Tag: "taxes"

The High Marginal Cost of the Social Security Benefits Tax

In yesterday’s Dallas Morning News, financial columnist Scott Burns discussed the hard-hitting Social Security benefits tax.  Using Turbo-Tax, he demonstrates how middle-income seniors (those earning $41,343 to $77,343) are hit by the tax.  Since the income thresholds are not adjusted for inflation, but Social Security benefits are, more seniors will have pay the tax as […]

The Camp Tax Reform Plan Is a Good Start With a Few Caveats

Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) unveiled a plan today (executive summary here) to simplify the tax code and reduce income tax rates, from the current seven rates to just two rates:  10 percent and 25 percent.   It also groups personal family exemptions into three categories instead of the usual six:  a larger standard deduction, a larger […]

Major Tax Savings That May Not Be Around Next Year

There are several tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year.  While it is not yet known whether they will be extended into tax year 2014 (and it may be months before we know for sure), now is the time to assume their demise and take advantage of them this year.  […]

Tax Recreational Marijuana?

Yes — that is what Colorado is planning to do now after legalizing recreational marijuana last year. Voters approved a proposition to tax marijuana by a wide margin, 64 to 34 percent. The state of Washington also legalized recreational marijuana as well as the cities of Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing in Michigan and Portland in […]

Paying People to Buy; Punishing Them for Saving

Today the NCPA featured a report summary in its Daily Policy Digest on how taxing capital penalizes saving.   The report, by Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute, provides a clear example of how even if the tax rates on labor income and saving are the same, the saver still pays a greater effective tax rate […]

Ruling on DOMA Highlights the Need for Tax Reform

Today’s Supreme Court ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) goes beyond traditional arguments on whether or not the federal government should recognize same-sex marriage.  While there are strong and differing opinions on whether the Supreme Court’s decision was the right one, it has shed light on a topic that all can agree […]

Rich or Simply Frugal?

There is always a target for bad tax policy, and these days it seems to be the rich.  Every scheme designed to raise tax revenue is usually based on taxing the rich more, taxing the poor less, and generally redistributing wealth so that society is fair.  Sadly, however, the non-wealthy but frugal and hard-working citizen often […]

The United States of Cyprus: Will American Retirement Accounts be Raided?

cheap cad software p>As I skimmed through a copy of the president’s 2014 budget, which by the way, is chock full of fluffy spending at the expense of the taxpayer, I caught site of an interesting proposal regarding retirement accounts.   Let me back up a bit and rephrase myself — I caught sight of a “hair-brained […]

How Do We Really Feel About Taxing the Rich?

Last month the National Bureau of Economic Research released a working paper that explored some of the more puzzling disconnects between the harsh realities of U.S. tax progressivity and how the public views fair taxation. Matthew Weinzierl of the Harvard Business School argues that modern tax research is the result of utilitarian assumptions.  This means […]

It Ain’t Necessarily So

According to the New York Times, the Tax Policy Center claims that under the 2012 Taxpayer Relief Act, the increase of the top two marginal income tax rates, for those earning $400,000 or more, makes the tax code the most progressive since 1979 (progressive means that as income increases, the tax rate per dollar of income […]