Video game characters might be able to escape death, but there’s no extra life when it comes to taxes. But as it turns out, there are a whole lot of cheat codes if you have enough money. This being Tax Day – you did remember to pay your taxes, didn’t you? – we’re going to check out the guys who get hit with the biggest bill from Uncle Sam, the rich. Virtual rainbow roads don’t just build themselves you know. The digital 1% needs to chip in their fair share as well.
As we count down the five riches video game characters, we’re going take a peek at their 1040EZ to see if they’re paying their fair share or will the Mushroom Kingdom need to cut back on their piranha plant demolition project.
Lara Croft – Tomb Raider series
Net Worth: ~ 700 Million
You can’t run around some of the most beautiful spots in the world and start smashing pots without dropping a few dollars. The Croft Family kept a few million in a handy trust fund since we rarely see the young Lara do any sort of menial labor. Sure, the her trademark khaki shorts and aqua tank top runs you only a couple of bucks at Target, but the amount of ammo she wastes in any given area could easily rearm a small country. You know that you have more money than God when you can turn a part of your mansion into an obstacle course.
Lara gets away with the lower taxes by gaining much of her income the old fashion way – through stealing it. As it turns out, the tax form doesn’t have a little box for “golden statues stolen from Peru.” Despite having to pay an inheritance tax and possible claims on interest, Lara gets away rather unscathed when it comes to Tax Season.
Tom Nook – Animal Crossing
Net Worth: 1 Billion (Bells)
During the Occupy Animal Crossing Movement, tens of citizens managed to pitch tents and set up temporary housing in the town square when others were forces out of their homes for not having the bells to pay rent. Even the simple songs of K. K. Slider could not keep the citizens of this tiny town from wishing ill will on one man – Tom Nook. The man who owns the town store, housing market, and your soul as soon as you enter this brand new world knows a thing or two about what it takes to make some cold hard bells. He’ll get you what ever you need – for a price.
Putting any of your money into the housing market right now isn’t the smartest of plans. Sure, you might own half the city, but that half of the city isn’t spending much money. There are only so many fossils to find and fish to catch. But once you chop down that last tree, what do you do? We’ll have to see if Tom makes it to our list next year, or if he makes it at all.
Bruce Wayne – Batman: Arkham City
Net Worth: 7 Billion
Started by his early merchant ancestors, Wayne Enterprises covers the field from steel to biotech and even entertainment. I’m surprised that you can kick over a stone in Gotham without finding the words "Wayne Enterprises" somehow printed on the bottom. As the sole survivor of the Wayne legacy, Bruce Wayne, takes care of the budget as well as wrecks a hole in their profits with his little side job. Still, Bruce manages to stay in the black since we never find ourselves recoiling hook lines or counting bataranges.
Despite crashing the Batmobile once a year, Bruce gets off pretty easy when it comes to taxes thanks to his philanthropic work and dual foundations, the Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne Foundation. To keep nosy government officials from asking about the two tons of giant penny wax or the bat guano disposal fees, our billionaire with a dark past pays a little more than his fare share of the bill. But still you have to ask yourself, where does he get those wonderful tax write-offs?
Scrooge McDuck - DuckTales
Net Worth: 44.1 Billion ~ 607 Trillion
Even as the second-richest industrialist in the world, Scrooge McDuck cares more about having money rather than actually making money. Even as a Scottish immigrant arriving on the American shores at the tender age of thirteen, Scrooge gains most of his wealth through his sly dealings and the luck of his 1875 dime. Instead of putting most of his earnings in investments, stocks, industry, or even property; this duck gone amuck stores his cash in a large vault and frequently swims in it during the day. Let’s think about that for a second – Scrooge McDuck swims through bits of metal. That’s someone who truly loves money.
Without any investments, interest, or incomes to even speak of; Uncle Sam may find it hard to get his hands on any of Scrooge’s loot. Much like Lara Croft, this fine-feathered friend gains much of his earnings through treasure hunting and trickery. Fenton Crackshell, Scrooge’s accountant, probably keeps the bills around a decent rate not to get the Feds curious about his earnings; but when the largest structure in Ducksburg happens to be your safe, you’re bound to attract some attention.
Princess Peach – Super Mario Bros. series
Net Worth: Total Assets of the Mushroom Kingdom
And you just thought she was just a pretty face. Princess Peach runs the Mushroom Kingdom with a velvet hammer. The question then becomes how rich is the Mushroom Kingdom? The answer – Very. Only in this kingdom can you find gold coins just lying around and no one except a couple of unemployed plumbers picking them up. Everyone has a home. No one seems to want anything more than the occasional fetch quest. Besides the frequent kidnappings, it’s a slice of paradise.
In the Mushroom Kingdom, you pay taxes to Princess Peach. All of these gold coins go into her coffers. There’s no paperwork for the absolute matriarch of a kingdom. This princess pays nothing this year or any year when it comes to taxes. To butcher a once famous saying – it’s good to be the princess.