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Tax Relief

Flat (ulence) tax rate for Danish cows?

The safer end to stand?

In line with its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020, Denmark is considering introducing a tax on cows – and their farts.

A report, released by the environmental arm of the Danish economic council, suggests levying a yearly tax of DKK 2,280 ($340) on every cow in the country.

Cows produce between 30 and 50 gallons of methane a day – more than previously thought. Methane is around 30 times more efficient at trapping the heat from the sun's rays in the atmosphere than everyone's favourite greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, so a tax on its production makes sense from an environmental protection perspective.

It does beg the question, though, of whether declaring "he who smelt it, dealt it" will entitle bovine taxpayers to an exemption, or whether they'll be hit with a penalty under the "she who denied it, supplied it" article of Fart Tax article b (iii).

As with most targeted taxes of this nature, the cost would most likely be passed onto consumers if it was implemented. If each of the 1.5 billion cows on the planet was subject to the tax, the takings would be more than half a trillion dollars – and I thought my mother in law's reaction was over the top when I farted into the microphone on my wedding day.

In any case, it's a common misconception that cow farts are responsible for large amounts of methane – they actually expel up to 20 times more of the gas through their mouths.

Luckily, Tax Relief is a vegan (unless there's gelatine in printer ink) so the fart tax won't have an effect here if it's passed on to consumers through the cost of milk and meat.

Rooney ‘furious’ at HMRC tax bill

Former England captain is said to be 'furious' over a £5 million ($7 million) tax bill from UK tax revenue authority, HMRC. The star, who now plays for Everton Football Club, made savings through investments in a film finance scheme.

Tax Relief is still furious at Rooney's last appearance at a major tournament for England, which was the embarrassing 2-1 loss to Iceland, and even more furious that yet another footballer has been caught out for tax avoidance, as we're running seriously low on new puns. It's just not cricket.

Comedian has last laugh at taxman’s expense

British comedian Ken Dodd died on March 12. The following is an excerpt from his trial for eight tax charges in 1989.

Dodd: I had some trouble with the tax… my accountant died

Brian Leveson (later LJ Leveson): Did that really matter?

Dodd: Well it mattered to him!

Cheers broke out in the public gallery when Dodd was cleared of all charges following a 23-day trial.

Dodd also married his partner two days before his death, exempting her from an inheritance tax bill of up to £2 million ($2.8 million).

Quotes of the month

"You have to be a tax geek to watch an OECD tax talk on a Friday,"

Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, while releasing the OECD's digital tax interim report on March 16.

"They were in with a load of opt-outs. Now they are out, and want a load of opt-ins."

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on the UK's attitude to the EU.

"We tax people, we tend to be really boring"

Orrin Hatch, US Senator and one of the 'Big 6' policymakers on US tax reform.

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