Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tax Time. . . Oh Joy

They shouldn't have called him Uncle Sam. They should have called him Uncle Chester, because then we could call him Chester the Molester, which is what our government does to its citizens every April 15th. I just finished my taxes and as usual, I'm debating joining some terrorist organization just to get even with dear old Uncle Sam. As I flip through the want ads in Jihad Monthly, I figured I'd ask a few poll questions.


Of course, feel free to explain your answers. . . or rant against the IRS. . . or treat this like an open thread. . . or rant against the IRS.

42 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

The problem I have with the Income tax is the government has it before I do. Also, since it is with-held almost no one feels the sting. Average income people don't feel that sting. And most people don't have the discipline of hanging on to the money so the government can take it at tax time.

Another way of putting it, government slips it out of our pockets before we know it is there. If we had to keep money around just so the government can take it, well... the government would have to be more obsequious and responsive to us regular folk. Plus a good portion of us wouldn't give the money up no matter what.

We would be asking heavy and harder questions at tax time. As it is, the IRS has too much power. It is too intrusive and full of itself.

So, if we put all IRS agents in rooms full of hungry African army ants, I wouldn't get upset.

BevfromNYC said...

Yeah, well, if it weren't for the IRS how would we pay for that great entertainment we get from Congress daily?

Btw, if you said you would pay anything less that 100% of your income, you hate America and the terrorists have won...

The IRS said...

Expect an audit, ye who comment here...

The IRS
Taking your income since 1913

Joel Farnham said...

Dear IRS,

Expect an exceptional hill billy welcome if you ever show up here.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, All very valid criticisms.

And let me add a few. Being self-employed, you run into even more problems.

1. There are many tax deductions that self-employed people either can't get or get in smaller amounts.

2. I pay 15% for SSI right off the top and that is a killer.

3. There is no year to year balancing. So, for example, if I make no money for 4 years and then make $500,000 in year five, I pay a huge amount of tax on that (about half) because it's all in the high tax range. Whereas, if I had earned it $100,000 a year, I would pay about 1/3 less tax. To me, that's BS.

4. I usually end up spending around 20 hours doing my taxes and having to file an inch of forms.

I am sick of it.


On the hidden aspect, that's also the problem with a sale tax or a VAT tax, people don't see it. That's what happening in Europe where it's very easy for them to raise the tax all the time.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, While I do agree that Congress beats any movie or show ever made for pure entertainment, it's still hard to justify at that price. Maybe we can switch to pay per view? $49.99 per issue or something like that?

On your 100%, I think you have that backwards. Anything more than a couple percent and the terrorist have won. Grrrrr.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, did anybody see that GE made billions of dollars last year and they paid less tax than any of us? $0.00.

W...... T...... F.......?

AndrewPrice said...

Dear IRS, I'm thinking of running for President just so I can do my own audit of the IRS. Turn about is fair play after all.

My slogan will be: "Vote for me and no one at the IRS will be able to sit for years..."

OR

"Don't audit softly and carry a big flashlight."

Ed said...

In an ideal world, we would switch the government to fees or maybe something like a 10% consumption tax. But that will never happen. I like the flat tax, but I want to see a lot of the deductions disappear. Maybe we can just do import tariffs?! Lol!

Ed said...

Oh, and as an open thread, can anyone explain to me what the exit strategy is in Libya?

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I too think the deductions need to be changed. We need to get out of the social planning business with taxes because that just distorts economic activity.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, On Libya, I believe Obama clearly stated that we would be leaving whenever. . . . .. . . . . .. hmm, I seem to have faded out there.

In all seriousness, I am not aware of any exit strategy or goals that he put into place. It seems he wants us to be there until everything turns out great, but he has no idea what that would look like. So, the cynic in me says that the exit strategy will be his replacement by a Republican.

BevfromNYC said...

Frankly I am not aware that Obama had an Entrance strategy. It certainly not to depose a tyrant. He agreed to go along with UN as long as we didn't have to win or anything. And Obama's neighbor and buddy Louis Farrakhan was REALLY no pleased that his Libyan cash-cow was about to be deposed seeing as how Gaddafhy is a real humanitarian with a award and all...

LawHawkRFD said...

I'm till trying to find two missing 1099s. This is not the time to be asking me about my feelings regarding the IRS!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's true, Obama's entrance strategy seems to have been "well, if everybody else is going it then I'll do it too, but I don't want to lead and I can't stay too long because I have a vacation planned.... oh, and I don't want to have to win anything."

That's a pretty horrible way to commit the country to a war. It also makes exit impossible because there's no goal he's trying to achieve other than to show that he was a team player.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I feel your pain. Trust me, this has been an unpleasant weekend. . . and the IRS is to blame.

DUQ said...

I think federal employees should stand on street corners with hats and beg for change! :D

T_Rav said...

Okay, which one of you jokers said "No, I hate America" on the Would You Abolish the IRS question? Awful.

Anyway, I'm especially ticked off this year because not only did I have to pay a boatload to the feds, and not get any money back, I also had to pay state taxes to both Missouri AND Mississippi. I mean, yeah, I got $54.00 back from MS, but does that make up my losses? Heck no. Stupid freaking government. And how is it that if the budget hadn't passed and the government had shut down, the IRS would still be making us pay our taxes, but wouldn't be sending refunds? Grrrrr....

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I like that idea! Let's get rid of taxes entirely and then the Feds can go work for it... or beg for it! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Imagine if you worked in all 50 states as some people do. I think I would just run the risk that they would never find me.

I never get money back. On the one hand, I don't want them keeping any of my money they don't deserve. On the other, I have to pay these stupid estimated taxes each quarter, so I get to decide how much to pay -- under threat of being fined if I'm wrong.

In any event, taxes suck and I'm thinking I like DUQ's idea.

On the voting, yeah I saw that someone voted pro-IRS. Must be an IRS PR person?

T_Rav said...

Also, Ed, does this answer your question about Libya?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/07/501364/main20051760.shtml#ixzz1IrtMwlxl

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Here's your link: LINK

As I read it, they have no plan, they are mucking their way through it, and now they're preparing to send ground troops as evidenced by their over-the-top denials that they will ever send ground troops.

Tennessee Jed said...

I want a sales or consumption tax--flat, of course.

Tennessee Jed said...

I am more of a sales or consumption tax kind of a guy--flat, of course. With apologies to those who are tax accountants, I want a simplified code, no deductions. It is levied at point of sale. No complexity, no April 15th. The USA would actually become a place where business wants to locate. Bet the govt. gets more revenue, to boot.

Drill, baby drill, and Tiger is sucking the joy out of Masters Sunday. Oh, and Obama trying to take credit for the spending cuts is l.o.l. funny.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I like the sale tax, so long as it's visible -- I don't like the VAT. I would love to see the end of tax playing and April 15th. And you're right, that would be a huge boost to American productivity.

I saw Obama was trying to claim credit for the cuts. Good luck! He might as well claim credit for inventing the internet.

I've heard Tiger ain't what he used to be.

BevfromNYC said...

So, who audits the IRS auditors? Don't you think it should the taxpayers?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I guess I should steel myself with the thought that it could always be worse.

On Libya, the latest is that the rebels are losing control of Ajdibaya (yes, I probably misspelled that and no, I don't really care), which is the gateway to their stronghold of Benghazi, so I'm sure the calls for additional intervention will only increase. Either way, Obama's screwed himself. He's already broken his "Days, not weeks" promise, and breaking the one on ground troops would look really bad; on the other hand, it's becoming painfully obvious NATO can't even keep up the air strikes without us. So that leaves us...where?

Also, Tiger is actually burning up the golf course right now. I always like golf, but it's a pretty good game today.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, In terms of who audits the auditors, the evidence seems to be that no one does. But I'm ready to start. I've got a big, heavy flashlight, some duct table, and grudge a mile wide! I'll be more than happy to show them the kindness and decency they've shown all the rest of us. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Strangely, I don't care about the spelling either! LOL!

I see this as you do. I think Obama made some stupid promises at the get go and he's going to break those one by one until we end up with a bunch of troops sitting in the desert with no idea what their goal is or what the rules of engagement are. If he doesn't grow some leadership skills fast, this is going to turn into his own Vietnam.

BevfromNYC said...

Well, let see the UN has already bombed the "Rebels" because they were not aware they had tanks. This is just like when they bombed the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia 'cause they didn't look at a map...

BevfromNYC said...

BTW, what is a "Fair tax"?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I don't know what's worse, having a well armed enemy at your front.... or the UN covering your back?

I heard they started painting the roofs of their cars pink so they wouldn't be bombed.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev,

The FAIR tax is a tax plan that a lot of conservatives like. I don't. I think it's too complex and will be just as bad as the current system. But a lot of people like it.

Here's a link to their site: FAIR Tax

Ed said...

T_Rav, No, not really. Well, actually, yes, yes it answers my question. It just doesn't provide any answers. I guess Obama did this "because" and he'll stop when he gets bored hearing about it. It was nice having a President years ago, it's too bad we don't have one now.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, I'm not crazy about the Fair Tax. I think the government has more right to tax what we buy than what we earn; and yet a flat tax would almost certainly be much easier to collect and require less of a bureaucracy than it would. But as you say, some people are really hipped on it.

wahsatchmo said...

As someone who makes most of his money from tax preparation and representation, I'd like to say that our horribly complex tax system is wonderfully confusing and should not be simplified in any way.

In fact, the applicable law should change depending on the day of the week you file, e.g. Thursday is double-the-mortgage-interest-deduction day!

But I still hate the IRS. Even worse than the IRS, though, are state revenue agencies. I'm sick of getting letters from California demanding returns from my Arizona clients who might have had the misfortune to step foot in the Golden State (which should be revised to the "Tin State", based on its current finances).

And I'm sick of Arizona DOR employees making up their own law to intimidate laypersons into paying incorrect assessments. Just because they don't know how to enter something in their computers doesn't mean that it is now the law of the land.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I'm not sure how many of the people who support have actually read through it? I get the point they are trying to achieve, but it seems to me it just replaced on complex system with another?

In terms of having more justification to tax sales than income, I think that's right. Taxing income is like slavery in my book.

AndrewPrice said...

wasatchmo, I haven't had problems with the states, but I've had problems with the IRS all the time. One year they sent me a HUGE tax bill because they saw all the stocks I'd sold, but somehow didn't see that I'd also bought them. So they assumed I had a zero basis. That was fun.

And what really drives me crazy is the amount of time it take for me to do my taxes. These forms say "2 hours" or "4 hours," but that's never true unless you have just the most simplistic returns. Ugh!

Seeker said...

Yes we need a new tax code!

But Fairtax -- while it sounds great -- is goofy deceptive nonsense.

Did you know that Fairtax is MUCH MUCH more than a "tax on personal consumption"?

Oh they tell you about that part(sorta). That personal consumption tax.

But that's only about half of Fairtax. There is an entire "second tier" of this "plan" in their fine print.

You literally have to show the fine print to their own spokesmen, before they will admit it -- but when they start admitting it, they brag about it.

They don't just ADMIT there is a second tier of taxation, they are like "WELL OF COURSE" --funny.

Funny because they have spent a lot of effort hiding that second tier.

By the way the second tier of Fairtax is goofy nonsense. It's on the government. City government, state government, county government.

For example, the city of Los Angeles would owe 600 million dollars. I kid you not -- EACH YEAR. I am not kidding and I am not wrong.

Fairtax spokesmen ADMIT this. Every city, every state.

Yet they HIDE this in their fine print.

The state government of Texas would owe about 8 billion BILLION!! And every city in Texas! And every county in Texas!

I mean - it's really really goofy.

But it's in their fine print, and when you corner them -- their official spokemen admit it, even brag about it.

Go see what utter nosense the whole plan is.

THey know it's nonsense, that is why they hid this second tier.

Governments CAN NOT -- CAN NOT -- pay taxes, becuse the cost is just passed on. They hid it, to begin with, and then they make up lots of excuses, but they know it's BS.

They know governments can't pay taxes. That's why they hid it.

http://fairtaxfineprint.blogspot.com/

wahsatchmo said...

Andrew -

Yeah, the old IRS $0 basis assumption is a pretty common notice, which usually scares the crap out of taxpayers when they see this massive bill after losing money on stock sales.

I also get a lot of people who forget to tell me about their gambling winnings which are almost always offset by gambling losses. The IRS doesn't know about the losses, but they sure know about the winnings.

But the IRS generally has channels to protest through, plus the Taxpayer Advocate used to be pretty good to work with. Now they're not as useful; they just check to see if the rest of the IRS is ignoring you.

With the state departments, though, it's almost impossible to protest anything without getting one step away from the courts. I had one situation where a taxpayer made a large check out the the US Treasury and accidentally sent it the AZ DOR. Arizona cashed it, didn't credit the taxpayer's account, and refused to give it back. It took a year to get the money back.

Back to tax returns! Remember you have until April 18th this year, so feel free to procrastinate!

AndrewPrice said...

Seeker, I see that you have strong feelings on the FAIR tax. I haven't looked into enough to write anything about it, but I can tell you that the parts I've seen are troubling because they're surprisingly complex and they don't apply equally to all people and it strikes me as just a complex a system as we currently have, with just as many chances to play the social engineering game.

I'm not a fan.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, I'm waiting until the last second because I owe a good deal this year.

I'll tell you, I've never had a good tax experience. It seems that if something could go wrong, it has with one of my returns. And it seems that I always earn just enough that whatever exemption they just created doesn't apply to me. I see to be the guy they think needs to pay all the taxes for our government and I'm sick of it. I'm thinking of going on strike.

On the state departments, like I said, I've never dealt with them, but it does seem to be a common characteristic of government to assume that you are at fault for their mistakes and no one ever has the authority to fix anything even when they realize their mistakes.

Blech.

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