my dear friend marky z is a small businessman. he started his little financial empire out of his college dorm room, programming and brainstorming and dealing with the insufferable but undeniably handsome winklevoss twins cameron and tyler.*
yo, marky z, you’ve brought together a lot of people with facebook! and you’ve taken your company public so that we all can invest! uh, well, stock prices have dropped since the ipo at just under forty washingtons to yesterday’s $25 per share. talk about affordability!
marky z is going to be reporting roughly $2.3 billion of income from his stock options alone–you have to add in his wife priscilla’s income as a physician and–who knows?–maybe marky moonlights as a bartender. he does get a deduction for $500,000,000 that he gave to the silicon valley community foundation (and yes, i have the correct number of zeros). the top federal tax rate is 48% and the california state government takes out an extra 13.3%. he hasn’t filed his taxes yet this year, but analysts predict he’s going to owe more than $1,000,000,000 with a top tax rate of 48.3%.
really, should we tell marky z about the 1% arlynn presser surcharge on taxes?
and *tell the winklevoss twins that i’m happy to have dinner with them. just not at the same time. that would be too weird.
what a week for mark zuckerberg! on monday, his girlfriend of nine years — priscilla chan — graduated from stanford university medical school AND it was his birthday! he posted “I’m so proud of you, Dr. Chan” during the commencement ceremony. aww, ain’t love grand?
then facebook shares became available to the public and institutional investors for the first time. it was an incredible payday for the private investors who have supported facebook until now. the private investors have risked everything on an idea–that ordinary people want to look up old friends, find new ones, play hidden chronicles, and post pictures of their adorable ___ (cat, dog, baby, grandmother, thing they made for dinner). those investors, and mark, were right. facebook shares opened at $38 per share and are holding steady as i write this.
mark’s fortune is now so vast that relationship advice expert donald trump opined that a naive young billionaire often makes bad moves, saying “they get married, and then for some reason over the next couple of years they get divorced and then she sues him for $10 billion and she hits the jackpot. I’m notoriously cheap with these things, I think if she made $1 million, that would be very good.” that donald, always an optimist!
the movie “the social network” makes it sound like mark was a bit of, ahem, loser with women. actually, he and priscilla have been dating for nine years. they’ve been together during the tough times and the really great times. for my wedding present to the zuckerbergs, i’m going to give them a photo album entitled “my trip to the grand canyon”, a link to a leah silberman music video and a list of all my friends! oh, wait, they already have that! p.s. don’t they look adorable pictured here in their backyard at the wedding?
so one day after facebook went public, mark zuckerberg changed his status from single to married and wrote a pithy post: “Married Priscilla Chan”. . . it has a lot of ‘likes’. . . .
a curious financial note that the donald might not have thought of: let’s say i’m a billionaire.
okay, i had to have a few moments to close my eyes and think about that one! back to business!
i’m a billion. my girlfriend (her name, just hypothetically, is priscilla) is a pediatrician who wants to open up a clinic for underprivileged children. i want to give her, say, a billion to build the clinic of her dreams. if she’s my girlfriend, the transfer taxes are awful–the internal revenue service will have an agent on my doorstep asking for their share of the money toot sweet! that’s french for jimmy johns fast–
but if i want to give my wife (again, just hypothetically named priscilla) a billion dollars to open a clinic, it’s what the i.r.s. call a “nontaxable event”. the i.r.s. hates nontaxable events–if they could figure out a way to make taking a nap on the lounge chair in your backyard a taxable event, they would! personally, i think the world has come out on top. mark owns all our personal information because we have an implacable human need to connect. priscilla makes medical care available to kids who might otherwise not be able to get it. and love reigns! too bad about the i.r.s.
but i wonder what you think …
and, of course, i wonder–did they invite all their facebook friends?
on april fifteenth, the internal revenue service wants to hear from every american . . . . and this year, there are some americans who feel like pulling out their hair.
get out your calculators! figuring out your taxes is fun and easy! oh, and i'm lying about that.
i brought home from the library a two hundred page, single spaced manual that is the 1040 EZ tax manual. so, armed with a calculator, coffee, and a sense of civic responsibility, i will spend the next three days calculating how much money the internal revenue service wants from me. on the other hand, there is a simpler explanation: