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...

Tax Q&A: Is Last Year’s Stimulus Taken Out of This Year’s Taxes?

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It’s a common question in online tax forums: was last year’s stimulus check a gift? Or was it a loan? When the stimulus was passed, the economic situation looked bad. Now, it looks catastrophic. Getting an extra $600 then was a nice boost, but paying back $300 now (or more, with interest) could be awful.

The good news is that nobody is going to ask you to return your stimulus payment, and the cost of it won’t be deducted from your next tax refund. But that’s only because of how fungible money is, sometimes: the cost — $300 per taxpayer, plus $300 per dependent, less some exceptions for high-income earners, but plus some other tax incentives — comes out to … Read more...

Obama’s Shocking Tax-Cut Plan

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It’s startling to hear about a giant, $300 billion tax cut from the tax-and-spend party (which beat the spend-and-spend-and-spend party in a hotly contested election). Incredibly, after months of childish bickering on both sides, this new tax plan treats the average taxpayer like an adult. How?

It’s a cut in withholdings, rather than a refund check. If you get $300 back in one lump-sum, you can spend it all on something really fantastic — and at the end of your evening, you’ll feel like you got dinner and a concert on Obama’s dime. But turn that $300 into weekly payments of $6, and what do you get? An extra Obama-tizer at TGIF? Paying this money out in a small … Read more...

Joe the Plumber: Taxes and Swing Votes

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Joe Wurzelbacher might think twice about getting involved in politics again. A week ago, Joe the Plumber was just another plumber. Now he is the Joe the Plumber, a more important political topic than the War in Iraq, and a more sensitive debate subject than abortion or gay marriage.

How did Joe the Plumber find his way into the spotlight? First, he happened to be named ‘Joe’: every candidate wants a less insulting, more family-friendly replacement for “Joe Sixpack,” and Joe the Plumber is definitely it. But more importantly, he touched on a crucial issue: what are the long-term effects of the Obama and McCain tax plans?

In the video that made him famous, Joe sounds like his mind … Read more...

Fake Tax Cuts, Terrifying Foreclosure Videos, Dog Taxes, and More

Categories: Uncategorized

We’re all bracing for the next debate, but the taxosphere is rolling right along. Today brought in still more outraged comments about the bailout/stabilization plan/boondoggle-upon-a-boondoggle-upon-a-boondoggle. There’s a lot to catch up on in today’s tax blog posts:

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Debates, Bailouts, Tax Evasion, and Other Taxosphere Tidbits

Categories: Uncategorized

The taxosphere is abuzz with news as the bailout continues to be debated and revised. Meanwhile, day-to-day tax issues still dominate the discussion.

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