Revenooer Rants: Pockets a bit lighter today?
No doubt. Especially when you consider that, according to the Tax Policy Center, more than 45% of American households (something like 78 million of folks) paid no (zero, zip, nada) Federal income taxes for 2015!
Indeed, many of those in the bottom 40% of end up actually collecting dough from Obama! Sooo, guess who IS paying!
And then we have the National Science Foundation (NSF). Yes – according to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), NSF has actually found it necessary to spend $600,000 of your dough to actually study why some folks cheat on their taxes!
Says NSF, such an expenditure is warranted to “advance basic understanding of how tax compliance behavior emerges,” including trying to determine if there is a link between taxpayers feeling like tax policies are unfair and trying to sidestep paying Uncle Sam.
We need a $600,000 “study” on this?
FOX News reports that NSF has an annual budget of $7.5 billion for 2016, and funds about 24% of all federally supported basic research conducted in colleges and universities.
Forgive us, but could someone please direct us to the Constitutional provision which prescribes this “necessity?”
Smith says, “Our government wastes too much money, including funding redundant research projects like this one.”
Neither here nor there, according to Rand Corporation, the leading research recipient of the study money — researchers “will address how audit, penalty, and taxation policies, and changes in those policies, influence perceptions and ultimately reduce tax evasion … Project findings therefore should help nations like the United States reduce the occurrence of tax evasion.”
But what about the more than a dozen NSF funded projects of this ilk in the last thirty years or so? Haven’t we found the answers yet? Do we need another similar “study?”
And finally, this week, we take little solace in the challenge of a federal appeals court judge who thinks the Revenooers are “untrustworthy,” as he chastised them during oral arguments last week in a pending case (before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia) regarding whether Tea Party targeting is still going on. Quoth Judge David B. Sentelle, “It’s hard to find the IRS to be an agency we can trust.”
And there you have it – Happy Tax Day!
CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER – This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn is a CPA, recently retired from Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Inc., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.