THOUSANDS OF BREASTS have gone missing. More than 125,000 artificial boobs, worth US$15 million, were imported to Argentina from 2008 to 2009. But cosmetic surgeons say they know nothing about them. Yet witnesses claim they can be seen swelling the sweaters of women in that country.
What’s going on? Argentina’s top tax man accused doctors of doing a mass wave of secret breast enhancements, paid in cash to avoid tax payments. “Come to my house at midnight, senorita, and lie down on the kitchen table near my Ginsu knife collection.”
Forensic accountants have been commissioned to track the breasts’ journey from arrival to their final destinations in the women’s D cup chestal areas.
Never again let it be said that accountancy is boring.
This true story shows that the world no longer tolerates financial secrecy.
Elsewhere, tax dodgers around the world are quaking in their boots (or quacking in their boots, as my Uncle Ernie says) as Wikileaks.com prepares to reveal their names.
(Illustration: Greek military men have really scary costumes)
Then there’s Greece, where hundreds of people are claiming that they “forgot” or “didn’t notice” they had swimming pools at their homes. (Pool owners have to pay tax.) How can you not notice a swimming pool? Are their homes so huge they never reached the backs of them? I blame the ouzo.
And of course there’s IKEA, the world’s biggest chain of furniture shops. The Economist magazine revealed that it avoids tax because it is owned by the world’s biggest and least generous charity. Or perhaps we should say “so-called charity”, in the way that careful journalists write that “the so-called Queen of England” lives in “a so-called palace” in the “so-called British Isles” etc.
There should be an award for the cheekiest tax dodge. Smug rich people would turn up to collect the prize, not realizing that the rest of us were laughing and waiting to see them arrested.
But some not-so-rich individuals are also quaking/ quacking in their boots, after a Harris Interactive poll in the US last week reported that 30 per cent of married people lie to their spouses about money.
This columnist once wrote a mundane news item listing directors’ salaries from a bank’s annual report once. The bank boss left his office later that day to find his ex-wife outside, thrusting the newspaper at him.
“You told my lawyers you earned much less,” she thundered.
He defended himself with the immortal words: “Oops. Ah. Oh dear. #$%^.”
Meanwhile, US tax authorities have passed a law saying that they will discount any non-payment excuse if it is “frivolous”, a posh word for “silly”. The actual wording is:
“A submission is a ‘specified frivolous submission’ if it is a ‘specified submission’ (defined in section 6702(b)(2)(B)).”
Other nations are expected to follow. How do you know if your excuse for not paying tax is silly? First, have a good look around your apartment. If you find a swimming pool in a spare room, tell the taxman now.
But I do NOT recommend that husbands check to see what their wives are doing with the family income.
She may be quietly setting aside funds to finance a “medical tourism” trip to Argentina.
(Illustration, top: Jessica Alba, who claims to have no enhancement except digitally)