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Friday, February 25, 2011

Have you filed your taxes yet? Don't forget Form 5713

Please note the first line on this IRS tax form:

The instructions sound slightly better. The form is called an "International Boycott Report." It is not used to report income related to boycotts in which the US participates (for example, Cuba), but only relating to boycotts that the US has declared illegal (for example, Israel).

Here are some more pieces of the instructions:

I'll bet you were as shocked as I was when you saw that form. But the truth is that it's a form that's meant to deprive companies that comply with the Arab boycott of Israel of their tax benefits. And since most sizable companies use accountants who have to sign their tax returns, there's at least some chance they're complying with this.

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