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(National Review)   Why the US tax code is a comedy masterpiece   (nationalreview.com) divider line 43
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10902 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Apr 2013 at 11:22 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-15 11:24:10 AM
And NRO knows comedy masterpieces.
 
2013-04-15 11:26:26 AM
Too much Obamanomics I'm assuming.
 
2013-04-15 11:27:10 AM
~a century of lawyers and accountants trolling the shiat out of each other will do that.
 
2013-04-15 11:29:14 AM
What a DARK COMEDY looks like...

25.media.tumblr.com

It does NOT look like an IRS publication...

Nice try NRO.
 
2013-04-15 11:30:42 AM
The punchline is, "Let's get rid of income tax and put a sales tax in its place."

But for some reason it never gets any laughs.
 
2013-04-15 11:31:32 AM
So, one must pay legal federal taxes on gambling revenues obtained illegally under state law.

It's like these farkwits never heard of Al Capone.
 
2013-04-15 11:36:35 AM
I got to file a 1040EZ for the first time in about 30 years. I am shickled titless.
 
2013-04-15 11:39:35 AM
Hey Abbott!
What is it Costello?
It's April 15th and I don't have my taxes done.
No problem, Costello. Just go see my tax man, Who.
Who?
Yes,
Does your tax man have a name?
Why, of course he has a name. What kind of tax man would he be if he didn't have a name?
And the name of your tax man is...?
Who. Who is my tax man.
Who is?
Yes.
Who is the name of your tax man.
Yes!
The name of your tax man is Who.
You got it.
I got it? I just want to know what is the name of your tax man?
No. Who is the name of my tax man.
Who is?
Yes.
I want to get my taxes done. I go see Who?
Now you got it.
Tell me. What is the name of your tax man?
No. What is the name of my accountant?
What is the name of your accountant?
Yes.
How did we get on the subject of your accountant?
You mentioned his name!
If I mentioned your accountant's name, Who did I say was your accountant?
No. Who is my tax man.
That's what I want to know! Who is your tax man?
Yes!
I just want to know, what is the name of your tax man?
No. What is the name of my accountant.
I pick up the phone. I'm calling your tax man. I'm calling who?
Now, that is the first thing you've said that made sense today.
I just want to know, who is your tax man?
Yes. Who is.
I don't know.
Now that's my Investment Portfolio Manager.
you know what, Abbott? Since we're gonna lose everything to the IRS in a coupla years. None of this matters!
Sergeant Major: Yes. Yes. Quite right. You there. The little fella. get back to work doing television. Now, you. The tall fella. Get to practicing your surprised face. It'll come in handy for when they hand you a newspaper with the little fella's obituary.
 
2013-04-15 11:39:58 AM
Who writes Tax Legislation

candysez.com

Who enforces Tax Legislation

www.conservative-daily.com

Who this serves

ourmanbob.info

I'm laughing, aren't you?
 
2013-04-15 11:40:33 AM
Didn't we have an article a few weeks ago saying that Grover Norquist and Intuit formed an unholy alliance to make taxes more complicated than they have to be?
 
2013-04-15 11:43:40 AM
i did not L.O.L. even once.

i want my money back
 
2013-04-15 11:45:45 AM
I'm so tired of the perpetually-reported "myth" that the Tax Code is 75,000 pages.

It isn't.

*pulls 2-volume set off nearby bookshelf*

My copy is about 4K pages between the two volumes.

So stop saying this crap. "Politicos" and Congresscritters are morans, but real journalists should know better.

/and no it's not microscopic print that requires a magnifying glass
//and yes, I'm lumping in the National Review as "journalists"
 
2013-04-15 11:46:14 AM

Kibbler: The punchline is, "Let's get rid of income tax and put a sales tax in its place."

But for some reason it never gets any laughs.


Regressive taxation is never a funny punchline.

It's almost as funny as the Trickle Down effect of Voodoo economics.
 
2013-04-15 11:49:03 AM
We let the oil companies write off the oil they pump out of the ground.  That's pretty funny.
 
2013-04-15 11:49:18 AM
Most of the confusing tax code loopholes are in there for one reason: because they benefit the wealthy.  Hence, they will never be removed and the tax code will never be simplified until we stop allowing the wealthy to run our government.
 
2013-04-15 11:57:18 AM

Do the needful: I got to file a 1040EZ for the first time in about 30 years. I am shickled titless.


...whereas I was introduced to the wonderful world of k-1 reporting.

/feeling a tad murderous.
 
2013-04-15 12:03:59 PM
Meh, I liked this article better.
 
2013-04-15 12:12:44 PM
The only thing we know for sure is the current system does not work. It does not raise enough money to fund the government's expensive while still being riddled with loopholes and prone to political manipulation.

But don't you dare try and suggest another method of funding the government or you will get laughed at for suggesting something impractical and unworkable.
 
2013-04-15 12:13:55 PM

Pincy: Most of the confusing tax code loopholes are in there for one reason: because they benefit the wealthy.  Hence, they will never be removed and the tax code will never be simplified until we stop allowing the wealthy to run our government.


Talk like that will bring King George III's troops ... ah, I mean DHS down on you.
 
2013-04-15 12:18:30 PM

Kibbler: The punchline is, "Let's get rid of income tax and put a sales tax in its place."

But for some reason it never gets any laughs.


I must have missed that. I stopped reading at 10% flat tax.
 
2013-04-15 12:18:47 PM

Bumblefark: Do the needful: I got to file a 1040EZ for the first time in about 30 years. I am shickled titless.

...whereas I was introduced to the wonderful world of k-1 reporting.

/feeling a tad murderous.


All of my kids are out of the house, so no child deductions, one job, and no other income. Never heard of K-1, so I googled it. If I was filling out things like that I would just get a CPA.
 
2013-04-15 12:37:02 PM

Do the needful: Bumblefark: Do the needful: I got to file a 1040EZ for the first time in about 30 years. I am shickled titless.

...whereas I was introduced to the wonderful world of k-1 reporting.

/feeling a tad murderous.

All of my kids are out of the house, so no child deductions, one job, and no other income. Never heard of K-1, so I googled it. If I was filling out things like that I would just get a CPA.


Yeah, most people filing k-1 probably do, since it implies they have the money for that. Me, I'm just a moron who jumped on the wrong ETF in the midst of my little stock-trading hobby, and learned a valuable lesson about the diversity of tax implications involved in playing the markets...

But, even if I had the money, I admit I probably still wouldn't. I figure, I'm not a *complete* idiot, so I ought to be able to file my taxes accurately without the help of a private specialist. If I can't, then the problem is with the tax code, and the IRS can go ahead and audit me. The worst they'll find is some good-faith errors, probably in their favor rather than mine...
 
2013-04-15 12:37:08 PM
You know why the tax code is complicated? Because life is complicated.  Seriously, it's an attempt to fairly quantify and tax EVERY type of income in our insanely complicated economy, while giving breaks for activities that produce income (or expenses).  These flat tax farkheads only want it simplified because it allows the wealthy to keep more of their money, nothing more, nothing less.  The vast majority of Americans can file 1040EZs and be done in about an hour.  Everything else is just whinging about the size of their personal bill and ignoring how it you know, funds a civilized society.
 
2013-04-15 12:38:35 PM
10 percent flat tax vs. "our current system"? I would have paid over three times as much. No, thanks.
 
2013-04-15 12:40:29 PM
I have no idea WTF Willis is talking about.
 
2013-04-15 12:45:23 PM
FTFA:America needs a universal 10 percent flat tax with no deductions. This would be far less knee-slapping than the status quo.

This man wants to kill comedy.
 
2013-04-15 12:50:10 PM

bglove25: You know why the tax code is complicated? Because life is complicated.  Seriously, it's an attempt to fairly quantify and tax EVERY type of income in our insanely complicated economy, while giving breaks for activities that produce income (or expenses).  These flat tax farkheads only want it simplified because it allows the wealthy to keep more of their money, nothing more, nothing less.  The vast majority of Americans can file 1040EZs and be done in about an hour.  Everything else is just whinging about the size of their personal bill and ignoring how it you know, funds a civilized society.


I'd be OK with a flat tax if it was progressive.  Something like 15% on the first $50,000.  Then 20% on $50,001 - $100,000.  Then 25% on $100,000-200,000, etc...  Make the top tax rate like 50%.  But ya, in general, most flat tax people aren't pushing for a progressive flat tax, they are pushing for one rate for everyone.
 
2013-04-15 01:24:19 PM

bglove25: The vast majority of Americans can file 1040EZs and be done in about an hour


What? According to the IRS, anyone who has dependent kids can't file the 1040EZ. That alone probably contradicts your "vast majority" claim. And there are deductions that at least I understand to be popular, like the mortgage interest deduction, which you can only claim with the full 1040.

I mean, I'm a grad student and I think I haven't been able to file a 1040EZ for quite a while. (Well, at least TurboTax seems to not think so, as it's filled out the 1040A, I believe without me telling it that. I suspect in my case it's so that I can file 8863 for education credits which don't apply to most people.) Even I had to do a full-blown 1040 and schedule C-EZ a couple years ago because I did private tutoring and decided to be on the up-and-up about it.
 
2013-04-15 01:29:00 PM

evaned: What? According to the IRS, anyone who has dependent kids can't file the 1040EZ. That alone probably contradicts your "vast majority" claim. And there are deductions that at least I understand to be popular, like the mortgage interest deduction, which you can only claim with the full 1040.


And just to elaborate, according to this article, 46% of US households would be disqualified from the 1040-EZ on that basis alone.

(Well, I guess it's probably legal to file the 1040-EZ anyway and just not claim any dependents even though you are entitled to do so. But not knowing exactly what would happen, I would guess that would cause a significant increase in taxes, and saying "they could just file the 1040-EZ" is disingenuous on that count.)
 
2013-04-15 01:40:24 PM
Yeah, the only thing more hilarious than the US tax code is the notion that anybody associated with fox news can be taken seriously.  Well, one of many things more hilarious.  But that one thing has the highest amount of hilariousness of all the things more hilarious.

/so there
 
2013-04-15 02:11:38 PM

Tax Boy: I'm so tired of the perpetually-reported "myth" that the Tax Code is 75,000 pages.

It isn't.

*pulls 2-volume set off nearby bookshelf*

My copy is about 4K pages between the two volumes.

So stop saying this crap. "Politicos" and Congresscritters are morans, but real journalists should know better.

/and no it's not microscopic print that requires a magnifying glass
//and yes, I'm lumping in the National Review as "journalists"


What if you made the font twice as big, and also double-spaced, and also only used one side of the paper. And made every other page blank. That could reach 75k.
 
2013-04-15 02:34:25 PM

Pincy: bglove25: You know why the tax code is complicated? Because life is complicated.  Seriously, it's an attempt to fairly quantify and tax EVERY type of income in our insanely complicated economy, while giving breaks for activities that produce income (or expenses).  These flat tax farkheads only want it simplified because it allows the wealthy to keep more of their money, nothing more, nothing less.  The vast majority of Americans can file 1040EZs and be done in about an hour.  Everything else is just whinging about the size of their personal bill and ignoring how it you know, funds a civilized society.

I'd be OK with a flat tax if it was progressive.  Something like 15% on the first $50,000.  Then 20% on $50,001 - $100,000.  Then 25% on $100,000-200,000, etc...  Make the top tax rate like 50%.  But ya, in general, most flat tax people aren't pushing for a progressive flat tax, they are pushing for one rate for everyone.


Not sure if serious...

The whole point of a "flat tax" is that it is not progressive. That's what makes it, y'know... flat.
 
2013-04-15 02:36:28 PM

RminusQ: Pincy: bglove25: You know why the tax code is complicated? Because life is complicated.  Seriously, it's an attempt to fairly quantify and tax EVERY type of income in our insanely complicated economy, while giving breaks for activities that produce income (or expenses).  These flat tax farkheads only want it simplified because it allows the wealthy to keep more of their money, nothing more, nothing less.  The vast majority of Americans can file 1040EZs and be done in about an hour.  Everything else is just whinging about the size of their personal bill and ignoring how it you know, funds a civilized society.

I'd be OK with a flat tax if it was progressive.  Something like 15% on the first $50,000.  Then 20% on $50,001 - $100,000.  Then 25% on $100,000-200,000, etc...  Make the top tax rate like 50%.  But ya, in general, most flat tax people aren't pushing for a progressive flat tax, they are pushing for one rate for everyone.

Not sure if serious...

The whole point of a "flat tax" is that it is not progressive. That's what makes it, y'know... flat.


Well, I see "flat" more as "no deductions, just straight percentage of gross income", so I think you can still have a progressive flat tax if you look at it that way.  But ya, most flat taxers don't see it like that, they see one tax rate for everyone no matter what your income.
 
2013-04-15 02:56:33 PM
Because millionaires and billionaires pay lower tax rates than the working class?
 
2013-04-15 03:15:36 PM

Pincy: RminusQ: Pincy: bglove25: You know why the tax code is complicated? Because life is complicated.  Seriously, it's an attempt to fairly quantify and tax EVERY type of income in our insanely complicated economy, while giving breaks for activities that produce income (or expenses).  These flat tax farkheads only want it simplified because it allows the wealthy to keep more of their money, nothing more, nothing less.  The vast majority of Americans can file 1040EZs and be done in about an hour.  Everything else is just whinging about the size of their personal bill and ignoring how it you know, funds a civilized society.

I'd be OK with a flat tax if it was progressive.  Something like 15% on the first $50,000.  Then 20% on $50,001 - $100,000.  Then 25% on $100,000-200,000, etc...  Make the top tax rate like 50%.  But ya, in general, most flat tax people aren't pushing for a progressive flat tax, they are pushing for one rate for everyone.

Not sure if serious...

The whole point of a "flat tax" is that it is not progressive. That's what makes it, y'know... flat.

Well, I see "flat" more as "no deductions, just straight percentage of gross income", so I think you can still have a progressive flat tax if you look at it that way.  But ya, most flat taxers don't see it like that, they see one tax rate for everyone no matter what your income.


Maybe its just that I'm an idiot and if that is the case feel free to tell me so but in Alberta everyone pays 10% of their income. This is  the flat rate plus all the various deductions and credits that you can get for being a student or a low earner or whatever. My question is thus: how is this not progressive? 10% of 50,000 is less than 10% of 150,000 and so by my math the guy making 150,000 is pay more tax than the guy making 50,000. Or am I not understanding what progressive means.
 
2013-04-15 03:26:29 PM

stjimmy13: Or am I not understanding what progressive means.


A progressive tax increases the rate for higher earners, under the theory that even a fixed percentage means a lot more to someone making $30K than $3M because there are certain fixed costs like eating and food. Taking $3K from someone who earns $30K will noticably decrease spending money. Taking $300K from someone who earns $3M means they'll only be able to afford a 4500 sqft home instead of 5000 sqft.
 
2013-04-15 03:29:03 PM

stjimmy13: Maybe its just that I'm an idiot and if that is the case feel free to tell me so but in Alberta everyone pays 10% of their income. This is the flat rate plus all the various deductions and credits that you can get for being a student or a low earner or whatever. My question is thus: how is this not progressive? 10% of 50,000 is less than 10% of 150,000 and so by my math the guy making 150,000 is pay more tax than the guy making 50,000. Or am I not understanding what progressive means.


The progressiveness of a tax system is not determined by the actual amount people pay in taxes but rather by the percentage of the tax rate they pay.  Everyone paying the same percentage regardless of the massive differences in their income is not progressive.
 
2013-04-15 04:21:03 PM
So how about we make it flat-ish? Zero tax rate on the first 20000 (or whatever) and 15% on everything above it. No deductions. No subsidies. No depreciation. No advantage for deferring income or playing accountant games. Define income as broadly as possible and be done with it.
 
2013-04-15 04:28:26 PM
US should institute a flat tax - and no one should be able to be worth more than $10 million. Period.
 
2013-04-15 05:37:21 PM

bglove25: You know why the tax code is complicated? Because life is complicated.  Seriously, it's an attempt to fairly quantify and tax EVERY type of income in our insanely complicated economy, while giving breaks for activities that produce income (or expenses).  These flat tax farkheads only want it simplified because it allows the wealthy to keep more of their money, nothing more, nothing less.  The vast majority of Americans can file 1040EZs and be done in about an hour.  Everything else is just whinging about the size of their personal bill and ignoring how it you know, funds a civilized society.


Uhhh... I spent my lunch break today continuing my taxes, so I'm getting a kick...

I'm using Turbo Tax, and at the moment, blindly plugging in 1099's. I bought a bunch of shares of USO which is an oil fund. So now Turbo Tax is spitting out all these questions like "Did you have a working interest in the straddle position as seen as dividend first accounting terms during 2012 but only domestically?", and I go "uhh... sure... I guess..." and hit the Yes button.

It doesn't matter, because I took a play out of Obama's book and now include signing statements with my tax return for anything that's questionable.
 
2013-04-15 05:47:17 PM

ZeroPly: bglove25: You know why the tax code is complicated? Because life is complicated.  Seriously, it's an attempt to fairly quantify and tax EVERY type of income in our insanely complicated economy, while giving breaks for activities that produce income (or expenses).  These flat tax farkheads only want it simplified because it allows the wealthy to keep more of their money, nothing more, nothing less.  The vast majority of Americans can file 1040EZs and be done in about an hour.  Everything else is just whinging about the size of their personal bill and ignoring how it you know, funds a civilized society.

Uhhh... I spent my lunch break today continuing my taxes, so I'm getting a kick...

I'm using Turbo Tax, and at the moment, blindly plugging in 1099's. I bought a bunch of shares of USO which is an oil fund. So now Turbo Tax is spitting out all these questions like "Did you have a working interest in the straddle position as seen as dividend first accounting terms during 2012 but only domestically?", and I go "uhh... sure... I guess..." and hit the Yes button.

It doesn't matter, because I took a play out of Obama's book and now include signing statements with my tax return for anything that's questionable.


Umm, I think Obama's predecessor is the master of signing statements.
 
2013-04-16 02:38:09 PM

ManRay: The only thing we know for sure is the current system does not work. It does not raise enough money to fund the government's expensive while still being riddled with loopholes and prone to political manipulation.

But don't you dare try and suggest another method of funding the government or you will get laughed at for suggesting something impractical and unworkable.


I think the government is already being funded enough.  The problem is the government is doing too much shiat they shouldn't be doing (yes, that includes being at perpetual war against undefineable enemies).

Also, anyone arguing about increasing the income tax on the weathy has fallen for the trap.  Most of the wealthy have little income that would fall under income tax.  You want to get their attention?  Increase the capital gains tax -- not going to happen, though.
 
2013-04-16 02:48:03 PM

ChubbyTiger: So how about we make it flat-ish? Zero tax rate on the first 20000 (or whatever) and 15% on everything above it. No deductions. No subsidies. No depreciation. No advantage for deferring income or playing accountant games. Define income as broadly as possible and be done with it.


Also, no child credits, mortgage credits, etc.  I'm all for that.

Here's the new tax code:  tax = (x - 20000) * 0.15; where x is your gross income.

Downside, lots of tax accountants and  tax attorneys need to find honest work.  People will argue that the rich should pay more.  Perhaps, but since they generally don't have any taxable income (they pay capital gains), it doesn't really matter what their income tax rate is set at.

Here's my alternate tax plan (which I mention in every tax thread in hopes of the idea gaining traction).  A law (constitutional amendment?) that states:  "The income tax rate for an individudual shall not be greater than the capital gains tax rate."  I think it's currently 15%.   The idea is to get the rich, who have all the power, to keep our tax rate down because our goals are tied together.
 
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