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14 February 2012 @ 11:55 am
TaxFic Challenge 2012  

[personal profile] celli has declared the "10th Annual Unofficial Taxfic Challenge" (AO3 collection).  This multi-fandom, no-commitment, challenge-style ficathon comes due on the US federal income tax deadline (04/17 this year).  The game is simply to write a story involving taxes (sales, income, estate, value-added, self-employment, excise, whatever).

As Celli has pointed out, long-lived fantasy characters not only encounter all the regular taxes that we real people do, but they also periodically have to figure out how to pass on their estates to themselves in new identities, while satisfying all the appropriate tax obligations.  And then there are historical fiction taxes in different eras and cultures, with all their various uses, loopholes and enforcement mechanisms.  In past years, this challenge has seen at least three FK stories, including an FK/HL crossover (all by [archiveofourown.org profile] LastScorpion).

"Can't Run, Can't Hide" holds FK's one major on-screen exchange about taxes:

Janette: Nicolas! What a welcome relief.
Nick: From what?
Janette: Taxes. My accountant says they're inevitable, like death. He's an accountant; what does he know?
...
Nick: Janette?
Janette: Yes?
Nick: Don't cheat.

However, we also have story angles on taxes available through Nick's two "men of business," Feliks Twist and Charles Ducamps, both from "Blood Money."  Charles clearly oversees the de Brabant Foundation, the charity dispensing Nick's tainted fortune, in the late twentieth century.  Feliks apparently secures that fortune in the longer term.  Whatever specific financial tasks each performs for Nick, they must face taxes!  In CRCH, Janette observes that Lacroix had "plantations" in many places, another possession liable to taxation, like the Raven itself.  Larry Merlin and Aristotle both likely create and obscure tax records in the course of their work.  Schanke owns that "cabin up north" in addition to his Toronto house, so he doesn't get to use the abbreviated form, I'm sure.  Tracy spent part of "Strings" assigned to the Corporate Crime division, where tax returns are bread and butter.  And of course taxes may inspire procedurals as motives or evidence!  Goodness knows, taxes have inspired smuggling through all ages, as well as modern white-collar crime.

Addendum: Perhaps I should point out that the budgets of vital people like police officers and medical examiners are funded by taxes, and stories about that can qualify, too!  Taxes are not just payments made and puzzles solved; they're roads and schools and hospitals, food inspectors and bus drivers and firefighters, NASA and NOAA and the CDC.  In "Cherry Blossoms," Natalie says:

Natalie: It's been a bad day. They cut my budget all too pieces. I'm going to lose two of the attendants off my shift. Both of them have families and the worst of it is, neither of them has anything to go to. I mean, working in a morgue doesn't exactly qualify you to do anything else.

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