Today's burning brainfart :conjoined twins & taxes

Do conjoined twins pay one tax or two?

If they have a job, since they both have to be there at the same time, do they get double the wage?
And the burning question: Do the parents get one or two tax deductions?

I haven’t the foggiest idea, but would just like to inform you that ignorance as creative as yours should be worshipped.

All hail.

I have no idea about the first question, but as to the second question.

If the conjoined twins each have their own SSN, then they definitely can count as two deductions - the IRS doesn’t care if they’re conjoined, identical, fraternal or what, as long as each person being claimed has their own Social Security Number.

If they draw two paychecks, then they pay two lots of taxes.

Just a WAG, but I suspect that they are treated as two individual people in all legal respects. If one is employed and the other isn’t, I imagine one could sit it out while the other earns their money. I think most employers would be sensitive to the special needs of conjoined twins and would offer to employ both rather than one.

I would have thought that if only one twin has the job then only he/she will be working. The other twin will only be along for the ride, as it were, so why should they get paid too? However if both are doing some work then yes, they’d have to get paid.

I wonder, though, what the cut-off point is for conjoined twins to be considered separate people. As I understand it, some have two almost separate bodies, while some share most of the bodies but have “extra” parts. I imagine two separate and independent heads/brains would be the main criterion.

How do they handle it if one conjoined twin commits murder. The legal questions are never ending, particularly in a state with capital punishment.

Yeah, verily, I should be worshipped for coming up with such a question. Sick for a week with dizziness has given me special insight to such things.

Annie has asked a burning question that I was going to just ask, but she did it far more cohesive than I could ever manage. She must be dizzy too.:slight_smile:

I don’t know if the situation has ever happened in real life, but in the 1951 movie “Chained for Life”, starring real-life conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, one murders her husband and the court has to decide what to do about it. I’ve never seen it, but apparently it’s available on DVD.

I should add that the legal arguments in the movie are probably not, you know, legitimate.

While lots of people would agree with your assessment of me, Shirley, I prefer to think of it as the first rule of good writing, which is KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Verbosity is the kiss of death to good writing.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if they found the killers’ DNA at a murder scene, but the killer was an identical twin. Whodunit?

Well, with only DNA evidence in that case, the prosecutor couldn’t establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Eyewitness testimony wouldn’t help much to distinguish the two. If one had a confirmed alibi, that might help. Or if a fingerprint with a scar on it was found. Of if one twin was caught with the murder weapon, or bloody clothes. Etc.


A most excellent title of a case of a book that will never exist, but it should, about identical chinese twins, murder and a prostitute:

**Who killed the ho? This ho or that ho? ** by Don Ho

Identical twins have different fingerprints.

I’m just thinking of a pair, joined at the hip, one holds the murder weapon, the police are kicking down the door, and the ensuing dialog goes something like this

YOU take it…NO, you take it…NOYOUTAKEIT!

Conjoined twins are two people. So if they’re both working, then they both pay taxes.

I don’t see a problem with conjoined twins holding a job together and both working, depending on the job. Daisy and Violet Hilton spent the end of their lives working check-out as a grocery store, with one running the cash register and the other working as a bagger.

Computer work is another field that seems pretty simple for conjoined twins- just set up the two computers in friendly positions and they can each get on with their individual programming. If both twins are working, they’d each be drawing a paycheck. And if one is just a better programmer than the other, you can even imagine them making different salaries, or one moving up the employment ladder and ending up as the other’s boss, or most of the things that could happen to any pair of siblings working in an office together.

Crime is tougher, and would call for some creative sentencing on some judge’s part, but it’s hard for me to imagine a situation in which one twin commits a crime without the other being at least an accessory. If Daisy is trying to shoot someone, and Violet doesn’t want her to, she’s right there and should be able to grab the gun or knock it aside, right?

As far as I know, the law considers them two separate people as long as there are two brains. And while they’re people who have gotten used to having constant company, they are two individuals with their own personalities. Chang and Eng, the original ‘Siamese Twins,’ grew to dislike one another pretty intensely by the end of their lives, from what I’ve heard.

And there aren’t as many conjoined twins as there once were. As medical science improves, more babies can be separated. I have an acquaintance who had conjoined daughters who were separated a few months after their birth. I think the only way twins are left attached is if they share too many organs for both to survive separation.

It’s already happened: