7 Weird Money Laws You May Have Broken
Money can make people do strange things. But what about when money laws themselves are beyond comprehension?
From bizarre tax systems at home to monarchy-imposed oddities abroad, the world is full of some very odd laws governing the spending and collecting of money. Lucky for you, this list of them is free.
1. Don't Step
Thailand's king is featured prominently on all the country's currency. Thailand's king is also not to be criticized, under legal penalty. So by extension, Thailand has one of the stranger money laws around: stepping on money is considered extremely disrespectful, and crazily enough, could land you in a Thai jail.
2. Do the Running Man, Pay the Tax Man
In Washington state, cover charges for movies, concerts, and theater are tax free. Unless, that is, the venue provides patrons with an "opportunity to dance" (seriously), in which case tax must be paid. A holdover law from the 60s, the provision was largely forgotten about until recently, when one establishment was charged $25,000 for non-compliance.
3. Candy Pain
Buy a Twizzler in Kentucky and you're free from paying taxes. Buy a chocolate-coated pretzel, and you better keep that receipt. That's because their state law declares tax exempt only those candies that don't contain flour. Seems a little half-baked.
4. Canadian Currency Conundrum
Find it annoying when the person in front of you in line starts counting out pennies for their purchase? Well in Canada, you could have that person arrested. According to the Canadian Currency Act, there are all sorts of legal restrictions on what you can and can't pay for with coins, including the illegality of using more than 25 pennies in any transaction.
5. Nay-Saying Sooth-Saying
For something weird you're not allowed to charge money for, how about Pennsylvania’s law against soliciting payment for fortune telling? The misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail, and extends to outlaw charging to place hexes or spells on people.
6. The Bagel Burden
It's tough to walk down a New York City street without running into a bagel joint. But if you're looking to avoid being charged tax on one of those heavenly bread circles, make sure you do not, under any circumstances, ask for your bagel to be sliced. As soon as the bagel is sliced (or schmeared, for that matter!), it's considered prepared food, and can be taxed up to 9 cents.
7. Bavarian Bribes
While most of this list features legal restrictions, this last law gets honorable mention (it was eliminated just a few years ago) for helping facilitate a strange financial transaction. Namely: bribery. German tax law, it turns out, actually allowed private companies to write off the costs of bribery on their returns.
Though good luck dealing with the angry bribe recipients after listing their names on your receipts…