A case can be made that tax reform is the opiate of the people and their elected representatives -- a compelling topic that diverts them from the real issues like collecting adequate taxes to pay for the government services we rely on.
Could we tinker with the charitable deduction and improve it without killing the incentive to give? Could we more sharply define, donating to the public good, the difference between a seat on a prestigious museum board and housing the homeless?
This year individuals will give about $30 billion to help the poor. Government will give close to 100 times more. Indeed, voluntary giving can't even keep up with government cutbacks let alone substitute for government spending.
As the current tax year closes and the next tax season approaches, I thought it would be helpful and informative to highlight some past tax statistics and details related to tax filings in general and even some guidance on how you can make the most of this information.
Politicians are far more likely to be held accountable for raising tax rates than for limiting deductions, even if the ultimate tax bills are the same. This incentive to "hide the ball" in tax reform is troubling.
The Temporary Payroll Tax Holiday, a two percent reduction in employee Social Security tax withholding, expired Dec. 31, 2012. Beginning Jan. 2013, the average taxpayer will see as much as a $1,000 decrease in take-home pay.
The combination of expiring tax laws and tax policy changes, possible renewed retroactive provisions and last-minute legislative action calls for taxpayers to be extra careful when managing their taxes in order to ensure that there is no money left on the table.
Because half of all donations typically are made between Thanksgiving and New Year's, this is a good time to highlight precautions you can take to ensure your gift has the biggest possible impact, both on the people you want to help and on your own bottom line.
While you are donating to charities in great need, be sure to observe the charitable donation tax rules, maximize that tax deduction and do something nice for yourself -- like getting a bigger tax refund for your good deed efforts.
We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving. But what if the Pilgrims had to concern themselves with filing a federal income tax return as we do today? What would they be able to claim as deductible expenses?
If and when the American body politic starts bleeding to death from Romney's tax cuts, all we have to do is to take it to the nearest emergency room, which is legally bound to treat all comers without regard for their ability to pay. That's why I'm for Mitt.
Romney's idea of limiting tax deductions should be taken seriously. Romney is on the right track here. The only problem -- and it's a big one -- is that the math on his tax plan overall still doesn't add up.