Shrewd Moves

Accounting Degree Holder Scott Thompson May Not Be in a Rush to Find a New Job

Last week we learned that Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson, who had given the impression that he was a holder of not one, but two degrees (CompSci and Accounting) only managed to, in reality, be the holder of said accounting degree. This misrepresentation has upset a few people, most notably, Third Point founder Dan Loeb whose […]

For Some Unknown Reason, The IRS Confiscated a Nearly Worthless Scarface Poster in Young Buck Raid

Earlier in the month you may recall the story of hip-hop artist Young Buck being on the wrong side of a IRS raid that involved some of those shiny shotguns.

At that time, we learned that the agents seized several items – recording equipment, jewelry, furniture, his platinum wall plaques – even Mr Buck’s PlayStation (he says it was his son’s but, come on).

Anyway, we now learn that agents also confiscated a $31k Breitling Bentley watch AND a Scarface movie poster with an approximate value of…$10.


We’re not too familiar with IRS protocols, so perhaps when someone’s house is raided, the standard operating procedure is to take literally everything. The furniture. The porno collection. Worthless movie posters that there are literally tens of thousands of copies of. It all goes.

Presumably, the agents could have sold the poster to a kid on the street for a few bucks so they could get coffee but it would still be only enough money for one or two coffees. Or maybe it was enough for one (one!) cover at the local strip joint for the post-raid celebration. Or maybe on of the guys/gals really, really, really wanted that poster. Who knows?

Motivation aside, it certainly serves as another fine example of IRS shrewdness when it comes to collection efforts.

$31,000 watch among items seized from Young Buck’s home [The Tennessean]

Filthy Rich Guy Loses Fight with IRS, Remains Filthy Rich

Phil Anschutz, like most multi-billionaires, didn’t get rich being a passive dude. Case in point, Mr Anschutz just lost a battle with the IRS over $143.8 million in capital gains taxes that the Service argues he and his company, Anschutz, Co. owed for for transactions related to Union Pacific and Anadarko Petroleum.

According to Forbes’ latest Billionaire list, Phil is worth $6 billion. Before you reach for your 10-key, we’ll just tell you – this little capital gain issue amounts to less than 2.5% of his net worth.


In a similar vein, these transactions occurred in 2000 and 2001 so this particular battle is entering it’s second decade if you consider the birth of the transaction that gave life to the IRS’ beef.

Yes, he’s appealing ruling. See you in another 10 years.

Billionaire Anschutz Loses Capital Gains Ruling Over $144 Million Tax Bill [Bloomberg]

This Man Hates Taxes More Than He Loves His Family

Well, he doesn’t come right out and say that but actions speak louder than words, amiright?

This is Guy Hands, Founder, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Terra Firma a private equity firm with locations in London, Frankfurt, and Guernsey where he currently resides.

He moved there last April from Kent, a county in Southeast England, to “protest at higher income and capital gains tax rates,” and that “he has ‘never visited’ his school age children since he left the [the United Kingdom]. They have remained with his wife at their former family home in Kent and they now have to travel to Guernsey to see him.”


Guy “Father Knows Best” Hands also doesn’t visit his parents any more “and would not do so except in an emergency,” so he’s not much of a son either.

The devoted family man is an “‘outspoken’ critic of UK tax levels,” so this level of commitment to avoid paying taxes shouldn’t be a surprise. Non-resident tax status is at stake here; he won’t set foot in a UK airport even to transfer.

GH’s shrewd sensibilities were revealed in court papers last week as the venue for his dispute with Citigroup over Terra Firma’s purchase of music group EMI is being decided. If the proceedings are moved to London, Hands’ tax planning could be completely thwarted and — gasp — he might see his children in the UK (if time permits of course).

I save tax by never visiting my family, says tycoon Guy Hands [Guardian]

Today in IRS Shrewdness

an employee of Sunshine Maids, received a refund check for $122,783.51 from the service. When she reported the error to the IRS, she was instructed to void the check.
Despite the IRS error, and her honesty in reporting the mistake, she still owes $80 on her taxes.

House Cleaner Receives Accidental $122,783 Tax Refund [Web CPA]

PwC is Thinking About Your Health

penny.jpgIt’s no secret that accounting firms are desperate either to cut costs or to find new sources of revenue.

Today’s wonderfully shrewd example comes courtesy of PwC, who decided that your four or five soda a day habit was a perfect weakness to take advantage of. Apparently the firm increased the price of a can of soda from 30 cents to 60 cents to squeeze out an additional $30,000 in revenue.


Our source informed us that this was a such a brilliant idea that a partner felt compelled to mention it at a firm alumni council dinner. Classy.

It’s entirely possible that PwC is just concerned that too many of you are consuming far too much high fructose corn syrup but our speculation is totally unfounded.

If you’ve got more examples of your firm taxing you on junk food consumption or other redonkulous cost saving measures, discuss in the comments or shoot us the shrewd details to tips@goingconcern.com.