This is some sort of joke, right?
At income tax time, some folks become worried or even angry at the thought of the money they must pay to the government. Karl-Gustav Aaknes isn't one of them. Not even after Norway's Tax Administration sent him a bill one day last week for $62.6 million. He didn't lose a minute's sleep over it, he told reporters. In fact, he'd be glad to pay up. There was only one condition he would attach in return: "The income that was the basis for [this] claim" should first be deposited in his bank account. See, you won't find Aaknes's name on any list of his country's wealthiest people. Indeed, he'd fall to near the other end of the scale, since he is retired on a partial-disability pension after a career as a merchant seaman. And therein lay the problem. Records showed that the interest paid on that pension was a whopping $90.2 million. And that didn't count the $133.6 million he'd supposedly been collecting in annual payments from his insurance policy. Whew! In the end, of course, there was an explanation: computer error, which the tax office was willing to admit. For example, that $90.2 million turned out to be a rather more modest $902. But Aaknes seems to have taken it all in stride. His tax bill "is going into a frame " that will be hung on the wall in his home. But first he's thinking of taking it to a bank to use as support material in applying for a loan. "You can borrow 2.5 times your annual income," he said. "So [that] could be a tidy sum."Skip to next paragraph
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