How I got interested in tax

Right out of college in 1969, my first job was teaching French at maybe the best public high school in North Carolina.  I was making $6,300 a year, which seemed like a lot, since all-in costs at Davidson College had been around $2,000.  So I could afford to go to France in the summers.  The epiphany was when I found out I could deduct all my living expenses (I took some classes, did an internship or “stage,” and traveled).

Deductions for travel were later called a loophole:  “Congressional discussion of the 1986 revisions makes clear that a French professor who tours France to brush up on his language skills is not entitled to a tax deduction.”  http://chronicle.com/article/Tax-PlanningSabbatical/126293/.  They got me.  I was on the Joint Committee staff then, and don’t remember the change.  I don’t think I was involved.

I remember, as I was putting my documentation together to claim my deduction, my father telling me, “If you claim $12 a day, they’ll never question it.”  I was living low to the ground back then.

 

 

 

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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