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Friday, September 18, 2009

The Trifecta of Life for a Sidewalker

There are three certainties in the life of Luke Sidewalker.

1)Finding money on the sidewalk

Number three I'm OK with. I'm very comfortable with my own mortality. It is the relationship between one and two that is my problem. It had not occurred to me, until it was pointed out to me the other day, that the IRS (the taxman in the U.S.A. for my overseas readers) treat found money as income! I'm not an accountant, so if anyone believes this statement to be false I'd be more than happy to hear from them (fingers crossed).

If it turns out to be true then the question is, how much money do I have to blog about finding before the IRS arrests me on tax evasion charges? And if I do get arrested, could I just not say that I dropped all the money I found on the sidewalk on the way to court? Which leads to an even bigger question, if they treat found money as income, can I use money that I've dropped over my lifetime as a tax loss/deduction?

Knowing the tax code here I would probably have to pay tax on the found money, and the lost money would just be 'my bad'. Maybe I could just employ myself as a coin collector, but then I would be saddled with a payroll tax no doubt!

This post has created more questions than answers. Help anyone?

In other news, my Staycation is looking for a hit from Norway, so if you know anyone located there please forward them the link. Thanks.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $21.05


Kerry aka Bells and Whistles said...

You're providing a community service as a street cleaner, the city should be grateful. Since the city doesn't pay you for your charitable efforts you can write off your shoes as a charitable expense. Sounds like a wash to me : )

Anonymous said...

I don't think you have to pay taxes on a loan, which is really all that it is. I am sure if asked in court that you plan on returning all the money to the people who lost it, as soon as you figure out who they are!

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

I think that the rule is only enforced if you find a hundred dollars or more in any given year. They tend not to waste their time with small potatoes; after all, we are all guilty of this one.

The deciding question (for them) is :Would they get more in taxes from you than it would cost them to audit you?

And if they did audit you, just think of the self-promotion possibilities: local news, blogging, perhaps even the national news. You could have a field day talking about your slow get rich plan.

Luke Sidewalker said...

Hahaha. Thanks for your all your insights. Some interesting possibilities, with the chance of more to come.

Morgan- here I sit praying for an audit, for the first time ever!

Anon- Did you used to work for Enron?

Kerry- My Municipality is far too slick for that loophole, and any local payments have stopped recently due to a shortage of brown envelopes in the area!

Keep 'em coming...

-Luke Sidewalker

Anonymous said...

No not Enron- just some former NJ politicians. I say former because some of their actions may have lead them to no longer being able to hold public office, but I don't think you should hold that as a strike against my advice. Speaking of brown envelopes, I have some work to do and must be going.

blueviolet said...

Stop it. Nobody would report money found on the sidewalk, would they?

And seriously, who finds more than a penny anyhow?

The Volcanologist said...

I found a quarter on Wall St... more than a penny right there.

I have it on good authority though that Tribeca is the place to find actual notes blowing down the sidewalk... well, if you can afford to live there you can afford to lose paper money I guess

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