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Friday, May 13, 2011

The Tax Fight

Did you ever have to fight with the IRS or local tax authorities?  I bet many of you at least had SOME problems.
Well, so had we back in Norway. It was all about a Pickup truck I bought in 1986. We needed a pickup as we had pig stables two different places and had to drive both life animals and feed. The trouble began when I deducted the sales tax and costs of operations for the truck from taxable income. The message I got was that a certain percentage of these costs would be considered private expenses and would not be entitled for tax deduction.


A truck like this one
This we did not agree to as we had another car for private use. The pickup would not be very attractive for private use, mainly because of the typical pig smell. In order to rub that in with local tax authorities, I publicly invited the leader of the local tax office for a ride with the pickup. The ride was scheduled for a Saturday morning at 11am, best shopping time in town. The curbs would be crowded and I would have the necessary attention.


Of course I did not forget to invite the press. To further make my point I had decorated the truck with posters and Norwegian flags. But the highlight of the day would be the curb walk with one of our little piglets. 
When we rode down to the train station (the meeting point) reporters were waiting for us. I gave an interview and we walked the little piglet up and down the curb. There was indeed a lot of attention in town and people were watching for my next step.


As the tax-guy never showed up, we started patrolling main street. As we passed up and down, people were cheering for us. (obviously the guy wasn't all that popular in town). Some people came over and talked to us. We had a great time that morning.


A couple of days later I received a phone call from a major national magazine. They wanted to send a reporter and a photographer to our farm for putting together an in-dept story about our tax fight and another couple of days later they showed up indeed.  Another daily newspaper put up a big story on the last page, so we could be a assured that our point was made on a National scale.


Did we ever get the tax matter resolved? What do you think? Nope, it never happened. Something to think about when YOU get into trouble about your taxes.


We interrupt the stories from Norway for the weekend, as we plan to go picnicking with the kids tomorrow.


But stay tuned for more to come!!

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