In a 20 page essay titled Death, Taxes and Zombies, Adam Chodorow considers the American tax system and the potential difficulties in applying death tax and income tax in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse. For instance can people who turn into zombies be considered dead for tax law purposes? If they’re not considered dead but as undead or as the living dead, should they pay income tax?
Chodorow’s slams the American congress for its lack of foresight in designing the countries tax law, and calls for a complete rethink. He highlights the enormity of legal issues that would arise if the undead were to walk the earth, and the fundamentally flawed assumption that underpins the American Tax Code, that death is easily defined and/or permanent.
Chodorow considers the complex taxonomy of the Zombie and sites extensive references to demonstrate the diversity within the zombie community.
“…The first question that must be answered is whether the person who became a zombie died in the first place. The answer depends in large part on the type of zombie involved… zombie plagues clearly cause death under either the heart or brain function standard in many cases. In others, the transition from living to zombie involves no discrete event of physical death…”
Chodorow also includes Vampires in the discussion suggesting despite their historical differences, in the broadest sense the vampire can be classed as a type of zombie due to the living dead conundrum.
“…It appears that most vampires have no heart function, suggesting that the original person died and remains dead. However, vampires can be killed by putting a stake through their hearts…More important, it seems likely that, despite a heart function test, most states would classify someone with a fully functioning brain as alive…”
Chodorow concludes by calling the American congress to take action now before its too late and rigor mortis sets in in earnest.
The essay is available from the Social
Science Research Network