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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2045255
 
 

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Death and Taxes and Zombies


Adam Chodorow


Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

July 5, 2012

98 Iowa Law Review 1207 (2013)

Abstract:     
The U.S. stands on the precipice of a financial disaster, and Congress has done nothing but bicker. Of course, I refer to the coming day when the undead walk the earth, feasting on the living. A zombie apocalypse will create an urgent need for significant government revenues to protect the living, while at the same time rendering a large portion of the taxpaying public dead or undead. The government’s failure to anticipate or plan for this eventuality could cripple its ability to respond effectively, putting us all at risk.

This article fills a glaring gap in the academic literature by examining how the estate and income tax laws apply to the undead. Beginning with the critical question of whether the undead should be considered dead for estate tax purposes, the article continues on to address income tax issues the undead are likely to face. In addition to zombies, the article also considers how estate and income tax laws should apply to vampires and ghosts. Given the difficulties identified herein of applying existing tax law to the undead, new legislation may be warranted. However, any new legislation is certain to raise its own set of problems. The point here is not to identify the appropriate approach. Rather, it is to goad Congress and the IRS into action before it is too late.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: income tax, tax policy, estate tax, trusts and estates, zombies, undead, vampires, ghosts

JEL Classification: H2, H20, H24, H26

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Date posted: April 24, 2012 ; Last revised: March 8, 2013

Suggested Citation

Chodorow, Adam, Death and Taxes and Zombies (July 5, 2012). 98 Iowa Law Review 1207 (2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2045255

Contact Information

Adam Chodorow (Contact Author)
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
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