Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Archive for April 3rd, 2014

Who do you trust?

Posted by taxguru on April 3, 2014

This recent poll about who people trust the most with their personal info ignores a few very key issues. 

SHOCK POLL: Americans Trust IRS, NSA More than Facebook

It’s easy to say the people polled are idiots for trusting the IRS and NSA more than FaceBook with their personal data.  That would be too much of a knee-jerk reaction; because there actually are plenty of people in the private sector who are scammers and should never be trusted.  Ponzi master Bernie Madoff and stock swindler Jordan Belfort from the recent movie The Wolf of Wall Street, come to mind.  I have never trusted MySpace or FaceBook because I have always suspected ulterior motives for their use of private user data; so I choose not to use most social media sites and services.

That is the big difference here.  With social media sites and services, users voluntarily establish a relationship and voluntarily provide their personal data. With government agencies, such as IRS and NSA, our relationships with them are anything but voluntary.  We are forced to provide more and more of our personal info to them every day.  Some of it we know they are taking, while other data is taken by surreptitious methods (aka Spying). 

The other difference is what the different entities are able to do to people. Scammers like Madoff and Belfort were able to steal money from gullible greedy investors who should have had enough common sense to stay away; but instead voluntarily gave the crooks their money.  FaceBook and other social media sites can sell users data to other companies to solicit them for voluntary purchases.  None of these “voluntary” entities has the power to seize its users’ assets or to throw them into prison. 

That’s what the governmental agencies can and will do if they want to.

So, the question shouldn’t be who is more trustworthy with our personal data, but who can do the most devastating damage to us with it?

 

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Sec. 179 is still with us…but with a much lower maximum

Posted by taxguru on April 3, 2014

Q: 

Subject: Section 179

Hi Kerry

I saw your blog online and wanted to know if you had heard whether 179 was being extended or renewed for 2014.  I am looking for information on this and thought I would contact you since I saw your email. Thanks for the great blog!

A:

Section 179 has been around for a very long time and there has never been any serious talk about eliminating it entirely or allow it to completely expire.

What does change, and what you are most likely referring to, is the maximum amount of the Section 179 deduction. As you can see on the chart on my website, this has had dramatic changes over the years.

One of the biggest changes does happen to be from 2013, with a maximum deduction of $500,000 to 2014, where it dropped to just $25,000. Unless our rulers in DC make changes to this, that $25,000 will only increase based on inflation for future years.

I hope this info helps.

Kerry Kerstetter

Follow-Up:

So companies can only take a max deduction of 25,000 on new business equip purchases? Wow that is a drop! Thank you so very much for responding. I really appreciate it.

My reply:

Not to get too political about this; but the maximum Section 179 was bumped up so high in order to encourage investments in business equipment as a means of stimulating the economy.  Now that our Supreme Leader has declared that the recession is over, he and his followers in DC see no need for the extra 179 deduction.

Of course, those of us living and working in the real world know all too well that the recession is nowhere near over, but has gotten worse since the 2008 election.  Unfortunately, tax policy is determined by the lies that are floating around DC and not by what is happening in the real world.

Kerry Kerstetter

Final Point:

Don’t worry… I live in Texas… I agree totally with your statement!!!!!! Thanks Kerry for all of your help!!!

 

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