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accountants portrayed in popular culture

death from overwork

accountants' glamorous world

history of accounting
"Sarbanes-Oxley Blues," words and music written by Headwaters Co-Founder & Chairman Dave Maney

evil taxers

U.S. tax history

IRS history

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Sex of a Hippopotamus

Tax Court

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famous wealthy people



Conway Twitty

Conway Twitty.
His real name was
Harold Jenkins.

Country music balladeer, Conway Twitty, failed in his 1971 restaurant venture, Twitty Burger Inc. He repaid (and deducted) some $100,000 to about 75 investors. As he was under no obligation to do so, the IRS disallowed this deduction. In what must surely rank as its friendliest decision ever, the Tax Court allowed the deduction, saying the payments were made to protect his business reputation. The judge was so smitten with Twitty’s good intentions that he included a five-stanza “Ode to Conway Twitty” in his opinion:

Twitty Burger went belly up
But Conway remained true
He repaid his investors, one and all
It was the moral thing to do.

His fans would not have liked it
It could have hurt his fame
Had any investors sued him
Like Merle Haggard or Sonny James.

When it was time to file taxes
Conway thought what he would do
Was deduct those payments as a business expense
Under section one-sixty-two.

In order to allow these deductions
Goes the argument of the Commissioner
The payments must be ordinary and necessary
To a business of the petitioner.

Had Conway not repaid the investors
His career would have been under cloud
Under the unique facts of this case
Held: The deductions are allowed.

Not to be outdone, the IRS Chief Counsel’s official Action on Decision ended with a five-stanza “Witty Twitty Ditty” doggerel:

Harold Jenkins and Conway Twitty
They are both the same
But one was born
The other achieved fame.

The man is talented
And has many a friend
They opened a restaurant
His name he did lend.

They are two different things
Making burgers and song
The business went sour
It didn't take long.

He repaid his friends
Why did he act
Was it business or friendship
Which is fact?

Business, the court held
It’s deductible, they feel
We disagree with the answer
But let’s not appeal.

There are more stories about Willie Nelson, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Bud Selig and many others, along with more poems and tax songs by Irving Berlin and Cole Porter in: