Jefferson VanderWolk | May 16, 2010 12:09:10 AM

IRS commissioner needs a tax preparer!

Posted by: Peter | May 15, 2010 10:47:05 PM

No patriotic duty to pay taxes.


Paying taxes isn't a patriotic duty.

(With thanks to Judge Learned Hand.)

Posted by: tax guy | May 15, 2010 8:23:26 PM

Obtain correct form. Mind the GAAP.

Posted by: WL | May 14, 2010 5:50:48 PM

I came, I saw, IRS conquered

Posted by: former tax student | May 14, 2010 5:38:26 PM

Tax law irrelevant, see: unemployment stats.

Posted by: | May 14, 2010 5:12:44 PM

Screwed up First Year. Now Screwed.

Posted by: not happ | May 14, 2010 4:09:42 PM

10-4 is good buddy, not 1040.

Posted by: hah | May 14, 2010 10:08:44 AM

I can do it in five words:

"Born free. Taxed to death."

Posted by: Woody | May 14, 2010 8:39:31 AM

Fate of famous Crane footnote? Tufts.

Current estate tax status = Congressional malpractice.

Posted by: Guy Helvering | May 14, 2010 7:38:48 AM

Spend more. tax more. Greece regrets.

Posted by: Dale Newland | May 14, 2010 7:36:39 AM

Deduct Acquisition Fees? INDOPCO Says No.

Posted by: Former Student | May 14, 2010 7:20:34 AM

D in contracts; switched to tax; happy. OK, seven words.

Posted by: mike livingston | May 14, 2010 7:11:15 AM