Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

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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