Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tax Planning for Sinter Klaas (Dutch Santa Claus)

IBFD as a good organization located in the Netherlands, organizes every-year its own Christmas gathering. According to the Dutch tradition, the Dutch Sinter Klaas, arrives in Mid-November by steamboat with his helper Zwarte Piet (Black Peter). He is said to have journeyed from Spain, where he spends the rest of the year, and arrives in Amsterdam where makes his rounds on December 5, distributing sweets to the children.

I am explaining this Dutch tradition because a colleague of mine shared a good piece of “tax poetry” during the Christmas gathering, in the form of an e-mail sent to Sinter Klaas by an egger US tax advisor. All credit for this text goes of course to Dan Geddes also known as “The Satirist”.

5 December 2005
To: Sinter Klaas
From: Tex E. Vader, Tax Adviser,
Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe, LLP
Houston, Texas, USA

Dear Sinter Klaas:

As an admirer of your kindly acts,
I'm obliged to tell you some unpleasant facts.
Your accountants have been a trifle lax.
You've failed to pay all your cross-border tax.

It must have stirred up your most primal fears
to find out your taxes were long in arrears,
that you've owed back taxes for 800 years
to Hapsburgs, Oranges, and even King Lear.

We are certain that it's not your fault, sir,
but would be a pity to default, sir.
If your Spanish shop is going to falter
You should relocate to Gibraltar.

You now comprise a global operation,
and serve the children of many nations.
You could set up a public foundation
to ease the burden of so much taxation.

It is hard to prosper in high-tax lands,
like Germany, Spain, and The Netherlands,
You could plant yourself in warm, white sands:
Aruba, Dutch Antilles, or the Cayman Islands.

Surely it is not greedy or craven,
to move assets to a known tax haven.
Think of the money you'll be saving,
When farewell to high taxes you're waving.

You incur high costs shipping your booty.
You could pay a lower customs duty,
shipping goods within the EU for free.
(And did know your ship is not a PE?)

And your old assets need amortizing!
Chances for new revenue are arising!
Get your share of all the merchandizing!
Please consider Sinter Klaas™ franchising!

So when children run up to you skipping
sugar candy from their mouths a-dripping
Your thoughts should turn to your worldwide shipping.
You have good chances for double-dipping.

It's truly not a nice birthday greeting,
to learn that you are taking a beating.
There are ways to pay less without cheating,
Please call us soon to set up a meeting.

Respectfully yours,

Tex E. Vader,
Tax Adviser,
Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe, LLP

© 2005 Dan Geddes


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