10 Other Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Taxes
#1
By Laurence M. Vance:


Quote:As a “tax guy” I follow the Taxgirl blog at Forbes of Kelly Phillips. Because her posts are practical, not philosophical, they can profitably be read by Americans of any political persuasion.

A recent post of Kelly’s was titled “10 Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Taxes.” Reading them got me thinking that there are 10 other things you absolutely need to know about taxes that are far more important.

Here are the opening sentences to each of the 10 things Kelly explained:

1. You may not have to file a federal income tax return.
2. Even if you don’t need to file a federal income tax return, you may still want to take advantage of tax breaks and credits.
3. You don’t have to itemize to take advantage of certain deductions like the student loan interest deduction.
4. If you’re self-employed, you likely need to make estimated payments.
5. You should file a return even if you can’t pay your tax bill.
6. Due dates matter.
7. An extension of time to file is not the same as an extension of time to pay.
8. Once the year-end passes, you still have one more opportunity to reduce your tax bill.
9. If you fail to file and pay, the government can take some pretty drastic measures – even seizing your passport.
10. A good tax preparer doesn’t have to break the bank.

There is no doubt that Kelly’s explanation of these things may help people as they get ready to file their taxes for last year during the upcoming tax season. But the 10 other things you absolutely need to know about taxes are things you need to know every day of the year.

1. Taxation is government theft.

On this point, I cannot improve upon the late, great Murray Rothbard:

Murray Rothbard Wrote:All other persons and groups in society (except for acknowledged and sporadic criminals such as thieves and bank robbers) obtain their income voluntarily: either by selling goods and services to the consuming public, or by voluntary gift (e.g., membership in a club or association, bequest, or inheritance). Only the State obtains its revenue by coercion, by threatening dire penalties should the income not be forthcoming. That coercion is known as “taxation,” although in less regularized epochs it was often known as “tribute.” Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.

To say that taxation is not government theft is to say that the government is entitled to a portion of every American’s income.

2. Progressive taxation is Marxist.


At the end of section two of Marx’s Communist Manifesto, in addition to calling for the abolition of private property and the centralization of the means of production in the hands of the state, he petitioned for “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” The U.S. income tax has been progressive from the very beginning. The current tax rates of 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35, & 39.6 percent are highly progressive. The tax code is also progressive because of the personal exemption and itemized deduction reductions and the phrase out of certain tax deductions and credits that punish high-income taxpayers. The U.S. tax code is Marxist, even if the Marxism is disguised as the idea that “the rich” should pay some arbitrary “fair share.”

3. Americans are taxed to death.


It is not just the federal income tax that plagues Americans. The Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes affect even the poorest of Americans. There are also federal taxes on gasoline, airline tickets, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and firearms. Most states have sales taxes. And then there are the state taxes on income, gasoline, alcohol, and tobacco. Americans also pay local sales taxes and property taxes, plus special taxes on hotel rooms and rental cars. Americans are not just taxed to death, they are also taxed after their death thanks to the estate tax.

4. The FairTax is not fair.

A consumption tax is not “better” than an income tax. There is nothing fair about the government taking a 20, 25, or 30 percent cut of every commercial transaction. In fact, there is nothing fair about taxes in general. As Rothbard succinctly explained: “There can be no such thing as ‘fairness in taxation.’ Taxation is nothing but organized theft, and the concept of a ‘fair tax’ is therefore every bit as absurd as that of ‘fair theft.’” Saying that there is a fair amount of taxation is like saying that there is a fair amount of stealing, robbery, burglary, mugging, shoplifting, embezzlement, or larceny.

5. The flat tax is not flat.

Because all current flat tax proposals have exceptions to the income that is taxed and still have some exemptions, credits, and deductions, all taxpayers don’t pay the same percentage of tax on their income. They are not genuine flat taxes like the Medicare tax of 2.9 percent (split between employer and employee) on every dollar earned regardless of one’s marital status, age, number of dependents, medical bills, home mortgage interest paid, or donations to charity. All current flat tax proposals are at least as progressive or more progressive than the current system. They still shift taxes from the “poor” to the “rich.”

6. Regular tax credits are always good.

As are tax deductions, breaks, loopholes, shelters, exclusions, and exemptions. Tax credits serve to reduce the amount of tax owed on one’s income. The rest of these things serve to reduce one’s income subject to tax. Tax credits and deductions are not subsidies that have to be “paid for.” Tax credits and deductions allow Americans to keep more of their money in their pockets and out of the hands of Uncle Sam.

7. Refundable tax credits are a form of welfare.

A regular tax credit may reduce the amount of tax owed down to zero. However, if there is no taxable income to begin with—due to tax deductions, exemptions, or otherwise—then no credit can be taken. Not so with refundable tax credits. They allow some Americans to receive a tax refund of money that they never paid in. This makes refundable tax credits no different from other welfare programs like food stamps, WIC, section 8 housing vouchers, Medicaid, TANF, and SSI.

8. Revenue-neutral reform of the income tax is a waste of time.

It is nothing more than the proverbial rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic. Revenue-neutral tax reform is based on the idea that the government has a claim to a certain percentage of every American’s income. It implies that the tax code contains too many credits and deductions. It implies that government revenue should not be decreased. The only legitimate tax reform is that which follows the Rockwell rule: Does it reduce or eliminate an existing tax?

9. Republicans want to take your money just as much as Democrats do.


Their tax-reform plans are always revenue neutral. They want to eliminate tax credits and deductions in the name of “simplicity.” They support income-transfer schemes like the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit. They could have made the so-called Bush tax cuts permanent before Obama got into office. They opposed renewing Obama’s cut in the employee share of the Social Security payroll tax. Their tax-cutting icon Ronald Reagan was also a tax-raiser. They support a progressive tax system in the name of “fairness.” They believe the government is entitled to a portion of every American’s income.

10. Americans should view paying their taxes like they view an armed robber telling them to hand over their money.

The government doesn’t “need” the tax money to perform its constitutional functions. Taxes are not the price we pay for civilization. Taxes are the price we pay for the welfare/warfare/national security state. Americans should pay their taxes, not out of any patriotic duty or because of the Sixteenth Amendment, but so their property doesn’t get seized by the IRS, the IRS doesn’t garnish their wages, they don’t go to jail, and they don’t get killed by an IRS agent for resisting arrest.

These are the 10 other things you absolutely need to know about taxes. And they never change from year to year.
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#2
Thanks for posting - I love it.  It is writings like this that have turned me from a 'conservative' to a volunteerist (anarchist). 

God Bless

Michael
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#3
This article's main point is that all taxation is unjust, illegitimate, and immoral.

I don't think that can be justified according to Catholic principles (that same website even has an older article arguing all the Fathers, from St. Justin Martyr on, got the "Give unto Caesar..." passage wrong). 

The author's premise is that the government is not entitled to a portion of an individual's income or property.  According to Catholic principles, as enunciated by St. Thomas and the Catechism as examples, taxes cannot be raised simply for the benefit of the ruler as an individual except as a just salary for the service he provides to the society as its government. 

Other than that, taxes are levied on the basis of the co-responsibility of the members of a society to provide for the common welfare of that society together with their submission to public authority.  Public authority exists by the will of God for the common good of society and to direct the activity of the society towards that common good. In other words, individuals have the duty to contribute to the common welfare and public authority has the duty to direct and organize how this is done.  Therefore, public authority can rightly levy taxes  to spend on the common welfare.  How these benefits are distributed once levied is a matter of distributive justice.

This is why the Catechism places tax evasion, not taxation, as a violation of the seventh commandment.

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#4
(01-19-2016, 05:50 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: This article's main point is that all taxation is unjust, illegitimate, and immoral.

I don't think that can be justified according to Catholic principles (that same website even has an older article arguing all the Fathers, from St. Justin Martyr on, got the "Give unto Caesar..." passage wrong). 

The author's premise is that the government is not entitled to a portion of an individual's income or property.  According to Catholic principles, as enunciated by St. Thomas and the Catechism as examples, taxes cannot be raised simply for the benefit of the ruler as an individual except as a just salary for the service he provides to the society as its government. 

Other than that, taxes are levied on the basis of the co-responsibility of the members of a society to provide for the common welfare of that society together with their submission to public authority.  Public authority exists by the will of God for the common good of society and to direct the activity of the society towards that common good. In other words, individuals have the duty to contribute to the common welfare and public authority has the duty to direct and organize how this is done.  Therefore, public authority can rightly levy taxes  to spend on the common welfare.  How these benefits are distributed once levied is a matter of distributive justice.

This is why the Catechism places tax evasion, not taxation, as a violation of the seventh commandment.

The article's point is that income taxation is unjust, illegitimate, and immoral.  This is undeniably so. Progressive income taxation is a thoroughly modern invention. 

The progressive income tax in support of the modern US corporatist welfare/warfare state, in particular, is egregiously opposed to even the smallest implementation of subsidiarity.  You don't have the slightest choice about any of the utterly immoral ways that your money will be spent.  Your tax dollar will very likely be used to fund Planned Parenthood, to pay for the next elected emperor's foolish invasion, to rain condoms and pro-degenerate propaganda down on the heads of foreign Catholics, and only God knows what other horrors.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimate taxation of a legitimate State, as referenced in the writings of the saints and in the Catechism.
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#5
More economic nonsense written by revolutionary-anarchist Jews.

Eye-roll
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#6
Quiet, Keynesian ignoramus, the grownups are talking.  Eye-roll
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#7
(01-19-2016, 06:12 PM)dcmaccabees Wrote:
(01-19-2016, 05:50 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: This article's main point is that all taxation is unjust, illegitimate, and immoral.

I don't think that can be justified according to Catholic principles (that same website even has an older article arguing all the Fathers, from St. Justin Martyr on, got the "Give unto Caesar..." passage wrong). 

The author's premise is that the government is not entitled to a portion of an individual's income or property.  According to Catholic principles, as enunciated by St. Thomas and the Catechism as examples, taxes cannot be raised simply for the benefit of the ruler as an individual except as a just salary for the service he provides to the society as its government. 

Other than that, taxes are levied on the basis of the co-responsibility of the members of a society to provide for the common welfare of that society together with their submission to public authority.  Public authority exists by the will of God for the common good of society and to direct the activity of the society towards that common good. In other words, individuals have the duty to contribute to the common welfare and public authority has the duty to direct and organize how this is done.  Therefore, public authority can rightly levy taxes  to spend on the common welfare.  How these benefits are distributed once levied is a matter of distributive justice.

This is why the Catechism places tax evasion, not taxation, as a violation of the seventh commandment.

The article's point is that income taxation is unjust, illegitimate, and immoral.  This is undeniably so. Progressive income taxation is a thoroughly modern invention. 

The progressive income tax in support of the modern US corporatist welfare/warfare state, in particular, is egregiously opposed to even the smallest implementation of subsidiarity.  You don't have the slightest choice about any of the utterly immoral ways that your money will be spent.  Your tax dollar will very likely be used to fund Planned Parenthood, to pay for the next elected emperor's foolish invasion, to rain condoms and pro-degenerate propaganda down on the heads of foreign Catholics, and only God knows what other horrors.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the legitimate taxation of a legitimate State, as referenced in the writings of the saints and in the Catechism.

I'm not really sure how this is any different than what was going on in the Roman Empire in Jesus' time walking the earth  Shrug This was why that website criticized St. Justin for saying Christians always paid their taxes because it was their duty (again, St. Justin's time was still bad).

Anyway, the author doesn't say some taxes are bad or are distributed unjustly, he says flat out that taxation is theft (some taxation, he says, is Marxist theft, but it is all theft ultimately). It simply isn't.

The question is who's conscience does it fall to--who sins--if taxes are distributed for unjust purposes: the tax payer, the tax spender, or both? I would say definitely the spender, but I don't know if the payer would be.  I lean towards no.
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#8
This could get interesting. Smile
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#9
(01-20-2016, 02:16 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: I'm not really sure how this is any different than what was going on in the Roman Empire in Jesus' time walking the earth  Shrug This was why that website criticized St. Justin for saying Christians always paid their taxes because it was their duty (again, St. Justin's time was still bad).

Anyway, the author doesn't say some taxes are bad or are distributed unjustly, he says flat out that taxation is theft (some taxation, he says, is Marxist theft, but it is all theft ultimately). It simply isn't.

The question is who's conscience does it fall to--who sins--if taxes are distributed for unjust purposes: the tax payer, the tax spender, or both? I would say definitely the spender, but I don't know if the payer would be.  I lean towards no.

There was no income tax in the Roman Empire. The only tax that approached was the wealth tax, but that was not levied on income.  The earliest example of what could be fairly called an income tax was when the Xin Dynasty tried it and it led directly to the rebellion that installed the Han Dynasty. 

Legitimate taxation relies on either a per capita system (preferably) or a wealth system (if we must).  That's the system the Father's were discussing, not the current abomination. We were saddled with the idea that the product of our labor belongs to another human being in 1798 by William Pitt in Great Britain.  There is simply no comparison to what St Justin lived under.  It's apples and oranges.
 
As to who sins...think of it this way: if you enable another person's sins in any other situation, do you sin?  If you do, why is it any different when the sinner drapes themselves in a flag?
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#10
(01-20-2016, 02:50 PM)dcmaccabees Wrote: As to who sins...think of it this way: if you enable another person's sins in any other situation, do you sin?  If you do, why is it any different when the sinner drapes themselves in a flag?

Because Catholic teaching is that the authority of the state is not only necessary, but comes from God. Our Lord's words to Pilate: "Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above." The state had the authority to put people to death, even if it was being used unjustly in this case.

The main principle of libertarianism is that it is immoral to initiate force against someone, and, in line with Enlightenment political thought, that sovereignty comes from the individual. If it's wrong for me to point a gun at you and demand your money, then it's just as wrong for me, my friend, and you to vote on stealing your money, win 2-1, and then do it. And it doesn't become any more moral just because millions of people vote on it.

That all makes sense if authority comes from the people. But if it comes from God, as the Church teaches, and if all property ultimately belongs to God, then it's moral for the state to require people to contribute to its upkeep. Whether a particular tax is a good idea or not is a separate issue, and Catholics can certainly disagree on that. Maybe there's an argument that the income tax is immoral because it deprives the labourer of his wages, and the Church has spoken on socialism (although we still have a responsibility to perform works of charity, which include helping the poor). But that's different than simply saying "taxation is theft". It isn't in Catholic teaching.
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