What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

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What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-25 05:02am

In a Wonder Woman book, Dr. Fate and Wonder Woman mention a stipend for being in the Justice League. Due to a snafu with the computers, Wonder Woman doesn't have access to it, so she starts working at Taco Whiz.

So, what kind of stipend are they paid? How does this affect their taxes, if at all? Or is it all under the table? Does this mean that people like Kyle Rayner, who work for commission as artists rely on Justice League stipends to survive? What does this say about the Justice League characters? Could a person do it full time?

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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-25 06:59am

I'm guessing that when they say "the Justice League pays a stipend", they really mean "Batman pays a stipend"? :)
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Crazedwraith » 2019-05-25 07:29am

Presumably to maintain their secret identities they don't disclose any JL related income.

Meaning they are guilty of tax fraud as well as vigilantism .
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-25 07:52am

Given that its base is in orbit and some of its members are representatives (Diana) or sovereigns (Aquaman) of foreign states, the JL as a whole is certainly not under any one nation's jurisdiction. It should really be regarded as its own nation, I think.

Certain members would hold duel citizenship, for example Batman would be held accountable to American laws (not that he gives a damn anyway).
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Formless » 2019-05-25 02:52pm

The base isn't in orbit in all continuities, though; and anyway it doesn't matter for most of the members because they are American citizens, and American citizens must pay income tax regardless. Or do you really think astronauts are exempt? (hint: no, and neither are Americans living in other nations). So Batman, Superman, the Flash, and many others are still guilty of tax fraud if they don't pay up. That, or Superman has been paying taxes under the name Kal-El in addition to paying taxes as Clark Kent, which is a different kind of fraud (and rather expensive as well).
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by TimothyC » 2019-05-25 03:52pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-25 07:52am
Certain members would hold duel citizenship, for example Batman would be held accountable to American laws (not that he gives a damn anyway).
Why would any of them have citizenships that fought between themselves?
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Omeros » 2019-05-25 04:45pm

If stipends are needed, most likely Bruce Wayne or one of his tame lawyers has set up fake identities for each JLA member. They can then be set up as employees of Wayne Enterprises or one of its subsiduaries using these IDs, and paid a regular salary. As long as any applicable taxes are paid on the income and WE's HR department plays ball, no one in the IRS need ever notice a thing.

But I would think a trust fund would be a simpler solution. Bruce could just set one and give everyone who needs it a debit card for its bank account.

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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Broomstick » 2019-05-25 06:35pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2019-05-25 07:29am
Presumably to maintain their secret identities they don't disclose any JL related income.
At least in regards to US tax law, it is possible to set the stipend low enough to not require reporting... although that is a really really low amount. It could also be for JLA expenses which may or may not affect reporting requirements.

But yeah, probably some tax fraud and it probably comes from Bruce Wayne.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Broomstick » 2019-05-25 06:37pm

TimothyC wrote:
2019-05-25 03:52pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-25 07:52am
Certain members would hold duel citizenship, for example Batman would be held accountable to American laws (not that he gives a damn anyway).
Why would any of them have citizenships that fought between themselves?
I've sort of given up correcting people on dual/duel myself...
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Batman » 2019-05-25 06:53pm

Given we have effectively infinite money paying whatever taxes need paying should be a nonissue. Plus don't you have to live in and be employed in a country to owe taxes? Not all of us maintain cover identities and I seriously doubt Diana of Themyscira owes income tax in the US just because she catches the occasional supervillain or helps out with a natural disaster there every other week.
There's a hundred billion ways to wriggle out of this in the real world 'alone'. With the added ambiguities of people not from Earth, us most of the time not being based ON Earth, and the ridiculous amount of money we can throw at it I don't really see a problem.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Batman » 2019-05-25 06:54pm

Broomstick wrote:
2019-05-25 06:37pm
TimothyC wrote:
2019-05-25 03:52pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-25 07:52am
Certain members would hold duel citizenship, for example Batman would be held accountable to American laws (not that he gives a damn anyway).
Why would any of them have citizenships that fought between themselves?
I've sort of given up correcting people on dual/duel myself...
Same here with canon/cannon
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-28 07:51pm

For the purposes of tax reporting for superheroes with a secret identity, could they list them on the Justice League's payroll under something vague/innocuous enough that it doesn't give away who they are? Like have Bruce Wayne listed as "Consultant", and Diana listed as "Liason to the Kingdom of Themiscyra", or something?

Also, note that to my knowledge, most nations don't require you to pay taxes if you are living outside the country. JL members who listed the Watchtower as their residence, for example, would therefore be outside of their home country's tax jurisdiction. The US is fairly unique, I believe (ie, uniquely dickish) in requiring citizens not residing in the US to keep filing tax returns.

Anyone more familiar than me with the nuances of tax law, feel free to weigh in here.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-05-28 09:03pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-28 07:51pm
Also, note that to my knowledge, most nations don't require you to pay taxes if you are living outside the country. JL members who listed the Watchtower as their residence, for example, would therefore be outside of their home country's tax jurisdiction. The US is fairly unique, I believe (ie, uniquely dickish) in requiring citizens not residing in the US to keep filing tax returns.

Anyone more familiar than me with the nuances of tax law, feel free to weigh in here.
I was about to say, if they listed their residence for their SuperHero Name as The Watchtower, I don't think that the US or any other country could touch them.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-28 09:06pm

LadyTevar wrote:
2019-05-28 09:03pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-28 07:51pm
Also, note that to my knowledge, most nations don't require you to pay taxes if you are living outside the country. JL members who listed the Watchtower as their residence, for example, would therefore be outside of their home country's tax jurisdiction. The US is fairly unique, I believe (ie, uniquely dickish) in requiring citizens not residing in the US to keep filing tax returns.

Anyone more familiar than me with the nuances of tax law, feel free to weigh in here.
I was about to say, if they listed their residence for their SuperHero Name as The Watchtower, I don't think that the US or any other country could touch them.
If they are a US citizen, they'd still be required to file a return, I believe, although the US has treaties with nations so that citizens living abroad don't have to pay double taxes. If they refused to file returns, I presume that the US could have them arrested for tax evasion when they returned to US soil (though good luck doing that to a JL member).
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-05-28 10:08pm

It wouldn't surprise me at all that US goverment had a "off-the-record" pact with the Justice League to allow superheroes to pay taxes without revealing their identity (at least in the versions where JL is in reasonbly good terms with the US goverment), for example that those stipends come with the taxes from them pre-paid and that is considered the only acceptble income JL members are allowed to have in their "superhero" persona, which would legally be treated as different person from civilian persona (it shouldn't be illegal if it's the US goverment that does this IIRC).
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Themightytom » 2019-05-29 08:34am

Couldn't they generate revenue with merchandising alone? I don't think Batman needs to bankroll when he could just as easily just precipitate a revenue structure, they could also just accept donations as a charity. All that being said if Superman can create diamonds by crushing coal, or by claiming a patent on some exotic Kryptonian technology, they can't be hard up. I can't even understand a situation where Wonder Woman has to work fast food when she could pick up money faster and easier working in construction a la Buffy, or doing a speaking engagement, or just selling some artifact from themyscara? I feel like this topic has to have been covered in comic books

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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Enigma » 2019-05-29 04:01pm

Themightytom wrote:
2019-05-29 08:34am
Couldn't they generate revenue with merchandising alone? I don't think Batman needs to bankroll when he could just as easily just precipitate a revenue structure, they could also just accept donations as a charity. All that being said if Superman can create diamonds by crushing coal, or by claiming a patent on some exotic Kryptonian technology, they can't be hard up. I can't even understand a situation where Wonder Woman has to work fast food when she could pick up money faster and easier working in construction a la Buffy, or doing a speaking engagement, or just selling some artifact from themyscara? I feel like this topic has to have been covered in comic books
I think there's a JL comic dealing with merchandising. As for income, Batman, Green Arrow and Aquaman are all independently wealthy. Supes has a day job and isn't WW an ambassador?

I don't think money's an issue with the League.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by RogueIce » 2019-05-31 01:20am

The whole tax thing is easily explained: the US government wrote a loophole into the tax law, making "income from Justice League stipend" tax exempt. As for filing, they also could make a law where a (known) super hero can just file as Batman, Green Arrow, whatever. With an address of the Hall of Justice or Watchtower or whatever was in use at the time.

Remember, this was the Silver Age. Wasn't Batman technically a part of the GCPD at the time? So clearly there were some exceptions when it came to the costumed crime fighters.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-31 02:13am

Yeah, for a setting where Superheroes are publicly and officially accepted, that makes sense.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Gandalf » 2019-05-31 03:37am

If the Justice League are a legal entity, are they liable for damages caused during their superheroing?
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-31 03:40am

Gandalf wrote:
2019-05-31 03:37am
If the Justice League are a legal entity, are they liable for damages caused during their superheroing?
Presumably. It would be interesting to see someone sue the JL for damages. At least to me. But then, I wish Batman v Superman was a legal drama about Bruce suing Clark for damages to Wayne Enterprises property. :D
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by RogueIce » 2019-05-31 11:41am

Gandalf wrote:
2019-05-31 03:37am
If the Justice League are a legal entity, are they liable for damages caused during their superheroing?
Meh, as an organization they could have immunity from damages caused by official acts of saving the world.

Either that or any judge who had such a cause brought before them would just dismiss it out of hand on account that some holes in an office building are a small price to pay for still having a planet at the end of the day, or not being subjugated by Darkseid or some other off-world conqueror, etc.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-31 01:37pm

Or they make the ruling that said damages are due to Darkseid, Starro, Mongul, etc., and they can sue them instead.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by NeoGoomba » 2019-05-31 02:58pm

Gandalf wrote:
2019-05-31 03:37am
If the Justice League are a legal entity, are they liable for damages caused during their superheroing?
Acts of War, Terrorism, and God are common exclusions of liability, so a lot of the heavy action of the League like planetary defense and battling Amazo and such wouldn't be applicable.

But if Superman punches a hole in the wall to stop a robbery or something, then he should be held accountable unless special statutes are passed.
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Re: What kind of stipend does the Justice League pay?

Post by Themightytom » 2019-05-31 08:45pm

Wildbow really did a great job addressing these issues in Worm, the Protectorate, the wards and the Parahuman Response Team are collectively a bridge between superhero activity and government oversight/accountability.
you know until
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The way The Light operates in Young Justice has some overtones of that.

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