Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

February 1, 2005

Tax Tip for Bank Robbers

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:18 am

In most European countries, it is illegal, or usually illegal, to own a handgun. However, if you buy a handgun and use it to rob a bank, then in the Netherlands it least, the cost of the handgun you use to rob the bank is deductible as a business expense. The same applies to drug dealers who use a car to transport their drugs (if there are any drugs still illegal in the Netherlands). This according to this story in the Telegraph (via Mass Backwards), which says an actual bank robber was allowed an actual deduction for this purpose.

The deduction was not for tax purposes, but for his fine! From the Telegraph story:

The 46-year-old criminal was able to set the price of the pistol against his gross proceeds of £4,700, which he stole in the southern Dutch town of Chaam.

Jailing him for four years, the judge at Breda criminal court reduced his fine by that amount.

Clayton Cramer reports that this is also true under U.S. federal income tax law, but not under California state income tax law. (Somehow, I don’t have the urge to look this up for all the other states.)

So if you are a bank robber in California, remember to deduct the cost of your gun, and mileage for your getaway car, from your federal income taxes but not your state income taxes. After all, you wouldn’t want to violate any laws, now would you? :-)

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