Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Archive for August 5th, 2003

Posted by taxguru on August 5, 2003

Who Are Tax Fighters?

It’s not just people in government, or talk show hosts, or those of us who write about the need for lower taxes who are the true tax fighters. I consider anyone who assists in arranging things legally to reduce his/her own taxes, and those of others, to be warriors in the battle to allow people to keep more of their own money.

Most important is among the ranks of professional tax practitioners. There are still far too many in this country whose advice and tactics are no different than the official IRS line. This is most extreme with former IRS agents who attempt to move to the other side of the table. On far too many occasions I have seen where the mindset that all people are tax cheats is so ingrained in these people that it’s a waste of time working with them at all. I check out several tax message boards on the web, and can definitely see that we who believe it is our duty to assist our clients in paying the lowest taxes legally possible are vastly outnumbered by those who think such an attitude is unpatriotic. Any tax advisors or preparers who do their best to help their clients minimize their taxes are very real tax fighters with more actual real life impact on the lives of real people than all of the theorists who may spout reams of rhetoric about the need for lower taxes, yet do nothing to put tax savings tactics into action. It has been my pleasure the past 20+ years sharing my knowledge and experience with other like-minded tax professionals.

New Tax City. Congressmen aren’t the only Washington pols who want more money. – They’re looking at a new commuter tax to stick it to people who live outside the DC limits. These are always excellent targets for taxes since they can’t vote out the scoundrels who tax them. They used to have a slogan for this: “Taxation Without Representation.”

Study says high cost of drug entitlement would force tax rise – I’ve long used an analogy of drug pushers getting their users hooked for how our politicians add to the size and scope of government programs. With this new program, that is no longer an analogy. Just as they did with Medicare, our rulers are intentionally underestimating the expected costs for this new benefit for Seniors. By the time the true costs are apparent, people will be so addicted to the government program that to do anything but raise taxes to pay for it will be considered the same as murdering old people, a commonly used accusation from the DemonRats.

Judging the New Nevada Tax Hike. CSE Launches Petition Drive Against the Renegade Tax-and-Spend Nevada Supreme Court

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Posted by taxguru on August 5, 2003

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Posted by taxguru on August 5, 2003

IRS Seeks Proof Poor Taxpayers Earned Income Credit – This is a very easy refundable credit to scam from the IRS, so it’s actually good to see that they are at least checking a few of the returns for legitimacy.

At what price? – Bush is simply spending too much taxpayers money trying to buy votes from DemonRats. He is repeating his father’s mistakes in abandoning conservative principles and may lose a lot of support from his normal constituency next November. With Queen Hillary on the ballot for the Donkeys, we could have another election like 1992. She already has her “Clinton 44” hat, to go along with Bill’s “Clinton 42.” Bush’s only hope for retaining support from the right in 2004 is the fear of being defenseless militarily under the control of the anti-American, commie loving DemonRats.

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Not Exactly Rocket Scientists

Posted by taxguru on August 5, 2003

We recently received our newly increased property tax appraisals for our ranch here in the boonies. While we don’t like the idea of their going up at all, especially since most of the money goes to the schools and we are childless, the taxes are still a tiny fraction of what they would be in the PRC.

It seems that our county tax collector’s office has the same work principle as most of the mass media in this country; where it’s much more important to be fast than to be accurate. There is supposed to be a limit on the increase of 10% per year. Since the most recent reappraisals were three years ago, the cap is 30% in this go-around. Not everyone can do percentages in their head, or even with a calculator. However, some increases are just so obviously out of whack that anyone should notice. For example, according to this article, one man’s property went up from $300 to $14,000 (an increase of 4,667%), and another from $1,000 to $27,100 (up 2,710%). When he called to complain, he was told that they already knew his numbers were screwed up, but they had to get the new appraisals out in the mail by a certain date regardless of whether or not they were correct. How many people had the crap scared out of them from these erroneous bills? How many are going to just pay the inflated amounts without bothering to question them?

It may or may not be connected, but this is the same county that has been so desperate for cash that they have forced my favorite charity, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Foundation, to pay taxes on its property in complete disregard for the standard exemption given to other more politically connected charities.

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Posted by taxguru on August 5, 2003

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Posted by taxguru on August 5, 2003

Astute readers will have recognized that, although tax issues do dominate many of the topics I cover, I have always been fascinated with all kinds of money related issues. Dealing with taxes is just one aspect of handling money.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Not that it happens to many people; but stories of how people cope with sudden massive wealth have always fascinated me. It’s something we all dream about happening to us. We believe it would solve all of our problems and let us relax in leisure for the rest of our lives. We believe that we would be the exception to what appears to be the rule, such as:

Big lottery winners who are too stupid to know better than to leave half a million in cash in an unoccupied car in front of a strip joint.

Thieves Steal Lottery Winner’s $545,000

Jackpot winner robbed

Illiterate thug rapists who piss away their hundreds of millions on fancy toys. The only surprise in this story was how he was able to avoid bankruptcy for so long.

Tyson’s Bankruptcy Is a Lesson in Ways to Squander a Fortune

The Feel of Cold Hard Cash

I’ve never been a big fan of gambling, especially slot machines, which give the impression of being random in their outcome, but which are actually programmed by the casinos to regulate the winnings allowed. Even so, there is something quite tactile about the mechanics of the whole process. Putting in the coins. Pulling the handle. Watching the wheels turning. Seeing and hearing the coins gush out for winners. I’m having a hard time understanding how people are able to get the same sensations from the new fangled machines, where you just push a button and winnings are printed on a slip of paper. While the payout percentages probably aren’t actually any worse with the new electronic versions of slot machines, it’s just too tempting to suspect crooked programming of winners.

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Posted by taxguru on August 5, 2003

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