No, not quite 2016, but it is coming and now is the perfect time to start planning on next year's taxes so come New Year's you will have plenty of time to party.
While many policies will be needed to improve the situation of the poor and middle class, there are three simple ones that could make a big difference: a more competitive dollar, a Federal Reserve Board committed to full employment and a financial transactions tax to rein in Wall Street.
This week, Americans fulfilled part of our responsibility to our government by filing taxes. But the government isn't doing its part in return. First, as a new report by the National Taxpayer Advocate showed, the IRS has been crippled by years of budget cuts, resulting in a "devastating erosion of taxpayer service" and filing misery for millions. Hold times, which were under three minutes in 2004, are now over 30 minutes. This isn't smaller government; it's broken government, which, for many budget-slashing legislators, is the point. In more news from dysfunctional D.C., Attorney General-Designate Loretta Lynch remains in limbo, her nomination held hostage by Senate Republicans for over five months. On Friday, a clearly frustrated President Obama demanded, "Call Loretta Lynch for a vote...This is embarrassing." Meanwhile, the bigger "news" was the breathless scoop of Hillary Clinton eating at Chipotle. She had, we were told, a chicken burrito bowl (with guacamole). If only our political system -- and media coverage -- were as satisfying.
The IRS tax filing deadline is this week, and the average refund so far has been about $3,500. The question is: what should you do with that refund? The truth is, a tax refund can be a lifesaver for some, but can cause more trouble for others.
April doesn't just bring showers for May flowers. For accountants, this time of year is busier than Christmas as they help folks rush out their tax returns to the IRS.
On Tax Day, while working Americans contribute their part to keeping the country running, many companies that pay low-wages will exploit a loophole in the tax code that that allowed them to write off taxes on over $66 billion in executive compensation pay between 2007 and 2010.
Wealthy fund managers employ an army of tax advisors to make sure they do not miss any opportunity to get a tax break. As Warren Buffett pointed out, the mega rich already pay a lower tax rate on their incomes than the average worker.
Through a myriad of tax avoidance schemes, the wealthy 1 percent continue to profit using public resources, subsidies and infrastructure while the 99 percent disproportionately pay the bills for it -- all while struggling to pay their own bills, mortgages, student loans, and more. Americans must ask why individual taxpayers are fronting the money for hugely profitable corporations.
While more states are recognizing same-sex couples' right to marry, there is still an enormous amount of work to be done to secure social justice for all. Ensuring that our families are recognized by the federal tax code is a queer issue. Updating our tax code must remain a key component of advancing freedom, equality, and justice for LGBTQ people.
Who deserves a break more these days: a struggling working family, or the heir to a billion-dollar fortune? According to the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, it's the billion-dollar baby.
My constituents, and all Ohioans, work hard to keep roofs over their heads and feed their families. Their hard-earned, finite tax dollars should be prioritized to meet the needs of our community. It is time for Congress to carefully scrutinize how our tax dollars are spent as they craft next year's budget.
No longer can I look past the reality that my annual voluntary forfeiture of money to my government pays for violence around the globe, at astounding levels, and I am not able to provide any more excuses or rationalizations that paying without protest, that being complicit in funding war without resistance, is not contradictory to my faith and to my conscience.
We are what we spend. If we let the Pentagon consume the largest part of our discretionary budget, then we give license to be defined in those terms. We will continue to address global problems with bombs rather than diplomacy. We should not be satisfied with that.
If you live in Dallas and you owe the Internal Revenue Service $900,000 or so, don't worry about it. The IRS is so short-handed down there it doesn't bother with tax scofflaws who owe less than $1 million. It's more or less the same all over the country.
If you've used the Internet today, whether for shopping, social networking, or research, take a moment to appreciate that public investment--our tax dollars--made these activities possible.