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Statue of limitations: Measure twice, cut once

By Kathryn Zdan, EA

Editorial Director

It’s just a statue commemorating probably the most beloved Los Angeles Lakers basketball player ever, no big deal.

After the February unveiling of a new statue dedicated to Kobe Bryant at Arena, someone finally took the time to read the various inscriptions on the base of the statue. It probably would have been easier to mark any edits using a program like Microsoft Word than applying red pen to polished granite, but the Lakers have announced they’re working on correcting the following:1

  • Former NBA players José Calderón and Von Wafer’s names are misspelled Jose Calderson and Vom Wafer; and
  • The phrase “DNP – Coach’s Decicion” appears directly under the correctly spelled “DNP – Coach’s Decision.”

It’s supposed to be like that

Another [less costly] option would be to claim that the errors were made on purpose. The 2017 unveiling of a statue on the USC campus included verses from Hamlet and the playwright’s name: Shakespear.

When pressed on the missing final e, the university said they did it on purpose, citing the various spellings of the Bard’s name throughout the centuries, for example Shakspeare, Shakspere, Shaksper, Shackspeare, and Shagspere. They had chosen an older spelling on purpose, even though it was less common. (Sure [wink].)2

“Nobody needs another foundation”

By Kathryn Zdan, EA

Editorial Director

At first, Marlene Engelhorn just had “family money”; you, know, the kind you have when you’re a descendant of Friedrich Engelhorn, the man who started the German chemical company BASF. But when her grandmother passed away in 2022, she inherited €25 million.

Prior to the inheritance, she had already founded TaxMeNow, an initiative of wealthy people actively working for tax justice in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Frustrated that her inheritance wasn’t taxed (Austria eliminated its inheritance tax in 2008), she has chosen to give away the €25 million. A team of 50 individuals will decide what to do with the funds. The group was chosen through a statistical process to be representative of the overall Austrian population.

Engelhorn noted, “I’m just one brain, I'm just one person and so to me, this is a huge relief knowing that the process of redistribution is much more legitimate and thorough and democratic than I could ever do it. Nobody needs another foundation.”


Bad tax joke(s) of the week

Here are a few more bad tax jokes for this week. The first comes from a reader who remembers hearing it from former Spidell speaker Steve Honeyman at a seminar years ago.

Two IRS agents are looking up at a flagpole, trying to figure how tall it is. Just then, two accountants are walking by and see the agents wondering how to measure the flagpole. The accountants walk up to the flagpole, take it out of the ground, and lay it on the ground. They measure the pole. They walk over to the IRS agents and say, "It's 46 and 1/2 feet." Then the accountants walk away.

At this point one IRS agent says to the other, “Isn't that just like an accountant? They told us how long it was and not how tall it was."

Did you hear about the CPA from Dallas who took on 100 new clients this year? He’s deep in the heart of taxes.

Did you notice that when you put the words “the” and “IRS” together, it spells “theirs”?

A few fun facts about this week’s writers:

Kathryn Zdan, EA

Kathryn Zdan, EA, spends her non-Spidell hours on photography and watching horror films (and then sleeping with the light on). She also enjoys hiking, biking, and watching foreign films.

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