Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Archive for August, 2004

Posted by taxguru on August 31, 2004

Minimum Wage Hike Would Likely Worsen Poverty – Basic economic principles are so poorly understood by most people that the DemonRats can get away with supposedly being the compassionate ones by forcing businesses to pay entry level workers more than they are worth in the marketplace. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where that will lead.

Benefits of the Bush Dividend Tax Cut

From poverty to prosperity

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Death From Complications

Posted by taxguru on August 31, 2004

It’s fairly safe to say that we all die in many ways from the complexity of the tax code.

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IRS Isn’t Perfect?

Posted by taxguru on August 31, 2004

The only real surprise in these stories from Tax Analysts is that the IRS error rates aren’t higher. I would say that these qualify as good examples of non-scientific studies.

TIGTA Report Gives Low Score on Accuracy to IRS Phone Reps

TIGTA Reports Problems With Some IRS Seizures

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Posted by taxguru on August 31, 2004

IRS Interest Rate Increases On October 1 – It will rise from its current four percent (4%) to five percent (5%) for at least the last three months of this year. I’ve updated the Quick Reference page on my main website to reflect this.

In about three months from now, we’ll find out what the rate will be for the first quarter of 2005.

These figures are the nominal interest rates charged by IRS. The actual interest charged is compounded daily, so the effective rate (APR) is slightly higher. It is not, as many people believe, charged at four or five percent per day. That’s reserved for loan sharks.

To show how numbers can be used to slant a story, this could accurately be reported as either a one percent increase in the rate IRS charges, or it could be stated as a 25% jump in the IRS interest rate (from four to five percent) if I want to be an alarmist.

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Posted by taxguru on August 30, 2004

In L.A. real estate, $10 million is the new $1 million – Why I’ve always been a big believer in real estate as the most dependable investment for amassing wealth.

Dumping gas guzzler a savvy investment move – I’ve always countered the freedom hating busybodies who want to ban SUVs that their operating costs are penalty enough to punish the people who choose to buy them.

Old ways of paying bills get bounced – Businesses do have a right to reward customers who make things more efficient for them.

Fogbound income data?

In Speech, Bush to Stress ‘Ownership’ – That is the main distinction between capitalism and communism. In John Kerry’s Marxist Shangri-La, the big central government owns everything, while capitalistic societies hinge on private property ownership rights.

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Vicious Cycle

Posted by taxguru on August 30, 2004

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Posted by taxguru on August 30, 2004

Why World Magazine isn’t spending time covering income-tax protesters – I can relate to this. I’ve lost track of the number of people who accuse me of being part of the big government conspiracy because I refuse to endorse the idiotic and illegal theories and tactics used by the various tax protestor scammers around the country. Their using the name “Tax Honesty Movement” doesn’t make their arguments any more credible.

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This is news to anyone?

Posted by taxguru on August 28, 2004

Most investment gurus base their entire careers on peddling this kind of simplistic pabulum.

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Posted by taxguru on August 28, 2004

Learn the Basics of Mutual Funds – It always amazes me how many people still think that mutual funds have nothing to do with the stock market.

Taxed to the Max – Gail Buckner covers some good points. However, in her discussion of how to work for changing the insane AMT, she fails to mention the best group I have seen, Reform AMT. Anyone interested in this issue should check them out. If AMT hasn’t hit you yet, it will within the next few years; so assuming it’s only applied against the evil rich is an expensive naive attitude.

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Deducting Stock Losses As Thefts

Posted by taxguru on August 27, 2004

I’ve written before about groups such as 165 Services, that supposedly allow investors to deduct the full amounts of their stock market losses as being caused by thefts by their stockbrokers, rather than being limited to the insanely unfair $3,000 per year Schedule D capital loss deduction. I’ve never endorsed this idea because, as I’ve described on several occasions, I consider most stock losses to be the result of stupidity, which as far as I know doesn’t make it any more deductible.

Roth & Company has a funny look at an investor who tried a similar attempt to fully deduct his stock losses with the claim that his broker took advantage of him by forcing him to consume alcoholic beverages and then agree to ridiculous investment decisions. His claim was disallowed by the Tax Court.

However, this is one more bit of substantiation of my claim that playing the stock market is no different than gambling in a casino. Casinos routinely provide free alcoholic beverages for the express purpose of encouraging stupid bets by their customers. Why shouldn’t stockbrokers do the same thing?

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