8. Ireland: Artist exemption
Want to be a starving artist? You'll go a little less hungry if you find your muse in Ireland. In order to boost the arts, income earned by writers, composers, visual artists and sculptors from the sale of their works is not taxed, under certain circumstances.
Artists must file a claim with Revenue Commissioners, who determine whether the work is original, creative, and has cultural or artistic merit. It also must fit within the five following categories: books or other forms of writing, plays, musical compositions, paintings or other similar pictures, and sculptures.
Wondering how tax people judge art? Here is a sampling of the criteria:
A work has cultural merit if: Its contemplation enhances the quality of individual or social life as a result of its intellectual, spiritual or aesthetic form and content.
(Read more: How to get help on your taxes for free)
A work has artistic merit when: Its combined form and content enhances or intensifies the aesthetic apprehension of those who experience or contemplate it.
The maximum exempt is €40,000.
7. Britain: Culturally British film tax break
Britain wants to keep its culture alive in films—so much so that it has created a tax rule that gives tax deductions to films deemed "culturally British."
The process is more complex than flying a British flag or setting your movie in London. All films that would like to claim this deduction have to register their production where it is rated through a mathematical "culture test" weighted as follows:
Cultural content (up to 16 points).
Cultural contribution (up to 4 points).
Cultural hubs (up to 3 points).
Cultural practitioners (up to 8 points).
Films must score at least 16 out of 31 points to get up to a 25 percent tax break. Here are some examples of film characteristics that qualify: film set in the UK (four points), film represents/reflects a diverse British culture, British heritage or British creativity (four points), and original dialogue recorded mainly in English language (four points).
(Read more: Denied: IRS can't regulate tax preparers)
6. Denmark: Cow flatulence tax
Most people think of congested Los Angeles highways or black-smoke-belching factories as the cause of greenhouse gasses. But the European Union has found another culprit: cow gas.
Studies have found that the methane released once cows slowly digest greens may account for up to 18 percent of Europe's greenhouse gasses. The issue is compounded by slaughterhouses, which concentrate large quantities of methane gas in one area. In order to curb the cow fueled greenhouse gas epidemic, several EU countries have adopted taxes on each cow. The highest rate? Denmark, where each cow will cost you up to $110.
5. Sweden: Baby names need tax agency approval
Choosing a name for your new son or daughter is a difficult decision, one that requires at least the mother and father to be in agreement. In Sweden there is one more necessary party: the Swedish tax agency.
Swedish people are required to have their child's name approved by the Swedish tax agency before the child turns five. If parents fail to do so, they can be fined up to 5,000 kroner (or $770). The law originally was put in place in 1982, reportedly to prevent citizens from using royal names, but the law states the rationale is that by approving the name the tax agency can protect a child from an offensive or confusing name.
What kind of names are unacceptable? The tax agency has rejected "Ikea" (due to potential confusion) and "Allah" (due to potential religious offense), as well as "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116", which one child's parents attempted to name their child in protest of the law. However, "Google" and "Lego" were recently allowed.
Though this may sound a bit "Big Brother" to some, Swedes overwhelmingly have a positive view of their tax agency: a 2013 survey found that among government agencies, the tax agency had the second-best reputation in the country with an 83 percent approval rating, second only to the Swedish Consumer Agency.