Will Tax Cuts Pull Us Out of this Sluggish Economy?

Categories: Business, Economy, Politics, Tax Policy
Will Tax Cuts Pull Us Out of this Sluggish Economy?

The ongoing debate in economic philosophy is the effect of tax policy on economic growth.  Some argue that tax increases to the wealthy can provide additional funding to federal and state agencies and provide much needed aid to the middle and lower class. Furthermore, centrally planned investment in infrastructure can create jobs and spur economic growth. The alternate theory is that reducing tax rates for everyone, including the rich, and austere government spending can produce the desired effect of private sector investment and job creation. What is the right approach, and is there evidence to support either philosophy?

The graph below illustrates the data obtained from the Bureau of Economic Statistics and the Tax Policy Center. From 1970 to 2011, the… Read more…

Share

To Tax and to Please…

Categories: Featured, Politics, Tax News, Tax Policy
To Tax and to Please…

The gay marriage debate extends all the way to the tax code

President Barack Obama’s surprise announcement last week of his support for gay marriage has the whole country talking about either the equality or sanctity of marriage, depending on your political perspective.

Though the President’s announcement has no practical effect on government policy, it has exposed the shifting fault lines in America’s culture wars. Since 1996, when Congress and President Clinton passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defining marriage exclusively as the legal union of one man and one woman, public opinion has changed across the political spectrum. As Slate observes,

Democrats, who initially opposed gay marriage and then were evenly divided, are

Read more…

Share

For 2012, Tax Day Is Also Tax Freedom Day

Categories: Featured, Politics, Tax News, Tax Policy
For 2012, Tax Day Is Also Tax Freedom Day

According to the Tax Foundation, the day you have to pay your taxes is also the day you pay off your taxes

This year, in a fitting twist of fate, Tax Day and Tax Freedom Day both arrive on April 17. What is Tax Freedom Day? Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve crazies in tricorn hats carrying posters of President Obama with a Hitler mustache (though trust me, April 17 will see its share of crazy protesters). No, Tax Freedom Day is designated annually by the Tax Foundation as the day that Americans have earned enough income to pay off their tax burden.

Americans will have to work 107 days to pay off the 29.2% of their… Read more…

Share

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… Read more…

Share

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…

Share

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… Read more…

Share

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 MartinezRead more…

Share

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…

Share

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

Read more…

Share

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 oppositionRead more…

Share

Advertisement

Featured & Popular Articles