The Two Certainties In Life: Taxes And Superhero Movie PR Stunts

KANSAS CITY – Holy PR stunt, Batman! The folks at H&R Block are sniffing around the bat cave.

In anticipation of this summer’s comic book movie blockbusters, H&R Block took a look at the fictional finances and tax bills of Batman and Spiderman. Apparently, being tax accountants just wasn’t quite geeky enough for the Kansas City-based company. Let’s blame it on the heat.

The H&R Block blog post from social media manager Jerry Green shows not only a difference in costume tastes between Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker, but also stark disparities in the wealth and tax liabilities between the two heroes.

As CEO and Chairman of Wayne Enterprises, Batman’s alter ago Bruce Wayne racks in a cool $102 million a year, plus $43 million in capital gains earnings. H&R originally figured Wayne would have no tax liability at all with his $279 million in charitable giving, but Fortune magazine pointed out to H&R Block a chapter in the U.S. tax code stipulating a 50% maximum on income for charitable giving.

H&R Block putPeter Parker’s salary as a freelance photographer working for the Daily Bugle at less than $50,000. Fifty thousand is also the number of years it would take Parker, aka Spiderman, to earn what his movies have made worldwide. It’s true–H&R Block did the math.

With New York rents what they are and a student loan bill for NYU topping $155,000, Peter Parker has as good a reason as anyone to go occupy Wall Street, or Wayne Manor.

Big as Batman’s net worth is, it’s nothing compared to what both of the superheroes’ movies have made at the box office. That number adds up to a tad over $5 billion. There are a lot of super villains—not to mention IRS collectors—who would love to get their hands on that pot.

Photo courtesy of H&R Block

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