Revenooer Rants: So you say Tax Day just came and went?
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Well maybe it did for 2012, but if Obama has his way, start working on your 2013 (and beyond) plans right now!
Recall that the Big O recently came out with his “budget,” so to speak. In case you missed it, consider these nuggets contained therein:
The new “Fair Share Tax” (You’ve heard those words before, right?) — progeny of the “Buffett Rule,” which would assure that households with income over $1 million will pay at least 30 percent of their income (after charitable donations) in tax! And the charitable donations will come in the form of a credit equal to 28 percent of itemized charitable contributions allowed after the overall limitation on itemized deductions. Translation — there goes a chunk of the benefit you have to come to know for being charitable.
Limitation on the value of tax deductions and other tax preferences to 28 percent for married folk filing jointly with income over $250,000. This limit would apply to all itemized deductions, foreign excluded income, tax-exempt interest, employer-sponsored health insurance, retirement contributions, and certain other deductions!
And for decedents passing in 2018 or later, heirs would count on a 45 percent estate tax rate, with an exclusion amount of $3.5 million for estate and GST taxes.
And while you watch the leftovers of your hard work continue to shrink, take note of the fact that a bunch of greedy Revenooers in Tennessee were recently indicted on Federal charges that they lied to get unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other goodies. All together, authorities say the IRS workers improperly received more than $250,000 in stolen government benefits.
“You’ve got these employees that are taking advantage of the system that they are so intimate with it by virtue of their jobs,” quoth Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirech. “It’s doubly frustrating.”
These indictments came nary a few weeks after a state audit found more than $73 million in overpayments were made by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development over the past several years. The audit found up to 24 active state employees who received more than $126,000 in unemployment benefits and seven dead people who were paid over $12,000.
Weirich: “You would expect better from an IRS agent.”
Which reminds us of a couple of bills coming up for discussion in Congress this week, which would block Federal employees, job candidates and contractors from working for the government if they owe back taxes.
Quoth Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), “We want someone who is honest in their dealings to have that federal job. If they’re thumbing their noses at the government as Federal employees, then it’s probably symptomatic of other undesirable behavior in their work.”
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, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He can be reached at 831-7288, welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, and invites readers to consider his other commentary at http://blog.nolo.com/taxes.
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Kelley R. Carroll, a certified specialist, handles estate planning and will contests in our office with the help of our firm’s litigation department. I do not handle any, be forewarned.