Video footage of people looting and ransacking everything from neighborhood markets to Lois Vuitton stores has blanketed media outlets. We sit stunned as we witness the destruction and mayhem. And as we watch this looting break out across the nation, we are all gripped by one unifying thought: Why didn’t I invest in plywood? I would have made a mint!
This is why Warren Buffett has a Gulfstream G-6 and I have a 2002 Toyota Tacoma.
Investment errors aside, looters need to consider the consequences of their actions before grabbing that 65” flat screen. In particular:
1. The IRS Code defines “Gross Income” as “income from whatever source derived….’” If you ask an IRS agent whether looted property is taxable, he’ll ask you whether you want the top or bottom bunk while you wait for your Tax Evasion trial if you fail to report it. I’m not saying you need to take your CPA with you as you make your political statement by liberating a pair of pearl earrings from a shattered display case, but you might want to keep him on speed dial.
2. The odds of grabbing the correct size of Nikes as you jostle within the melee of other “shoppers” grabbing for shoe boxes are not in your favor. And even if by chance you do grab the right size (and believe me, I’ve learned this the hard way) Nikes run a bit small. You really should try them on before you commit to a pair. Under the unique circumstances of a looting, what with all the sirens blaring and needing to dodge those shards of broken glass, this is a challenge even for the most experienced looter.
3. Most stores have a fairly unforgiving Return Policy on looted goods. They tend to be reluctant when it comes to exchanges. And if you ask for a refund, prepare to duck.
Here’s the most important takeaway –
Whether its IRS advice, investment advice, footwear advice, or looting advice, don’t listen to me. Remember, I’m the guy with the 2002 Tacoma.
Please do me a favor – Comment and share!
Also, before you leave –
Check out these great books:
The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness
Seven Rules for the College Playground
Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer