Friday, October 05, 2007

Death according to the IRS

What is death? This question has occupied philosphers and religious figues since the dawn of mankind. Jack Bogdanski provedes us with his take on what our beloved tax authorities would define as "separation from life" (hat tip: Argmax):

[T]the Treasury will consider a service provider to be dead if the service provider’s death meets the criteria necessary for a separation from life. ... A service provider separates from life with the service recipient if the service provider has a termination of all mental and bodily functions. However, the service provider’s life is treated as continuing intact while the individual is temporarily unconscious, having an out of body experience, cryogenically frozen or experiencing another bona fide leave of absence from the individual’s conscious state, if the period of such leave does not exceed ten minutes, or if longer, so long as the individual retains a right to regain life and/or reanimation under an applicable contract (with the devil or otherwise) or other arrangement.

If the period of leave exceeds ten minutes and the individual does not retain a right to regain life and/or reanimation under an applicable contract or otherarrangement, the death is deemed to occur on the first minute immediately following such ten-minute period. Notwithstanding the foregoing, where a leave is due to any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death, where such impairment causes the service provider to be unable to perform the essential functions of life without mechanical support, a 525,600 minute period of absence may be substituted for such ten minute period. ...