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Superman vs Taxman

Back in 1961 a Superman comic story (#148) was based around how the IRS (US Internal Revenue Service) pursued the Man of Steel for unpaid taxes.

A junior investigator noted that there was no record of Superman ever paying tax. And what with all the reward money he earned for capturing criminals plus all the diamonds he made from coal...

Evidently there was a lot of tax at stake. $1 billion (remember this was 1961). Superman's first defence was that he gave away all his 'earnings'. But the IRS noted that many millionaires give substantial sums to charity. This does not absolve them from a a liability to tax.

Superman spends the rest of the story frantically scrambling for extra cash, only to lose his instant riches through a series of endearingly goofy Silver Age plot twists, such as Bizarro showing up and transforming a collection of priceless ivory into Ivory Soap! At one point, Superman even hits up Aquaman to find him a giant clam containing an equally giant pearl.

Despite the setbacks, Superman managed to collect an impressive cache of rare treasures, only to see them devoured by a matter-eating space monster! This lead to a rare display of temper from the normally even-keeled the pressure to meet his taxation deadline caused him to hurl the source of his anxiety into outer space.

Happily, after returning to the IRS, Superman is informed that he's off the hook for the billion-dollar tax bill...though the reasoning behind the clever last-minute reprieve is a bit of a stretch... (Only in America!)

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Are you a prostitute or are you an auditor?

1. You work very odd hours.

2. You are paid a lot of money to keep your client happy.

3. You are paid well but your pimp gets most of the money.

4. You spend a majority of your time in a hotel room.

5. You charge by the hour but your time can be extended.

6. You are not proud of what you do.

7. Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded.

8. It's difficult to have a family.

9. You have no job satisfaction.

10. If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client.

11. You are embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living.

12. People ask you, "What do you do?" and you can't explain it.

13. Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate.

14. Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money.

15. Your pimp drives nice cars like Mercedes or Jaguars.

16. Your pimp encourages drinking and you become addicted to drugs to ease the pain of it all.

17. You know the pimp is charging more than you are worth but if the client…

Ken Dodd and the Inland Revenue

The comedian Ken Dodd, was prosecuted for tax evasion in 1989 as has been mentioned on this blog before, here and here. I'd love to find a clip of him talking about it in his act. For now though here are a couple of references to comments he makes about the experience.

He is known to introduce himself as a “failed accountant”. That, he explains, is simply to establish a rapport with the audience. “People today are all stressed out about home economics, and accountants are the current bogeymen. [Since when?]

Dodd is the butt of a lot of his material and repeated references are made to his love of money, his dislike of what he insists on calling the Inland Revenue and his past run-in with them. “They sent me a self-assessment form the other day. To me! I invented self-assessment.”

During the trial it was revealed that Dodd had very little money in his bank account. He did however have £336,000 in cash stashed in suitcases in his attic. When asked by the judge, "What does a…