Beware the Ides of April

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Mo
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Beware the Ides of April

Post by Mo » 25 Feb 2014, 23:40

Tax day and filing gripes here.

Fucking Intuit nickels and dimes you all over the place. In addition to paying for the state and federal (and then buying a separate state because of the joys of living in a two state employment household), they're charging me $20 to file state as well. Fuck that noise.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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Hugh Akston
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Hugh Akston » 26 Feb 2014, 00:10

Since this was the first time in many moons that I had a single-employer single-state tax situation, I filed myself back in January. I wasn't about to entrust my personal information to a federal contractor's website, so I filled it out in pdf and sent it in snail mail. Plus that gives me the satisfaction of writing a smartass memo on the check and leaving the occupation and phone number fields blank.

I generously donated to the Obamacare-Industrial Complex, but I will get a small refund back from the Bullet Train to Nowhere.
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GinSlinger
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by GinSlinger » 26 Feb 2014, 05:41

None of my income last year was reported. A more radical version of me might do something with that, as it stands, I had to go through my electronic bank statements for the year to make sure I hadn't forgotten any awards.

Not even a 1099? How can this be a thing?

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Warren
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Warren » 26 Feb 2014, 08:57

GinSlinger wrote:None of my income last year was reported. A more radical version of me might do something with that, as it stands, I had to go through my electronic bank statements for the year to make sure I hadn't forgotten any awards.

Not even a 1099? How can this be a thing?
BitCoins?
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dhex
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by dhex » 26 Feb 2014, 10:25

GinSlinger wrote:None of my income last year was reported. A more radical version of me might do something with that, as it stands, I had to go through my electronic bank statements for the year to make sure I hadn't forgotten any awards.

Not even a 1099? How can this be a thing?
did you work for a college or university? because they're fucking terrible at that stuff.
"If they make a movie about Bothans pre-ROTJ that is basically a rip off of the Taking of Pelham 123, I would start masturbating in the theater." fffffffunnnngh

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nicole
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by nicole » 26 Feb 2014, 10:35

I filed for each of us a couple weeks ago. I can't believe I'm actually going to get legally married but fuck how much money it is costing me not to be.
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Kolohe » 26 Feb 2014, 10:44

I'm just going to put this right here for now and walk away.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Ayn_Randian
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Ayn_Randian » 26 Feb 2014, 10:49

Kolohe wrote:I'm just going to put this right here for now and walk away.
Did Charlie Brown ever get that guy's autograph?
It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L

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Mo
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Mo » 26 Feb 2014, 11:32

Ayn_Randian wrote:
Kolohe wrote:I'm just going to put this right here for now and walk away.
Did Charlie Brown ever get that guy's autograph?
:lol: :lol: :lol:
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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Jadagul
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Jadagul » 26 Feb 2014, 16:32

GinSlinger wrote:None of my income last year was reported. A more radical version of me might do something with that, as it stands, I had to go through my electronic bank statements for the year to make sure I hadn't forgotten any awards.

Not even a 1099? How can this be a thing?
As far as I can tell, fellowships and grants don't generate any paper trail. I get a letter every year--not a form, a letter--that reads: "Mr Jadagul, our records show that we have paid you $X dollars this year. You have performed no services in exchange for this money. blah blah blah."

First year I got it nearly gave me a heart attack: "wait, are you going to try to take all my income for the year back because I haven't done work in exchange?" But that was just their income reporting so I'd know how much I'd made and could put it on the 1040.

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GinSlinger
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by GinSlinger » 26 Feb 2014, 17:31

Yeah, it's all fellowships and grants and tuition payments. In the past, I've received a letter similar to Jadagul's from the university or even a 1099, as well as a 1098T for the tuition. The university quietly announced this year they would no longer report other income, nor tuition for non-working grad students. (Quietly as in announces it on the internal HR bulletin board.) but I have always received a 1099 for outside monies.

Not this year. With none of that income being reported, I'm not going to lie, I've seriously considered how honest to be. That's especially because one grant payment was made at the very end of last year, for expenses that won't be deductible until next year.

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Mo
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Mo » 16 Apr 2014, 10:01

While I am a fan of the flat tax, what makes our tax code complicated is not the existence or number of tax brackets, but rather the pages of deductions, exemptions, definitions and credits. It annoys me that advocates for a flat tax make it seem like the brackets are the source of complexity.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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JasonL
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by JasonL » 16 Apr 2014, 10:13

I don't think a flat tax is a particularly good idea. Simple isn't the same as flat. Flat is not progressive enough for current environment such that in 2 years you'd have just as many negotiated adjustments as you do now. I also feel in some cases the virtue of simple is overstated. It is a big deal, but not worth doing if the end result is an abusive yet simple to understand rate.

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Mo
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Mo » 16 Apr 2014, 10:30

Flat plus high standard per person deduction would work for progressiveness.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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tr0g
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by tr0g » 16 Apr 2014, 10:40

Mo wrote:Flat plus high standard per person deduction would work for progressiveness.
I'm more a consumption tax kind of guy with food taken out of the mix.
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by JasonL » 16 Apr 2014, 11:16

Me too.

Kinda this really, which has elements of flat tax logic: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall ... ption-tax/
What will happen is that everyone fills in a tax form, very similar to the 1040 of today. You record your income, as usual, but all of that income that you have saved is deducted before whatever the tax rate is is applied. You can think of this as being a little like all of your savings, of any type at all, as being in a tax-free 401 (k) if you like. However, all of the money that you’ve taken out of your savings that year is added to your taxable income. Any profits, capital gains, dividends, interest, any of these are treated exactly the same as any other income. If you’ve kept them in savings then they are not taxed: if you’ve taken them out of savings and spent them on consumption then they are added to your other income and taxed at whatever rate.

This is what is really meant by a progressive consumption tax. That your savings, returns to capital, corporations, are not taxed at all, because they are the most expensive taxes in the form of deadweight costs. Only that portion that is spent on actual consumption is taxed. And as long as we meet the condition that we have rising average tax rates, achievable with a flat tax plus an allowance, then this tax system is indeed progressive.

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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by dhex » 16 Apr 2014, 11:26

so if you buy a tv you're taxed? or a car or a walkman or whatever? and you pay a percentage of that, a la a vat?
"If they make a movie about Bothans pre-ROTJ that is basically a rip off of the Taking of Pelham 123, I would start masturbating in the theater." fffffffunnnngh

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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by JasonL » 16 Apr 2014, 11:33

Traditionally you think of a VAT when you think of consumption taxes. That is a way of taxing at the point of transaction. This sort of thinking is a bit more sophisticated. You designate assets into account types that are savings. All dollars you pull out of those accounts to use are taxed as consumption. The rates are progressive with the amount of consumption. There is some talk about large purchases like primary residences and what types of things could be considered savings (investment properties?), but I think the basic idea is sound.

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Mo
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Mo » 16 Apr 2014, 11:45

My issue with consumption taxes is that it's really, really hard to get from here to there. If you're a retiree with a fixed income, you're going to get double taxed on the savings (though not on the returns). Owners of real property are going to get hit hard because there will be significant downward pressure on existing home values due to the consumption tax*. The reason I like the flat income tax with the high deduction is that there are far fewer wacky disruptions to legacy systems than by doing a shift to consumption taxes.

* The pressure due to losing the home interest deduction exists no matter what, but that can be phased out over a decade.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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JasonL
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by JasonL » 16 Apr 2014, 11:46

Man, I just hate taxing productivity. It's dumb.

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Mo
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Mo » 16 Apr 2014, 11:50

JasonL wrote:Man, I just hate taxing productivity. It's dumb.
I get it and agree. I just think the consumption tax advocates are getting too much into the cute technocratic solution that will run into a bunch of implementation issues.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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tr0g
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by tr0g » 16 Apr 2014, 11:55

Mo wrote:
JasonL wrote:Man, I just hate taxing productivity. It's dumb.
I get it and agree. I just think the consumption tax advocates are getting too much into the cute technocratic solution that will run into a bunch of implementation issues.
My biggest issue with it is that you have to utterly kill the income tax before you implement the consumption tax. If you don't do that, we'll end up with both forever. That's my sticking point as to why I don't think we'll see the switch.
Yeah but how can you tell at a glance which junk a raccoon is packing? Also, gay raccoons? - Hugh Akston
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JasonL
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by JasonL » 16 Apr 2014, 11:55

There's an argument that kinda goes we are already heading down this path anyway - you have tax deferred savings for insurance products, deferred savings for retirement, deferred savings for heath care ... how far away are we from just calling savings tax deferred and everything else consumption?

Isaac Bartram
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Isaac Bartram » 18 Apr 2014, 22:58

I just got finished pointing out to someone who calls him(her)self "american socialist" at H&R that the "successful" welfare states* (Denmark, Sweden, Canada and Australia) rely on either Vat or General Services Taxes to raise revenues to keep their budgets in balance (or, at least, some state which approaches balance).

Except for Australia, which collects taxes at the Federal level to redistribute to the states (the states have no direct taxing powers beyond local property taxes), at 45%, most of the above have maximum marginal tax rates below the USA.

Revenue Canada collects income taxes for the provinces (except for PQ) as part of one's federal tax return. Provincial rates vary but for the most part they are a simple percentage of one's federal tax payable.

My basic point is that in actual fact most countries who maintain (relatively) balanced budgets also have low marginal income tax rates in the high brackets relative to the USA but due to sales, excise or VA taxes actually impose a big portion of the tax burden on lower income earners.

So much for progressive taxation.

*successful in that they are do not run huge deficits to maintain generous benfits and also keep a significant part of their population employed in relatively high paying jobs. In the case of Australia, this means a continuation of the White Australia Policy in a somewhat different form.

The one disclaimer I will add is that those countries also have a large percentage of their populations not working or even contemplating working and thus collecting some kind of benefits, but that raises a completely different question.

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Hugh Akston
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Re: Beware the Ides of April

Post by Hugh Akston » 28 Jan 2015, 17:48

Way to publish a pdf form with almost all of the fields functional, State of California.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Inexplicably cockfighting monsters that live in your pants" ~Jadagul

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