Benjamin Franklin famously said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” In thinking about this — today being the last day to timely file income taxes, and with the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse Live at Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, we got to thinking, what about the UNdead. Do THEY have to pay taxes?
According to Law Professor Adam Chodorow, the United States Tax Code — and indeed the entire system of law in the U.S. is completely unprepared to deal with a full blown Zombie Apocalypse. The fatal flaw in the system hinges around the basic assumption that once one is dead, one ceases to exist for all eternity. We here at Cutting Edge know that that simply is not true.
In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, as Professor Chodorow stresses, a large portion of the nation’s living taxpayers would be either killed or converted to Zombies. Accordingly, the government, already struggling mightily to remain fiscally viable, would immediately dissolve into chaos.
Clearly, then, there needs to be a system of taxation that includes Zombies, witches, vampires, ghosts and all other forms of undead beings, in order to help keep the country running smoothly in the event that we all turn into Zombies or vampires or whatever.
The problem here lies in the definition of undead verses deceased. Does a person die before they turn into a Zombie, in which case, should they be subject to a death tax? If they are undead, do they retain ownership of their estate?
Professor Chodorow does a deep dive into the fine details of the various tax laws and how they could or should be applied to Zombies and other undead beings, but to our thinking there’s an even bigger, more important question at hand. Do Zombies earn money? Sure, the independently wealthy might resort to deliberately becoming Zombies in order to exploit this gaping loophole in the tax code, but what about the rest of the population? Can Zombies hold jobs?
It doesn’t seem likely there would be a robust job market for Zombies. What kind of work could a Zombie do, after all? Forget anything that involves any sort of intelligence or reasoning skills. Maybe they could be a bouncer at nightclub, or a doorman or a bellhop. I’ve seen the occasional cab driver I thought was a Zombie. But even if there were jobs for Zombies, would they be willing to do them? Nevermind getting them to report to work in the first place, the first whiff of human scent and they’d walk off the job and go looking for brains to eat.
Even if we could tax Zombies, and they could hold down a job and figure out how to fill out an income tax form, it wouldn’t be of much help once the whole infrastructure became infested with Zombies. For instance, a Congress and Senate full of Zombies wouldn’t be able to develop and pass a federal budget… Hey, WAIT A MINUTE…
Adam Chodorow is a Law Professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State in Tempe, Arizona. Download his complete thesis at: http://www.law.asu.edu/portals/31/chodorow_death_taxes_zombies.pdf
And if you missed out on tickets to the Zombie Apocalypse Live at Cutting Edge Haunted House, you still have a chance to shoot Zombies at Thrillvania Haunted House Park on May 1st, 2nd and 3rd!