People who say this probably do for one of the following reasons:
- They have no idea what they’re talking about and equate avoiding taxes with “free”
- Want to justify an unneeded or ambiguous business purchase (I’ve done this)
- Have no understanding of the importance of cash flows to companies
But the funnier reason why people say this? Note this classic exchange between Jerry and Kramer from the most awesomest of TV shows, Seinfeld, kindly compiled by Josh Steimle:
Jerry : So we’re going to make the Post Office pay for my new stereo?
Kramer : It’s just a write off for them.
Jerry : How is it a write off?
Kramer : They just write it off.
Jerry : Write it off what?
Kramer : Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything.
Jerry : You don’t even know what a write off is.
Kramer : Do you?
Jerry : No. I don’t.
Kramer : But they do, and they are the ones writing it off.
[UPDATE: Cited transcribed source if “inspiration link” didn’t suffice. Post inspired by or “lifted from” Don Loper]