For the right price, you can buy anything. If this is true, how much would it cost to buy the privilege that Bruce Willis requested in the movie Armageddon? No taxes… ever.
Well, it’s apparently not all that expensive, by rich-n-powerful-people standards at least, to buy enough influence with legislators to wangle a serious reduction in your tax burden. I recall that during the 2000 elections, the “Billionaires for Bush or Gore” protest group put together some data showing what a great ROI serious campaign contributing could bring in terms of favorable legislation.
Less anecdotally, last year the Christian Science Monitor did an article on a Government Accounting Office study finding that
Now, I don’t know how much it actually cost corporate interests to get the loopholes and other changes that produced these results, but I’d guess somewhere in the millions.
Moreover, what you seem to be asking about is a formal and explicit agreement with the government that you personally never have to pay any taxes as long as you live. I’m not sure that such a formal agreement is even constitutionally feasible; it sounds more like the classic fairy-tale “the king grants you this boon as a reward for your loyal service” kind of shtick than any real-life tax status agreement that you could negotiate in a modern democracy.
However, if you’re willing to settle for a more informal shady-influence-peddling type of deal, and willing to jump through the necessary tax-evasion hoops like setting up dummy companies and sheltering funds offshore and so on, I’d bet that a few million in the right pockets would buy you a sufficiently favorable legislative environment to shrink your current tax burden down to nil.
Of course, it’s not always shady deals. Basically, paying for enough accountants and lawyers buys you tax freedom. There’s always some obscure loopholes or weird foregn-bank involved transactions that are technically legal and wholly improper.
It is nonsense that “enough money” can buy anything. Do you really think that anyone would be allowed to purchase the White House or the US Capitol from the United States Government?
Similarly, using money to influence laws in the way proposed by the OP is most certainly illegal. I would propose that you could avoid all taxes by trying to bribe a congressman with a trivial amount, possibly leading to a conviction on the charge of bribery. So long as you avoid doing prison labor, I’d imagine that you would have no income while in prison, thereby avoiding taxes entirely.
OTOH, it would be perfetly legal to buy “taxation insurance” by which you pay a insurance company a lump sum and they pay your taxes for you for the rest of your life. I don’t really see much of a demand for such a product though.
It is perfectly possible to arrange your affairs to avoid most, if not all taxation. IIRC Sri Lanka offered some sort of deal along those lines to geniuses they invite with the idea of putting the place on the map.
Of course, doing such a thing would cost a lot. You would have to get rid of all your US (European, whatever) income and move it elsewhere. That would almost certainly involve more risk and less return.
Why not just take all the money, put it into cash, real bank notes, and put it under your mattress? No income, no income tax. Of course you would be forgoing the interest on your posterpedic.
Yes, I think someone could purchase both the White House and the US Capitol… it’s just that nobody has offered enough. If someone offered $7 trillion, I think you’d see the US govt taking the bid and moving to a new building post-haste.
Perhaps not ‘purchase’, but doesn’t all those millions in political donations at least let you ‘rent’ the White House? :rolleyes:
Wouldn’t you be spending the same amount of money to buy your way out of taxation that you would just paying your taxes the normal way?
So what would the point be?
Suppose it cost a million bucks to do this. For you or I, this might not be worthwhile, but for Bill Gates or Michael Dell, it would be.
But the real reason this question popped into my head was because I was wondering if it were feasible to opt-out of the US tax burden and the national debt. Nobody likes to pay taxes. Nobody likes to hear that their share of the debt is $26 thousand and change.
But supposing every citizen paid their share of the debt and paid into a national endowment. They could collectively say, ok… here’s the money for the present and all future government services. Better use it wisely, because we’re not paying another cent.
Putting aside the potential for fraud, corruption and massive fiscal mismanagement, I think if you waved $N trillion under the nose of the US govt, they might actually let you do it.
Actually, most of the point of “donations” isn’t to avoid taxes; it’s to get a minor regulation boost or legal loophole somewhere or get a little federal dough pushed your way.