Sunday, April 06, 2008

Fun with taxes...

Let's be honest...there is very little exciting or interesting about tax season. And with Turbo Tax, the entire process has become rather mechanical, with none of the last-minute drama commonly reported on least not in our house.

But I did want to report on one curiosity that shows up deep within the California tax adjustment for income from "Ottoman Turkish Empire Settlement Payments". (The Ottoman Empire was a powerful state for over six hundred years until it dissolved in 1922.)

Unfortunately, Turbo Tax offers none of its usual helpful explanations on this line item (in spite of the deceiving "Explain This" link.) But how could I let this one go :)

A little Googling reveals lots of other bloggers noting this shoot, I'm not blazing new comic territory here. But good explanation.

According to a 2004 press release on the New York Life Insurance website, these payments were part of a class action suit settlement to "resolve more than 2,000 insurance policies issued to Armenians in the Turkish Ottoman Empire prior to 1915". The total value of the settlement was $20 million.

Damn. I guess I don't have to check THAT box on the tax form.

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