If I Hit the Mega Millions…

Categories: Entertainment, Featured, Personal Finance
If I Hit the Mega Millions…

…I will pay a boatload in taxes.

The Mega Millions jackpot has reached a record high of of $640 million, shattering the previous U.S. record of $390.

Coworkers are pooling money to buy tickets on their lunch breaks, local liquor stores and bodegas are crowded with anyone feeling even remotely lucky, and Twitter users are fantasizing about blowing the money on everything from classic cars to cupcakes to AK-47s.

But no matter who is lucky enough to win the money, there’s one sure thing they’ll be spending it on: taxes. Before you start training those baby snakes to kill Congressmen, you’ll have to pony up to Uncle Sam a pretty hefty chunk of change.… Read more…

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2010 State Taxes Increased at Record Levels

Categories: Uncategorized
2010 State Taxes Increased at Record Levels

Trying to combat budget deficits made worse by the recession, many states raised income taxes by as much as 5%.

Here’s some bad news for tax haters: in 2010 state taxes soared as never before.

Thanks to the Great Recession, state governments are cash strapped as they haven’t been since World War II. In 2010 a record-breaking 43 states faced budget deficits.

Unlike the federal government, states can’t really borrow their way out of budget deficits so they have to make the hard choices our President and Congressmen routinely put off: cutting government programs and, you guessed it, raising taxes.

2010 witnessed the largest outright increase in state taxes ever, with combined revenues rising by a total of $24 billion.… Read more…

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U.S. Tax Code Keeps Apples Far From Their Tree

Categories: Business, Economy, Featured, Tax News, Tax Policy, World
U.S. Tax Code Keeps Apples Far From Their Tree

How the tax code stupidly prevents companies like Apple from spending $1.2 trillion in the U.S.

The death of Steve Jobs last October hasn’t slowed down Apple very much: sales for the new third generation iPad have already broken records, the company has debuted a (possibly) new logo featuring a groovy, retro-flecked rainbow apple, and CEO Tim Cook announced plans to spend almost half of its $100 billion cash hoard on issuing its first dividend since 1995 and buying back up to $10 billion in shares.

Though Apple has consistently proven a bright spot amid the generally gloomy economic news of recent years, even it is not immune to the havoc so often wreaked… Read more…

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File and Let Die

Categories: Featured, Tax News
File and Let Die

A fraudulent tax preparer orders a hit on two former clients to protect his tax scam

The glory age of tax gangsters like Al Capone is long gone. These days it’s very rare that tax-related crime involves anything more exciting than some fraudulent paperwork – which makes this story of a California tax preparer who ordered a hit on two of his former clients all the more extraordinary.

Tax preparer and former IRS agent Steven Martinez allegedly promised a hit man $100,000 to a hit former customers – including an 86 year old woman – who were set to testify against him on charges of fraud.

During his years as a tax preparer Martinez allegedly scammedRead more…

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Can Gambling Losses Be Deducted from Your Tax Return?

Categories: Featured, Personal Finance
Can Gambling Losses Be Deducted from Your Tax Return?

A subway hero explains

The New York City subway system is a scene of many oddities: preteen break dancers spinning on the floor, beggars clanging paper cups full of change, crazies ranting about conspiracy theories, tourists huddled around the map asking directions to Times Square, and commuters whose threshold for weird is so high that they barely raise their eyes from their Kindles.

But tax advice? That’s one of the few things you generally don’t see in Gotham’s labyrinthine tunnels. Last week, however, as I rode home weary from a day of tax writing, the subway tax advice barrier was broken.

A workman – his clothes and work boots scuffed and dirtied by a day of heavy labor – sat… Read more…

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Tax Return Transparency Blues

Categories: Featured, Politics
Tax Return Transparency Blues

Mitt Romney may have released his tax returns, but there’s more than one lesson he can learn from the legacy of George Romney

Just before his South Carolina shellacking by a thrice-resurrected Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney fielded a question during a debate about whether he would release his tax returns. Romney hemmed and hawed around an actual answer:

“At the very beginning, I indicated that I didn’t have any plans to release my tax returns and then it became clear that that was of great interest to everyone… There was such an interest in tax returns, I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’ Hadn’t planned on doing it, but there’s interest, so I said I will release the tax

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Rick Santorum: Oh So Clever and Classless and Free

Categories: Featured, Politics
Rick Santorum: Oh So Clever and Classless and Free

The rise of Rick Santorum forces Republicans to confront some uncomfortable truths

Put aside Rick Santorum’s opposition to contraception, which he has described as “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Put aside the not-so-subtle racism of his declaration, “I don’t want to make black peoples’ lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”

Put aside his assertion that the right to privacy “doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution,” blaming it for the evils of the sexual revolution, contraception, abortion, and now gay marriage.

Put aside his opposition to the Supreme Court decision that overturned stateRead more…

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Newt Doth Bestride the Narrow World Like a Colossus

Categories: Featured, Politics
Newt Doth Bestride the Narrow World Like a Colossus

One World-Historical Figure’s 2012 Campaign to Transform America, Fundamentally

Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Newt Gingrich, “advocate of civilization,” “arouser of those who form civilization,” and “leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces,” (his words, not mine) is on a mission to fundamentally and profoundly transform America.

Newt has never been shy about his grand ambitions. “I want to shift the entire planet,” he declared to the Washington Post way back in 1985, “And I’m doing… Read more…

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Christie Brinkley Becomes a Tax Rascal

Categories: Entertainment, Featured
Christie Brinkley Becomes a Tax Rascal

The quad married, thrice Sports Illustrated, ex-Mrs. Billy Joel owes half a mill to Uncle Sam

There’s nothing we here at Tax Rascal love more than a celebrity tax scandal to distract us from the Tolstoyean tax drama of Congress. The latest celebrity to get on the IRS’s bad side is Christie Brinkley, the supermodel and former Uptown Girl.

The three-time swimsuit edition cover girl reportedly owes the IRS $531,000 in back taxes. In response, the government agency placed a tax lien against her Long Island home on November 21.

The New York Daily News reports that “the lien is on her address at the toweredRead more…

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In Wake of Super Committee Collapse, is a Sea Change in store for the GOP?

Categories: Economy, Featured, Politics, Tax Policy
In Wake of Super Committee Collapse, is a Sea Change in store for the GOP?

Former Senator Judd Gregg articulates an evolving Republican position on debt and taxes

As Tax Rascal predicted, the super committee’s negotiations failed. After months of dramatic, closed-door democracy, the panel of twelve congressmen came up empty handed.

No one was surprised.

Still, it may not have been all in vain. Of notable significance, not to say a foreshadowing of a potential sea change in Republican fiscal policy, was republican senators Toomey and Hensarling’s willingness to “raise revenue” – aka raise taxes…

And alarm bells of change are now sounding from other corners too.

Judd Gregg, a former Republican governor and senator who served as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee from 2005 to 2007, has been articulating anRead more…

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