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One April day, in 1564
(We know the month, but sadly not the date)
The Bard the world would someday all adore
Was born to write the plays we’d see as great.
Today we think of Shakespeare’s clever quatrains.
Yet he was so much more than just a scrivener.
His businesses included trading grains
And storing them for buyers making dinner.
But sometimes business prompts a hard discussion:
What separates a trader from a hoarder?
How much to charge with no ill repercussion?
It seems he charged too much for law and order.
And so it came in 1598
He faced tax prosecution from the state.
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To cheat, or not to cheat, that is the question:
We all know no one likes to pay their taxes.
But sadly, taxes aren’t a mere suggestion
And Shakespeare put himself above the masses.
The verdict? Well, today, we’re left without one.
The answer, “free” or “guilty,” lost to mystery.
It’s safe to think that penalties were none —
Or else we’d see the stain on Shakespeare’s history.
So, how are we to think about this Bard?
The artist, now revealed as merely human.
We still revere his words with high regard,
Accompanied by moneywise acumen.
And no, we can’t resent his pain at paying.
We sympathize with seeing him disobeying!
Tax Beat is a weekly column with a unique angle: making taxes entertaining. Every week Ed explores the humorous aspects of taxes and current events.
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