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The Tooth Fairy and The Tax Fairy

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James Martin
April 4, 2013

Last night the Tooth Fairy made her 118th visit to our home. The going rate for a normal tooth is two dollars, front teeth are redeemed for more. Six kids, 20 teeth each, it is almost a home equity loan. And that is before braces. That fairy is fairly expensive.

As a general rule, teeth are lost early in the day, long, long before bedtime. And due to age, the Tooth Fairy gets distracted and forgetful. Occasionally that leads to missed tooth retrievals, lack of payment, and distressed children the following day. The Tooth Fairy does not get text messages to remind her, she is old school. So in order to ensure a timely retrieval in our home, the losing child is responsible for opening the back door, on their way to bed, and yelling "Tooth Fairy, Tooth Fairy, I lost my tooth!" This results in the Tooth Fairy understanding there is work that night. If the child forgets to yell, then the fairy is absolved of all guilt for missing the pick-up. There is enough guilt for everything else the fairy does or failed to do; it's good to pass the buck tooth on occasion.

Along the same lines of the Tooth Fairy is the Tax Fairy. The Tooth Fairy converts teeth to cash and the ratio is fictional. The Tax Fairy takes the fruits of your labor, keeps a predetermined amount for the year, and then determines how much to return, if any. Likewise, the Tax Fairy ratio is not based in reality.

Utilizing an online Tax Fairy revealer program, I did my son's taxes. Through withholding he paid $XXX in taxes. After spending an hour and a half completing the federal and state forms, he is getting all of his money back, plus $100. That extra $100 must come from the same place the Tooth Fairy gets her money.

This all has me wondering if the Tooth Fairy could be used as a money laundering scheme to hide money from the Tax Fairy. Money from the Tooth Fairy does not meet the definition of earned income, nor is it a gift or sale. It is kind of a barter, but if the Tax Fairy starts looking into the fair market value of teeth I think I am only on the hook for $2 per tooth. But what if the Tooth Fairy really likes my teeth and I get $100,000 per tooth while only being responsible for tax on the first two dollars? It makes as much sense as the rest of the tax code.

You will have to excuse me, I am off to the dentist. I see gummy worms in my future.



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