ATTENTION: menstruating Australians

There is a petition running to stop the taxation of pads and tampons in Australia called ‘stop taxing my period’ and the goal is 75k signatures, and we have a little over 10k signatures to go. Please reblog this and sign the petition as it would be very helpful to everybody with a menstrual cycle. Even if you’re not from Australia if you could help out by reblogging this it would be much appreciated.
Link to petition here.

STOP TAXING MY PERIOD!!!

So in Australia at the moment there is this huge debate going on about the GST and the unfair tax on sanitary products. Incase you are behind on this topic here is a little about it:

Since 2000, the Australian Government has taxed every menstruating Australian 10% every time we get our period. It is estimated that our periods earn the government a whopping $25 million each year!

And why are we taxed GST on our periods because the Australian government doesn’t see them as a necessity but a LUXURY!!! 

HOWEVER CONDOMS, LUBRICANTS, SUNSCREEN AND NICOTINE PATCHES ARE ALL TAX-FREE BECAUSE THEY ARE CLASSED AS IMPORTANT HEALTH GOODS!!!!!!

So far the partition to stop taxing periods has gotten 64 571 signatures of the 75 000 needed!

If you are Australian and wish to participate please sign the partition below:

https://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-taxing-my-period

However if you aren’t Australian could you please do us the favour of forwarding this so your Australian followers can participate! Every signature counts!!

The federal government is nixing the GST on feminine hygiene products, including tampons, starting July 1.

The government tabled the change in a way and means motion on Thursday. The move comes much sooner than initially expected, as the Conservatives initially said it would be addressed in a future budget.

In addition to tampons, the change will include sanitary napkins, sanitary belts and menstrual cups.

Many have long complained it was a tax that unfairly targeted women.

The government supported an NDP motion earlier this month to drop the tax, but was non-committal on when the change could occur.

Congratulations America! Everything you earn from Jan 1st to April 24th belongs to the government

That’s right! Tax Freedom Day 2015 is April 24th. That means that you still haven’t earned a penny this year. Congratulations!

From TaxFoundation.org:

Tax Freedom Day is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year. Tax Freedom Day takes all federal, state, and local taxes and divides them by the nation’s income. In 2015, Americans will pay $3.28 trillion in federal taxes and $1.57 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.85 trillion, or 31 percent of national income. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year.

Read the Rest

But that’s not all! In 2015, Americans will spend more on taxation than they will on food, clothing and housing…combined.

Make no mistake, our economy would grow exponentially if we let people keep the money they earn. Not only would people simply have more money in their respective bank accounts, but without the threat of higher taxation, people would have a greater incentive to work, invest, hire and so on. But until then, let’s live life and enjoy the fruit of our own labor…after April 24th, of course.

Colorado: Over $70 Million in Legal Cannabis Sold in March, Setting Record for Third Straight Month

(JointBlog) There was roughly $74 million worth of legal cannabis sold in Colorado in March, setting a record for the third straight month.

In total, consumers spent more than $42 million on recreational cannabis, up from the $39 millionthey spent in February, and the $36 million they spent in January (both figures set records at the time).

In additional to the $42 million in recreational cannabis sold in March, there was $32 million worth of medical cannabis purchased. This is according to datareleased by the state’s Department of Revenue.

Oregon goes ahead with plan to tax per mile of driving

They’ll be trying it out at first with “volunteers.” I wonder how long that will last…

From The AP:

Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive.
The program is meant to help the state raise more revenue to pay for road and bridge projects at a time when money generated from gasoline taxes are declining across the country, in part, because of greater fuel efficiency and the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars.
Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how much they have driven and where. The volunteers will agree to pay 1.5 cents for each mile traveled on public roads within Oregon, instead of the tax now added when filling up at the pump.
Some electric and hybrid car owners, however, say the new tax would be unfair to them and would discourage purchasing of green vehicles.

“This program targets hybrid and electric vehicles, so it’s discriminatory,” said Patrick Connor, a Beaverton resident who has been driving an electric car since 2007.
State officials say it is only fair for owners of green vehicles to be charged for maintaining roads, just as owners of gasoline-powered vehicles do.

Read the Rest

Pardon me while I bang my head on my keyboard…

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Okay. That’s better.

There are so many aspects to this:

  1. Like every other government program, this will eventually become mandatory. Mark my words, regardless of how utterly disastrous this program is, it will be heralded as a success by the media and government officials. And, much like the Obamcare tax, it will start off, relatively low to ease people in. And as soon as it becomes mandatory, the taxes will be raised dramatically.

  2. Notice that the drivers will have to use a tracking device on their cars. I can’t possibly see a scenario where that might be abused. At the touch of a button, the government officials in Oregon will know precisely where every citizen is at any given time. Yay!

  3. This is being put in place because of the growing use of fuel efficient cars that the government has been pushing on us for years.
    “State officials say it is only fair for owners of green vehicles to be charged for maintaining roads, just as owners of gasoline-powered vehicles do.”
    Yet these “officials” have been telling us the opposite for years now. They used to give tax incentives to people to buy fuel efficient vehicles but now, with the loss in tax revenue, they have to have a special tax for people that buy them. In other words, the government has become a victim of its own success – depending, of course, on how you define success. Only government could be this incompetent.

This is a case-study on how government always begets more government. In order to “fix” a problem government created, we have to implement more government.

Want to Pay Your Taxes With Bitcoins?

The IRS may not be ready for this as yet, but in the not-so-distant future, you may soon be able to pay your local and state taxes with bitcoins.

At least if you’re in Utah or New Hampshire, where tax law proposals are proceeding through the legislatures seeking to allow citizens to pay their taxes with bitcoins.

Even New York City Council is considering a local law to amend the administrative code to allow for acceptance of bitcoins for the payment of fines and fees.

The bill in the Utah Legislature (HCR006) looks to be the winner in the race to be the first major government within the U.S. to officially enshrine bitcoins in their laws as an acceptable mode of payment for government services and taxes.

The Utah House passed the bill a couple of days ago, and it has today received a favorable recommendation from the Utah Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee.

The New Hampshire bill (HB 0552) is still making its way through the House, and a couple of days of House public hearings on the bill grabbed a lot of ink last month.

The NYC local law amendment (Int 0661) was introduced by City Council Member Mark Levine and has been referred to the City Council’s Committee on Finance.

One of the big benefits of accepting a crypto-currency like Bitcoin as payment is that governments would save millions of dollars in processing fees. There is a big difference between the transaction costs of accepting Bitcoin and the processing fees the credit card companies charge.

Regardless of which of these bills becomes law first, none of them will be the first government body in the United States to accept payments in bitcoins. That honor goes to the City of Madeira Beach, FL, which last year became the first municipality to officially embrace bitcoin.

The city’s resolution to become a “Bitcoin Beach” passed following a town hall at which bitcoin payment processor BitPay presented the benefits of bitcoin to local business owners – the elimination of processing fees, security against fraud and chargebacks, and appeal to global and mobile-oriented customers.

“The city of Madeira Beach is opening its arms to the global bitcoin community,” said City Manager Shane Crawford. “We want bitcoin users to know that they can pay for their entire vacation with bitcoin here.“

“We hope that other cities follow Madeira Beach’s example in supporting the growth of bitcoin,” said BitPay Executive Chairman Tony Gallippi. “For cities that attract international visitors, accepting bitcoin is a great way to boost sales.”

Photo credit - Jason Benjamin/flickr

IRS will refund fines to Denver pot shop that pays tax in cash

(Cannabist) The Internal Revenue Service has backed away from a policy that penalized an unbanked marijuana business in Denver for paying taxes in cash, but the federal agency will not say if the approach applies industry-wide.

In a settlement with Denver-based Allgreens, a medical-marijuana dispensary that challenged the agency over its policy, the IRS said it would abate future penalties and will refund about $25,000 in fines the business was forced to pay despite having paid its federal employment withholding on time.

IRS rules require businesses to pay employee withholding electronically or face a 10 percent penalty for cash payments. Although the IRS allows for an abeyance in certain circumstances, it disagreed with Allgreens’ position that an inability to get banking services forced it to pay in cash.

The company filed a petition in U.S. Tax Court challenging the penalty saying it was unfairly appliedto a business that was otherwise compliant and paid the taxes in full and on time.

And the hits just keep on coming with ol’ Bernie. A 90% tax rate? Sure. Why not?

This week Vermont Senator and self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders sat down with CNBC’s John Harwood for an interview on the issues facing all the 2016 candidates. Sanders is technically running for President, and is at least keeping up the public appearance of being serious. (He told Harwood, I think we got a shot to win this thing.) With that in mind, I suppose it’s worth taking a moment to examine some of his answers and remind everyone exactly what’s lurking under the covers of the deep left wing of the Democrats.

While it may seem like a bit of a dog bites man story, Democrats are renowned for being in love with higher taxes. How does Bernie measure up on that score?

SANDERS: … If my memory is correct, when radical socialist Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, the highest marginal tax rate was something like 90 percent.

HARWOOD: When you think about 90 percent, you don’t think that’s obviously too high?

SANDERS: No. That’s not 90 percent of your income, you know? That’s the marginal. I’m sure you have some really right-wing nut types, but I’m not sure that every very wealthy person feels that it’s the worst thing in the world for them to pay more in taxes, to be honest with you. I think you’ve got a lot of millionaires saying, “You know what? I’ve made a whole lot of money. I don’t want to see kids go hungry in America. Yeah, I’ll pay my fair share.”

In case you’re unclear as to why this is an awful, awful idea, we’ve written about it here.

Dave Camp’s Second Act – PwC Senior Policy Advisor

Former U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp has landed a new gig as a senior policy advisor for PwC US.

To be specific, private citizen Dave Camp is now the senior policy advisor for PwC’s Washington National Tax Services practice.

Chairman Camp, the driving force behind tax reform in Congress for the last four years, gave up his perch and retired from Congress earlier this year after 24 years in the House.

In December 2014, he introduced the Tax Reform Act of 2014, the most comprehensive tax reform proposal since the mid-1980s. Any tax reform proposal which Congress takes up now is bound to based in large part on this bill.

He was also a member of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) for six years, serving as Chairman in 2011 and 2013 and Vice Chairman in 2012 and 2014.

He was also a part of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, created in February 2010 to identify policies to improve the U.S. fiscal situation after the deep economic downturn.

While on this Commission, Chairman Camp co-led the Tax Reform Working Group and subsequently was one of 12 members of the bipartisan Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, formed in 2011.

His last days in Congress were a bit bitter-sweet as Congress failed to take up comprehensive tax reform and made a bad situation worse through the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 by passing a one-year retroactive extension for expired tax breaks that expired again immediately the same month.

It’s entirely possible that Dave Camp may be able to weigh in with more impact in his role at PwC where he is expected to provide his perspective to PwC clients on important federal policy issues, including tax reform, the economy and the impact of proposed policy changes on businesses.

Bob Moritz, chairman and senior partner of PwC US, said in a statement that “Dave Camp is a luminary in his field, and we are honored that he has chosen to join PwC. His commitment to removing barriers to trade and ability to work on a bipartisan basis resulted in the enactment of significant trade agreements.  His vision regarding the critical need for tax reform as the catalyst for U.S. competitiveness has paved the way for the changes our economy needs over the next few years.”

Photo credit – house.gov

Issues With The $50 Alaska Marijuana Excise Tax And What Can Be Done

(WeedBlog) The Alaska Cannabis Growers’ Association (ACGA) opposes current legislative proposals in the Alaska State House and Senate to impose a marijuana excise tax of $50/oz on transfers of marijuana from producers or brokers to marijuana processors or retailers. Instead, the ACGA believes that the state legislature should support measures that will help bring about the normalization of the marijuana industry and incentivize compliance with the new regulatory efforts. The legislature should not support measures that, contrary to the clear dictate of Alaska voters, encourage industry participants to remain unlicensed, in back alleys and parking lots like modern day moonshiners.

The marijuana excise tax has this affect because of an antiquated federal tax law under Internal Revenue Code Section 280E. Under that rule, taxpayers in a state licensed marijuana trafficking enterprise may not deduct their ordinary and necessary business expenses for federal income tax purposes. Because of this rule, there is a second hidden layer of incremental federal income tax of $15/oz (assuming a 30% marginal tax rate) on producers and brokers subject to the excise tax.