Powerball!!!1!

PowerballSince everybody else is talking about it, I figure I might as well, too.

Powerball. It’s offering a record-breaking $1.5 billion payday if you (and you alone) win. (Of course, to get the $1.5 billion, you have to take it over 30 years; otherwise, you can choose a $930 million lump-sum payment.)

I don’t plan on talking about the futility of winning, or whether you should play. I’d rather talk about the taxes that the lucky winner will end up paying.  Continue reading

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Super Bowl XLIX and (What Else?) Taxes

Super-Bowl-XLIX-PrimaryIt’s my understanding that, if I wanted to capitalize on this weekend’s Super Bowl game and optimize my search engines, I’d do a post about what time the game starts. That, though, doesn’t strike me as an interesting question. (Also, there’s no reason to ask me, when Google will tell you without your having to click a link.)

But the game does raise a couple interesting non-start-time questions, and I thought I’d address two of them here.  Continue reading

Best of 2014

So mostly this blog is about tax. But I don’t spend all of my time thinking about tax: sometimes, I think about music. And, as 2014 comes to a close, I thought it would be worth laying out my top five albums of the year.

These aren’t necessarily the best albums of 2014—though my number one pick is, unequivocally, the best album of 2014—but they’re all great albums, and albums I find myself returning to over and over.[fn]

Of course, being a law professor, I have to add some complexity in. So there are six albums in my top five, plus three that might have made it only I haven’t listened to them enough, plus one that, while not in my top five, is probably the most interesting conceptual listen of the year that is also terrific fun to listen to.

And, without further ado:  Continue reading

Tax Evasion and Swedish Supergroups

ABBA-early-costumesLike any American who has ever been to a dance or listened to the radio, I’ve heard ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.”[fn1] But in the last week or so, I’ve learned a couple new things about them. A week ago, listening to Sound Opinions’s Valentine’s Day episode, I learned that the band was made up of two married couples.[fn2] And yesterday, thanks to several friends on Facebook, I learned that (a) ABBA used to dress outrageously, and (b) it was apparently for tax reasons. Continue reading

Man Up, Manning: Truth Is, Peyton Won’t Pay A Ton in NJ Taxes

Peyton_Manning_(cropped)Man, New Jersey apparently must hate Peyton Manning. It’s threatening to tax his Super Bowl earnings at a rate of 51.08% if he wins. Or 101.83% if he loses. Seriously, 101.83%. And that’s just his New Jersey taxes; he’ll also owe federal income tax.

Or so says K. Sean Packard over at Forbes. In a widely circulated blog post,[fn1] Packard explains the tax trap that Manning will fall into by virtue of being the quarterback of one of the two teams playing in the Super Bowl this year.  Continue reading