- Days left

Death, taxes, and...jail time?

×

A few years ago, a friend that I had lost touch with attempted to rob a convenience store. Unfortunately, my buddy Will was a little flaky, so his plans quickly went awry. He showed up after closing, brandishing a rifle and wearing a ski mask. When he demanded entry to the store, the clerk called the police. Although Will shed his incriminating clothing and weapons while running across a field, he was still captured by police and was later convicted for attempted robbery.

It seems like the annals of crime literature are littered with tales of bone-headed criminals. We've all heard the stories of bank robbers writing notes on the back of check stubs, knocking themselves out with nunchucks, or stealing bags of quarters, only to be caught a few blocks later, out of breath and with pulled muscles.

Last week, however, a robber in Des Moines, Iowa took stupidity to a new level. After robbing a Git-n-Go, he made his first mistake: he left behind his jacket and hat. Apart from providing a helpful level of concealment, the robber's outerwear was probably a necessary protection against the late-February chill. However, catching a cold was to become the least of the robber's worries. In one of his jacket pockets, police found a W-2 form with his name and address on it.

How stupid can you get! I wonder if the robber has any idea how hard it is to get a replacement W-2! Additionally, of course, he gave away his identity to the police and will, presumably, hear from them soon.

This also raises another interesting question: how does one declare income from a robbery? I guess it would go under "Wages, tips, and salary" on line 7, but couldn't it also be treated as gambling income? I hope the robber chooses wisely--the last thing he needs is to have the IRS on his tail.

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. His wife does the taxes.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Video: How to Claim the Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit (Obamacare)

The Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit is a new refundable tax credit that can lower your monthly health insurance premiums. If you qualify for the tax credit, you can claim the Premium Tax Credit throughout the year to lower your monthly health insurance premiums, or claim the credit with your tax return to either lower your overall tax bill or increase your tax refund.

Cities With the Highest and Lowest Taxes

Geography has a lot to do with personal finance, and where you live in the United States has an impact on your annual tax burden. While federal income taxes are assessed in a consistent manner coast to coast, state and municipal taxes, such as sales and property taxes, vary widely.

When the IRS Classifies Your Business as a Hobby

If your business claims a net loss for too many years, or fails to meet other requirements, the IRS may classify it as a hobby, which would prevent you from claiming a loss related to the business. If the IRS classifies your business as a hobby, you'll have to prove that you had a valid profit motive if you want to claim those deductions.

Hurricane Sandy Tax Relief

Several tax provisions were put in effect to help taxpayers who live or do business in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy - but a number of those provisions expired on Feb. 1, 2013.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum