Tag Archives: Taxes

Marginalia, no.254

Certain whaling captains may be able to deduct expenses paid in 2011 for Native Alaskan subsistence bowhead whale hunting activities.

~ Internal Revenue Service, Schedule A Instructions (2011)

We glimpse Ahab in the afterlife: an indigestible Jonah damned to inhabit an obscure deduction in the bowels of the Leviathanic federal tax code. “The lightning flashes through my skull; mine eye-balls ache and ache; my whole beaten brain seems as beheaded, and rolling on some stunning ground.” Ahab, brother, I feel thee now! All the subtle demonisms of Form 1040 be cursed!

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Marginalia, no.196

Intangible drilling costs preference

~ IRS Form 6251 (2010), line 26

The most exotic creatures are sometimes the ugliest. This one sounds venomous too. But the thrill of discovery momentarily dampens such considerations. I’m only amazed to find that I live in a world where verbal constructions like this can actually mean something to someone.

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