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Even the Beatles Fought the Taxman

Song “Taxman” Highlights Frustration by Storied Band

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The Beatles were one of the world’s most successful bands, but that didn’t stop the tax man from getting his fair share from Paul, John, George and Ringo.

One of the more socially and politically-poignant songs the group released over their long career was the song “Taxman,” about the frustrations of living under Great Britain’s progressive tax system.

To get an idea how Beatles bassist George Harrison thought of the British tax system, look no further than the 1966 song’s lyrics, which hint at the then-current 95 percent top tax rate.

It also hints at what the band must have thought was the extremely high burden the 95 percent “supertax” placed on them as England’s mega musicians:

  • “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street, If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat. If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat, If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.”

John Lennon and Paul McCartney were known as the creative force behind the Beatles’ music, but with Taxman, it was Harrison. He was very vocal about his thoughts about the tax rate, but so was Ringo Starr. Starr admitted that the group went for a “scheme” where they paid someone to live in the Bahamas and hold their money. They ended up paying the taxes anyway.

Just like the Beatles, you too might be surprised at the higher tax rate you’ll face as you earn more income.

The top tax rate in the United States is nowhere near 95 percent – it’s currently at 35 percent. Washington politicians are currently debating over whether to increase that rate to 39 percent. But the IRS could go after a higher percent of your assets if you don’t get your back taxes settled with Uncle Sam.

Avoiding your back taxes may be a short-term gain, but it’ll come at a long-term loss. The interest and penalties added can make a bad situation balloon into a worse one. But by working with a tax professional you can avoid a wage garnishment or bank levy that cripples your finances and stunts your business’s profit margins. That’s a song you’ll be happy to write.

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