It's Tax Time Again...is there a better way, America?

Dec 2015
15,915
14,811
Arizona
#1
PBS News Hour had a great segment the other night.

Dread doing your taxes? Other countries show us there's another way! Filing your taxes in other countries is not a work-intensive process that can take days or weeks; it can be as simple as clicking a confirmation sent online by the government. For his latest book, "A Fine Mess," J.R. Reid went on global quest for a better system. Economics correspondent Paul Solman asks Reid about what he sees are the biggest absurdities of American taxes and how we could improve.
T.R. REID: BBLR, broaden the base, lower the rates. So, you broaden the base by making everything taxable. If your employer gives you free parking, well, in New Zealand, they say, gee, that would cost $20 a month. That’s income to you.

If your employer pays your health insurance, that’s income to you. And then, you know, you want to buy a house with a mortgage, that’s fine. You don’t get a tax break for it. They have rates less than half of ours, and they bring in more money per capita.
T.R. REID: Americans spend about six billion hours a year collecting the data and filling out the forms. We spend $10 billion to H&R Block and other preparers and, on top of that, $2 billion in tax preparation software, which still takes hours of work. And it’s outrageous, the burden we put on people.
PAUL SOLMAN: And how long does it take to do your income taxes or file your income taxes in some of these countries, if it’s so simple?

T.R. REID: I was in the Netherlands on March 31, the day before their taxes are due.

I was with an executive who makes $200,000 a year, two mortgages, a lot of investments. He’d have to fill out 12 forms in America. I said, Michael, how do you pay your taxes? He pops a beer. He goes online. The government’s filled in every line. If the numbers look right, he clicks OK. It takes five minutes.

And, in Japan, you get a postcard from the IRS that says, we think you made this much. We withheld this much. We owe you a refund of that much. We will put it in your bank on April 1. It takes one minute, if you think the numbers are right.

And I said to my friend Togo, you know, in America, people spend hours, days filling out these forms. And he said to me, why would anybody want to do that?

Read more:
Dreading doing your taxes? Other countries show us there's another way | PBS NewsHour
 
Feb 2014
12,580
7,844
nunya
#4
Universal income: A guaranteed income for every American - AEI


If we are going to have a welfare state may as well do it this way.
The UBI is to be financed by getting rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, housing subsidies, welfare for single women and every other kind of welfare and social-services program, as well as agricultural subsidies and corporate welfare.
I would support that. But the progs wont because it takes away their vote buying power
 
Likes: 1 person
Apr 2013
37,116
25,324
La La Land North
#6
I have often wondered myself why the US tax return is so complex. Here, virtually all income, even investmentincome through a broker or investment bank causes information slips to be generated and mailed (or emailed) to you.

It then becomes a simple matter of entering the information into tax software. There is even a free one available.

I was able to do Mrs. RNG's and my tax returns in under an hour.

It does require a bit of form filling if you own a rental property you make rental income and have expenses, or if you sold capital property which had operating expenses. And then farming is a whole other business.

But most people farming are now self incorporated so that isn't exactly an individual return.

I suspect the complexities you face are due to the far wider range of allowable deductibles you have.
 
Feb 2014
12,580
7,844
nunya
#7
I have often wondered myself why the US tax return is so complex. Here, virtually all income, even investmentincome through a broker or investment bank causes information slips to be generated and mailed (or emailed) to you.

It then becomes a simple matter of entering the information into tax software. There is even a free one available.

I was able to do Mrs. RNG's and my tax returns in under an hour.

It does require a bit of form filling if you own a rental property you make rental income and have expenses, or if you sold capital property which had operating expenses. And then farming is a whole other business.

But most people farming are now self incorporated so that isn't exactly an individual return.

I suspect the complexities you face are due to the far wider range of allowable deductibles you have.
Nawww, its like everything else. First an foremost it is designed to justify a ever expanding bureaucracy.
 
Likes: 1 person
Apr 2013
24,581
11,614
The Milky Way
#8
I would support that. But the progs wont because it takes away their vote buying power

And how many bureaucrats at all levels would be out of work? Part of the calculation of Prog voters. But if Trump seized on this, and Republicans put it through, the Democrat Party would be the new Whig Party, with Bernie Sanders as their poster boy.

Years ago someone worked the numbers and said just send a check to those on welfare instead of all the myriad programs which constitute a massive bureaucracy to man those programs.


 
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Likes: 2 people
Apr 2013
24,581
11,614
The Milky Way
#9
Unless an individual itemizes, filing a Form 1040 is easy, unless there are a lot of capital gains figures to go through, and that is just math. If able, you can use the 1040EZ, even easier.


 
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Likes: 1 person
Sep 2015
13,979
5,037
Brown Township, Ohio
#10
I quit my high paying job before April 15, 2011. I have had no income since so owe no income tax and don't even have to file. I started paying income tax when I was 16 in 1967 and paid it every year until 2012. I am more than elated to get rid of that ball and chain.

I still have to pay property and gasoline tax but don't have to pay diesel tax because it is farm use. I still have to pay sales tax unless what I buy is for farm use.
 

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