The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Become a Zombie for.. Tax Purposes?

In the ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ series there is a minor rockstar character named Hotblack Desatio who spends time ‘dead for tax purposes’, a sort of tax exile where the legal status of being ‘deceased’ saves you money that would otherwise go to the government.

I bring this up because, in a roundabout way, a tax lawyer is suggesting that it might prove lucrative to be a Zombie. For tax purposes.

This timely academic work explores the important question of whether zombies should be considered dead for purposes of the estate tax. With proper planning, the author suggests, there could be profitable investing for the shambling horde in “the coming day when the undead walk the earth, feasting on the living.”

So I called Professor Chodorow, hoping to get some advice on what we might call the most dismal science: necronomics. I want whatever financial advantages are coming to me in death, because my investment strategies in life have been moribund.

The important question, he said in a tone that struck me as un-deadpan, is determining whether zombies should be considered truly deceased or partly alive. That distinction is crucial financially, he said: “It will have significant revenue impacts.”

Under a rule of “merely undead not really most sincerely dead,” a wealthy person could delay paying the estate tax upon his passing into the zombie realm; those taxes would have to be paid only after a more decisive event, like having his head blown off with a shotgun.

Those with assets of more than $5 million, he said, “should consider becoming a zombie.”

I think the ZRC response to this article has to have several prongs. First, we deplore the obviously stereotypical and offensive view of Zombies portrayed here, and submit that it lacks internal consistency. If Zombies were (they’re not) mindless devouring creatures, why would they need tax advice? What income would they have to pay tax on? And how would they avoid eating their tax attorney?

Secondly, however, I am pleased to see acknowledgement in print that the legal status of Zombies is not, in fact, as simple and obvious as so many Anti-Zombie survivalists believe (and will quite readily tell you at a convention). Zombies are not merely dead. In fact, they apparently need specialized tax advice.

That.. is something resembling progress, I suppose.

Finally, I can’t say the ZRC is comfortable with the idea of becoming a Zombie for tax purposes. It’s a major, usually irrevocable Unlife decision! Like renouncing your citizenship on steroids.

Think it over very carefully, potential Zombies-for-tax-purposes. Though obviously in most all cases, it beats being a corpse.

On a personal note, I’m glad now more than ever that I’m going to law school. Our Zombie clients are going to need help sorting all this out!!

Special thanks to ZRC pal and Imminent Birthday Girl Michelle Hartz for the tip on this story.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


One Response to “Become a Zombie for.. Tax Purposes?”

  1. I’m impressed with the Hotblack Desiato reference.

    Thanks for the shout out!

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