Tax Rascal

Why Drivers Should Love a Mileage Tax

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A proposed gas tax led to some red faces at the White House earlier this week. Ray LaHood — the only Republican in the Obama administration — suggested it, perhaps in an effort to put the ‘tax’ back in ‘tax-and-spend’.

To the average driver, paying for something you used to get for free sounds like a bad deal. Five reasons it’s actually a great bargain instead:

1) The ‘fringe benefits’ are fantastic: part of the mileage-tax plan requires installing a global network of GPS-based car-tracking systems. There are privacy concerns, of course, and those will need to be addressed. But this plan also makes it possible to do some amazing things. From dynamic traffic maps criminal detection, this would … Read more...

Audit Them All?

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Via TaxProf, I found this article suggesting that we audit all high-ranking politicians political figures. Not to be vindictive — or not just, anyway — but because people take cues from politicians on how to behave, and incidents like the Daschle tax affair make people less likely to take taxes seriously.

This doesn’t just have the obvious effect of streamlining the nomination process by digging dirt in advance. And it’s also not just a way to keep politicians honest about the favors they’re getting from — and doing for — their friends.

Nope, it’s actually based on a legitimate study, which showed that people cheat less on their taxes when they think others cheat less, too.

The great …

Time to file late taxes? Get the best deal online

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As tax season rolls around for most of us, some folks are nervously remembering April 15ths past, when that tax due date crept up and sprinted past. Fortunately, the IRS is not exactly averse to getting their money, even if it comes a little late. And you don’t even have to go through their standard-issue rigamarole, either: over the last few years, plenty of online tax providers have appeared on the scene to help make filing late taxes easy!

Here are a few of the top players:

  • TurboTax — Best known for their plain-vanilla tax software, TurboTax is willing to accomodate taxpayers who missed their deadlines. If you already use TurboTax, it can be a solid choice — but their

“Fraudulent Conveyance” Aligns the Ponzi with the Ponz-ee

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In the wake of the Madoff scandal, some people have discussed how “fraudulent conveyance” could be a major issue. The doctrine of fraudulent conveyance basically holds that after a fraud, someone who benefited should give up some (or all) of their benefits to those who were wronged, even if they had no idea what was going on. It’s a usful doctrine in a lot of cases — if Madoff, for example, had given his sons tens of millions of dollars but left others high and dry, it wouldn’t be a great plan to let them keep the money.

But what people don’t often mention is the big problem with fraudulent conveyance: it encourages people to look the other … Read more...


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