The other day I was browsing Facebook when an ad appeared directing me to this link:

I wonder what year it became necessary to write the law/code behind this statement from the site:

“As a sperm donor, you will be classified as an independent contractor under the IRS code.”

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s an IRS classification for Sperm Donors.  Everyone must pay taxes. Even prostitutes, drug dealers, and loan sharks.  In fact they all share the same classification as freelance journalists, professional sperm donors, and lowly Writing Consultants: independent contractor.  According to IRS Publication 525 Publication:

Illegal income, such as stolen or embezzled funds, must be included in your income on line 21 of Form 1040, or on Schedule C or Schedule C–EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.

You can find it in this PDF.  I know, you’re thinking this is ridiculous: wouldn’t the IRS just hand your information over to law enforcement?  I’ll tell you: I’d hope that the 5th  amendment would protect you, but really I don’t know.

The IRS is renowned for its bureaucratic complexity, but I did not realize until today that simply by searching the IRS website for particular phrases, you can tap into a virtual font of bureaucratic hilarity.  For instance, the first hit off of searches for “illegal income”:

Coordinated Issue Aerospace Industry Deductibility of Illegal Bribes, Kickbacks and Other Payments (Issued October 31, 1991)

That’s right the IRS decided a memo was necessary to settle the issue of the deductibility, not only for illegal bribes and kickbacks, but specifically within the Aerospace industry.  The end of the same document declares:

In cases where any 162(c) type expenses are claimed as deductions (as opposed to being claimed as cost of goods sold) regardless of whether the payments are made directly between buyer and seller or through a third party, criminal potential exists and the case should be referred.

Which would tend to suggest that tax-law abiding hitmen (another manner of freelancer) of good character (I’m imagining someone like John Cusack in Grosse Point Blank) would be in deep trouble if they complied.

[Ori Fienberg is a contributing writer to Phreelance Writers. Read his take on all things pop culture at O.J. Confesses.]