Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Archive for July 30th, 2003

Financial Privacy

Posted by taxguru on July 30, 2003

There are fights going on over how much of our private and confidential information financial institutions can share with other parties, and what kind of permission, if any, they have to receive from us, their customers, to do that. Some recent articles on this debate.

Judge limits local privacy protections. Banks may still share financial data with their affiliates

Judge limits banks on sharing customer data. Opt-In’ Laws OK’d For Third Parties

Parts of Laws Upheld That Limit Banks’ Sharing of Personal Data

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Posted by taxguru on July 30, 2003

Tax increase a tough sell in Alabama – The governor is trying to sell the concept of a massive tax increase as everyone’s Christian duty.

Alabama governor calls tax hike Christian duty

The odd tax dodge – Another idiotic tax protestor trying to twist the language of the tax code to nullify the entire income tax system in this country. These tax protestor morons are just like religious fanatics who take one passage from the Bible and establish an entire cult based on those few words, even though the rest of the bible says the complete opposite.

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Posted by taxguru on July 30, 2003

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Grab Bag

Posted by taxguru on July 30, 2003

I’ve long believed that ballots for elective office should have an option of NOTA (None Of The Above) so that people don’t have to choose the lesser evil. With the coming free-for-all in the PRC, where the highest vote-getter wins the governorship without needing over 50%, it will be as close to a NOTA opportunity as I can recall. Perhaps someone will add his/her dog’s name to the ballot, as has been the case with some other elections, so that voters who don’t like any of the human candidates can have a real alternative.

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Posted by taxguru on July 30, 2003

Hey, Big Spender. Ted Kennedy wants to give a subsidy to people who’ve already had a tax cut. Seriously. – The Oldsmobile submarine captain has become a walking cliche as the icon of bloated big government.

Man Wins ‘Dream House’ Raffle – A million dollar house for a $300 investment in two raffle tickets. This brings up all sorts of tax issues that I hope he is working on with his tax advisor. He will have to report a million dollars of gambling income for 2003, whether he keeps the house or sells it. However, this opens up the door for him to deduct gambling losses of all kinds up to a million dollars. He should be asking all of his friends to save their losing lottery tickets for him for the rest of the year.

Scam Alert: ATM thief does his work with a smile – We may be seeing some new racial profiling here based on this new scam, called the Lebanese Loop. If your ATM card gets stuck in the machine and their is a Lebanese-looking person standing behind you, calling the cops may be a good idea.

Committee Highlights $200M in Waste, Fraud in Federal Programs – With a multi-trillion dollar annual budget, this is a mere drop in the bucket; but there are easily thousands of government programs where this kind of money is flushed down the crapper. Maybe I’m overly naive in cases like this, but I can’t help considering this to be money that is taken out of our pockets, and not from some big magical pot of gold in the sky, as too many people envision government largesse.

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Posted by taxguru on July 30, 2003

With the similarities between the attacks on tobacco and fast food, this may not be very far from what is heading our way. Nicotine addicts have been forced to pay huge taxes on their drug of choice. Food addicts shouldn’t be surprised to find the same kind of bull’s-eye on their wallets. Recent stories claiming that junk food is as addictive as heroin are too reminiscent of the discussion of nicotine to be anything other than the opening salvo in treating food users in the same manner as tobacco users have been.

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