Tag Archives: jargon

Zen and the Art of Taxation

Various shapes of the Chinese character”tax” to meditate on

Zen Buddhism has a number of koans, the most famous of which is “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

Reflect long enough upon riddles like these and you may reach enlightenment, it is suggested.

I would think that the same effect could be attained by meditating on section 509 (a) of the US Tax Code, which reads:

For purposes of paragraph (3), an organization described in paragraph (2) shall be deemed to include an organization described in section 501(c)(4), (5), or (6) which would be described in paragraph (2) if it were an organization described in section 501(c)(3).

If this is the kind of thing they have to think about it is surprising that more tax consultants aren’t Zen monks. Read more…


(Listen to the poem here)

They thought it was a good idea
to put the Nile Perch into Lake Victoria.
Such a convenient and clever thing
to have so many fish steaks
quickly growing at the bottom of the road.
The way it grew so quick, they found, was by
devouring everything in sight and in mouth’s way.
Two hundred species used to live
inside the lake, and now they’ve gone,
mostly by means of being nileperch lunches.
Read more…

One short, one long

(Listen to the poem)

Sometimes, at meetings,
purporting busily
to solve the problems of the world
in the time
left over
in between the coffee breaks,
a delegate gets up and says
he has a little something
he would like to do,
just two words he would like
to add,
one short, one long, Read more…