by Byrne Hobart
Rasmussen named me as one of the Top Twenty Blogs for Accountants, which is an honor, even as dead last. I hope any new readers coming here from that enjoy their poke around and learn something.
California’s Proposition 19, known ever so formally as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 is being championed by a lot of people because it would have massive tax benefits. And it will–just not the ones you expect.
The biggest tax benefit of Proposition 19 would be the cut in law enforcement, not the revenue from those who like to pass to the left. In fact, that revenue is projected to be pretty small, since it’s all sales tax based. Even at a higher “sin tax” rate, it’s only projected to bring in $500 million annually. Nothing to sneeze at for a state as in debt as California, but nothing that will save them either.
Instead it’ll be… Read more…
Last week congress passed H.R. 946 into law, generally known as the known as the Plain Writing Act. What this is will hopefully do is make sure that government documents can be understood by the average person. Fewer acronyms, less jargon, more straight talk.
Great, right? Finally some governance for the people, by the people, and understood by the people. But, like many federal government laws, it has some flaws.
First, it’s ridiculous that this law even needed to be enacted. For those of us who are fans of smaller government, we want less laws (and more common sense) not more laws that legislate common sense. Of course people should be given forms that make sense to them–I just don’t… Read more…
The smell of fall is in the air, which means the smell of rising panic over the tax extension deadline is approaching! For those of you who had the foresight to miss the April 15th deadline, but fill out the extension form, your time is almost up!
And for those of us who work in the tax biz, it’s our time to contemplate the value of a tax extension. Me? I’m all for them. I think people shouldn’t be penalized for missing deadlines, nor do I think the government should be allowed to slam you with high interest fees the second your taxes are past due.
The thing that always fascinates me about extensions is how few people seem know… Read more…
It may have given a needed boost to the middle class last year, but the Making Work Pay credit also caused a lot of headaches. And since we’ve allegedly been out of this recession for a year, it’s about time we stopped giving handouts to taxpayers.
What’s more enjoyable is that, in any other year, there’d be a stink raised over this. But with midterm elections and everyone raising a bigger stink over the Bush Tax Credits, everyone is too busy protesting what’s happening to other people to realize what’s being taken away from them.
The lack of these tax credits and their fast injection of cash into the economy will probably hurt Obama and economists numbers next year, but… Read more…
Imagine, for a second, that you’re a smoker, which, if you’re a smoker, should be easy. You’ve triumphed over brownish teeth and the lingering stench of stale smoke. You’ve bravely ignored the highly increased risk of lung cancer in the noble pursuit of having something to do with hands while you drink.
What’s your reward? Finding out that people are overwhelmingly in favor of making your addictive and potentially deadly habit MORE expensive.
67% of voters favor a $1 tax per pack of cigarettes, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson foundation. Voters far prefer this tax to budget cuts or other tax increases. The report indicates that states could raise up $9 billion to help counter the… Read more…
Do you like to pair your quintuple-cheeseburger (The High Five!) with a soft drink big enough to swim in and loaded with enough fizzy additives to clean limestone?
Are you a lobbyist for a large soda company that long ago traded your chance for any sort of spiritual salvation for piles of stress and increasingly redundant money?
Are you perhaps a lawmaker who long ago became jaded and no longer harbors any delusion about helping people?
If you answered “yes” or “huh?” to any or all of these questions, there’s good news for you out of Washington: The soft-drink industry has doused plans to tax their sugary concoctions. Mere months ago, it looked bleak for pop-makers: public health… Read more…
California is dealing with the most intense budget crunch in the country. One proposal for dealing with the financial hardship is one quite familiar to glassy-eyed freshman on 3 a.m. Taco Bell runs everywhere: marijuana.
Who says money can’t grow on trees?
While this plan doesn’t involve special heatlamps and a closet full of contraband, it would seek to profit from the growing and distribution of marijuana. Growers, retailers and distributors in California (where the drug is legal) would have to register with the state and pay a licensing fee. The drug itself would be subject to a tax of up to 41%.
State Senator Ron Calderon is to introduce the bill, which is being pushed by Board of… Read more…
Uncle Sam went to the WTO loaded for… well, it looks like Sam just wanted to go get loaded. On good ol’ US-brand firewater, that is!
According to Reuters.com, the US is pissed at the Philippine government. Why? Well, Obama’s tax lieutenants have a problem with the Philippine’s distaste of Jack Daniels. The miniature nation of islands has an excise tax on America’s Whiskey and gin. No big deal, except the tax on American spirits is anywhere between 10-40 percent more than those from within its own borders.
Listen, Philippines. America will look the other way if you kick around your second-class citizens or engage in some illegal arms dealing. The government could even deal with your tiny country… Read more…
Investors have long known that December and January are among the best months for stocks. Most investors know why, too: late in the year, it’s possible to sell losing stocks in order to shelter profits from the rest of the year. For example, if you’ve lost $1000 on GE, and made $1000 on IBM, you can sell both, take both losses—and pay not capital gains taxes on your profit.
Because of this, it makes sense to sell at the end of the year. (The IRS will let you buy the stocks back after 30 days and still give you the tax penalty.) And if people are selling stocks they still like, they’re going to buy them back later. All this… Read more…