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Old 02-29-2008, 07:42 AM
 
2,153 posts, read 3,546,831 times
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Just wondering as I am self-employed and in the middle of doing my taxes and I literally want to shoot myself. I dread sitting down and doing them so much so that I would rather clean around the house than fire up turbotax. If my wife wants to talk about our marriage and life , I would rather do that than do taxes

How does the mentioning of abolishing the IRS and completely altering our tax not catch on like Wildfire? Is it because of distortions about what the fair tax is? Lack of coverage by the media? Is it because a lot of people don't even realize what is getting taken out of their paycheck?

If you randomly walked up to me and asked me how a candidate who favored getting rid of the IRS and making a simple pay a tiny portion at a time as you buy things, I would have said that that candidate would be gaining a significant amount of votes just based on that 1 issue.

Why am I wrong about this (though Huckabee seemed to do decent this election, which shocked people)?
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:03 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
3,818 posts, read 6,038,423 times
Reputation: 2454
No doubt the US tax code is excruciatingly complex, but so is the tax code of many advanced countries, notably Italy and Germany in Europe.

But, unlike many developed countries, effective US federal tax rates are really rather quite low. The trick is to learn the rules for your situation and how to take advantage of them. There really are some excellent incentives for saving and tax-free investment.

The problem is that you really have to dedicate about two weeks full-time to study the code as it pertains to your situation, and many small business people do not have that luxury. The alternative is to higher a good small business accountant, but even then, sometimes the customer has to advise the adviser.

A tip: once you learn the sections of the code that pertain to you, do your business and tax accounting concurrently every month throughout the year, don't wait until the end.

Look, I too would like a very simple system, say 15% to 20% of gross revenues (which could probably even cover single-payer universal health care), and that's it.

But there is no consensus for doing that right now; a commission appointed a few years ago to examine a flat tax rate folded before it even had its first meeting.

A lot of special interests express themselves through the tax code, so if you can't beat'em, join'em.
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Central Jersey
1,723 posts, read 2,057,284 times
Reputation: 336
I cannot find anywhere in the tax code that defines income as "wages or salary".

See Title 26-Subtitle A-Chapter 1-Subchapter B-Part I-Section 61:

Quote:
(a) General definition
Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, gross income means all income from whatever source derived, including (but not limited to) the following items:
(1) Compensation for services, including fees, commissions, fringe benefits, and similar items;
(2) Gross income derived from business;
(3) Gains derived from dealings in property;
(4) Interest;
(5) Rents;
(6) Royalties;
(7) Dividends;
(8) Alimony and separate maintenance payments;
(9) Annuities;
(10) Income from life insurance and endowment contracts;
(11) Pensions;
(12) Income from discharge of indebtedness;
(13) Distributive share of partnership gross income;
(14) Income in respect of a decedent; and
(15) Income from an interest in an estate or trust.
Apparently my wages are compensation for services...I think Wesley Snipes is my new hero BTW.

The reason that a candidate who supports elimination of the IRS and income taxes doesn't receive immediate support is because of the lie that has been spread; "Where would our country get money from?!" Income tax collection only accounts for about 1/3 of the federal budget. I'm sure that by cutting out the pork and earmarks we'd be just fine eliminating the income tax.
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,705 posts, read 4,871,917 times
Reputation: 1995
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBee View Post
I'm sure that by cutting out the pork and earmarks we'd be just fine eliminating the income tax.
I'm not sure what you include as "pork," but earmarks are a tiny, tiny percentage of spending.

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Old 02-29-2008, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
22,746 posts, read 17,676,507 times
Reputation: 32167
Quote:
Originally Posted by bls5555 View Post
Just wondering as I am self-employed and in the middle of doing my taxes and I literally want to shoot myself. I dread sitting down and doing them so much so that I would rather clean around the house than fire up turbotax. If my wife wants to talk about our marriage and life , I would rather do that than do taxes

How does the mentioning of abolishing the IRS and completely altering our tax not catch on like Wildfire? Is it because of distortions about what the fair tax is? Lack of coverage by the media? Is it because a lot of people don't even realize what is getting taken out of their paycheck?

If you randomly walked up to me and asked me how a candidate who favored getting rid of the IRS and making a simple pay a tiny portion at a time as you buy things, I would have said that that candidate would be gaining a significant amount of votes just based on that 1 issue.

Why am I wrong about this (though Huckabee seemed to do decent this election, which shocked people)?
Let me just say this, there are 3 people who are likely to be President and are all in the Senate, a place where they could actually do something about tax reform even if it was just simplification and yet they have never done it although the Senate and House have yapped about it every election cycle. So you have to ask yourself why and I'll be happy to say they are probably all in the tank for accountants and lawyers who depend on the tax code to be the monstrosity it is to make a buck. They are all useless and deserve their low approval ratings. Becoming President isn't going to make them any more effective. The only thing they are good at is blowing smoke up our collective you-know-what.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,237 posts, read 26,860,232 times
Reputation: 10597
Default I LOVE taxes!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bls5555 View Post
Just wondering as I am self-employed and in the middle of doing my taxes and I literally want to shoot myself. I dread sitting down and doing them so much so that I would rather clean around the house than fire up turbotax. If my wife wants to talk about our marriage and life , I would rather do that than do taxes

How does the mentioning of abolishing the IRS and completely altering our tax not catch on like Wildfire? Is it because of distortions about what the fair tax is? Lack of coverage by the media? Is it because a lot of people don't even realize what is getting taken out of their paycheck?

If you randomly walked up to me and asked me how a candidate who favored getting rid of the IRS and making a simple pay a tiny portion at a time as you buy things, I would have said that that candidate would be gaining a significant amount of votes just based on that 1 issue.

Why am I wrong about this (though Huckabee seemed to do decent this election, which shocked people)?
I'm a paid preparer though, doing what the average person can't seem to do on their own, file a simple return.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Central Jersey
1,723 posts, read 2,057,284 times
Reputation: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
I'm a paid preparer though, doing what the average person can't seem to do on their own, file a simple return.
Simple? My friend who is an accountant does the return for us...itemizing is no walk in the park.
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:27 PM
 
2,153 posts, read 3,546,831 times
Reputation: 609
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBee View Post
Simple? My friend who is an accountant does the return for us...itemizing is no walk in the park.
I would assume that accountants go to school for such a thing also. At least I hope they do

Im also not saying that the taxes I do are overly difficult. Mine are pretty straightforward, it's more the fact that it is such a complete waste of resources. Everything would be simple if it was a pay as you purchase system and with the fair tax, not regressive.
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,237 posts, read 26,860,232 times
Reputation: 10597
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBee View Post
Simple? My friend who is an accountant does the return for us...itemizing is no walk in the park.
Itemizing isn't as big a deal as you seem to think. It's easy. I've done Schedule C's for people too. The information is pretty much right there on the form itself, or in the instructions.

And it only pays to itemize IF by itemizing you make more than the standard deduction. If you are married, and only come up to $10K, don't bother to itemize on the Schedule A.

I bet your accountant friend thinks its easy, and enjoys the work. I was recently asked how I got into the work, and I replied, I've always loved dealing with numbers. Numbers, facts, never change. You can add them, multiply them, divide them....they always come up the same. As long as your "numbers" do actually have a basis in fact. If you claim to have put 36500 miles on your car--all for business--doing some errands for a little old lady down the street, I'd have to question that. That averages out to a hundred miles a day...for "errands". Right.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Bridgetown, Ohio
526 posts, read 922,684 times
Reputation: 143
Default Wasting My Time

I have never read the Neil Boortz book on the fair tax -- if I had to waste my time, I would rather do something more productive - like reading the instructions for completing my form 1040!

Look, I am an overweight 60 year old man living in Ohio and I have a better chance of completing (not winning) the Boston Marathon than the fair tax has of being enacted. Why waste my time?

At any rate, the devil, as they say, is in the details. The fair tax has a provision called a "prebate". It is a monthly payment (stipend?) from the government to each and every citizen to help pay ordinary expenses - right? What a gigantinc loophole!

Ignoring the uneasy feeling I get having people dependant on payments from the government, what controls exist on this "prebate"?

Obviously it takes a lot more for SOME people to live than others. Would the payment vary for high cost of living areas? Would homeowners lobby for higher payments because their cost of living is higher? Then of course, in the interest of "fairness" (pun intentional) poor people need a larger "prebate" than those evil rich people.

So we are back where we started and I am back to reading my 1040 instructions.
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