On July 23, Batman turned 75! Everyone knows how the billionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne dons a bat-like costume to protect Gotham City from supervillains like The Joker, The Penguin, and The Riddler. But did you know that he’s just as resourceful when it comes to fighting The Tax Man, too? Let’s use the occasion of the DC Comics character’s Diamond Anniversary to see what bat-deductions he can bring to the fight:
• Batman may be a brilliant detective and master martial artist, but he can’t protect Gotham all by himself. Dick Grayson was the youngest member of the “flying Graysons” acrobat troupe when a mafia boss killed his parents. Batman took Grayson in as his legal ward, and soon Grayson became “Robin.” Claiming Robin as a dependent gives Batman a personal exemption, which would reduce his taxable income by $3,950 this year if Batman’s high income didn’t phase out most of that deduction. But more important, it lets Batman file his taxes using more advantageous “head of household” rates!
• Batman and Robin live at stately Wayne Manor, an enormous fortress outside Gotham City. Batman’s family has owned the home for generations, which means Batman isn’t likely to be paying tax-deductible interest on a mortgage. However, he can deduct an unlimited amount of property tax he pays on the home and grounds, including the Batcave. Oh, and the solar panels Batman installed after the mansion was damaged in an earthquake qualify for a 30% solar investment tax credit.
• Alfred Pennyworth is a British actor and former intelligence agent who serves as Batman’s butler and best friend. Alfred manages Wayne Manor and cares for the Batcave below. It’s not a business relationship, so Batman can’t write off Alfred’s salary. However, it seems evident that Alfred is required to live on the premises as a condition of his employment — which at least makes his room and board tax-free to him.
• When Robin left for college, Batman decided Wayne Manor was a bit too stately for just Alfred and him. So they decamped to a penthouse high atop the Wayne Foundation building in Gotham City. Naturally, the penthouse includes a secret elevator, leading to a secret Batcave, in a secret sub-basement deep under the building. But there’s no need to hide anything from the IRS — it also qualifies as a second home, meaning Batman can deduct interest on up to $1 million of “acquisition indebtedness” on the property, plus an unlimited amount of property tax as well.
• Batman is one of those rare comic book superheroes without actual superpowers. He can’t fly, like Superman, or breathe underwater like Aquaman, or transform himself into an invulnerable green humanoid like The Incredible Hulk. (He can’t even make plants grow like the Clorophyll Kid!) But he can harness an arsenal of specially-designed bat-themed gadgets and tools. This includes the fleet of vehicles we all love — the Batmobile, Batplane, Batboat, Bat-sub, and Bat-cycle. And it includes a special utility belt to carry the “batarangs” he uses in lieu of firearms (because a gun killed his parents). Batman’s “toys” naturally help him fight crime. But they also help him fight taxes — inventing and producing them qualifies for lucrative Research & Development tax credits and Domestic Production Activity deductions!
Billionaire Bruce Wayne understands that smart tax planning doesn’t have to mean revealing his secret identity. We can be sure he uses at least part of the savings to fund his fight against the supervillains! But you don’t have to be a millionaire crime-fighting playboy to benefit like he does. Activate your bat-signal — or just pick up your batphone and call Bordeaux & Bordeaux CPA’s— and we’ll give you the plan you need to fight taxes you just don’t have to pay.
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