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!
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.
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.
Having a period is not a luxury, and neither are pads, tampons, cups or any other menstrual hygiene products. For most, these are essential items which are necessary to maintain a normal life. Please sign this petition to bring attention to the fact that menstrual hygiene products are not a luxury, therefore should not be taxed. Share this petition on any social media you have. Tell those you know. Spread awareness and raise the signatures. Periods are not a luxury. Period.
Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major American corporations paid no net federal income taxes despite bringing in billions in profits, according to a new report (PDF) from the nonprofit research group Citizens for Tax Justice. CTJ calculates that if the companies had paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate, they would have put more than $78 billion into government coffers.
Here’s a look at the 10 most profitable tax evaders and the politicians their CEOs, employees, and PACs give the most money to.
Verizon Communications Profits: $19.8 billion Effective tax rate: -3.8% Top recipients, 2011-2012 President Barack Obama: $51,493 Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.): $24,450 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $23,700 Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): $22,500 Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): $15,000
General Electric Profits: $19.6 billion Effective tax rate: -18.9% Top recipients, 2011-2012 Mitt Romney: $53,750 President Barack Obama (D): $30,493 Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.): $23,900 Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.): $21,860 Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.): $19,750
Boeing Profits: $14.8 billion Effective tax rate: -5.5% Top recipients, 2011-2012 Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.): $31,750 Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.): $25,000 Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.): $23,500 Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $23,125 Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): $20,986
NextEra Energy: North America’s largest solar and wind power operator, based in Florida Profits: $8.8 billion Effective tax rate: -2% Top recipients, 2011-2012 George LeMieux (R-Fla.): $9,500 Mike Haridopolos (R-Fla.): $4,800 Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $2,000 Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): $2,000 Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.): $2,000
American Electric Power: Electric utility based in Columbus, Ohio Profits: $8.2 billion Effective tax rate: -6.4% Top recipients, 2011-2012 Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): $34,750 Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio): $34,050 Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio): $21,700 Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.): $19,750 Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio): $18,450
Pacific Gas & Electric: California electrical utility Profits: $6 billion Effective tax rate: -8.4% Top recipients, 2011-2012 President Barack Obama (D): $6,250 Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.): $5,000 Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.): $5,500 Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): $5,000 Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.): $3,500
Apache: Houston-based oil and gas company Profits: $6 billion Effective tax rate: -0.3% Top recipients, 2011-2012 David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $25,000 Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.): $5,000 Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.): $2,500 Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas): $2,500 Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas): $2,500 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $2,500 Brendan Doherty (R-R.I.): $2,500
Consolidated Edison: New York energy company Profits: $5.9 billion Effective tax rate: -1.3% Top recipients, 2011-2012 Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $15,050 Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): $8,000 Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.): $6,650 Then-Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.): $2,500 Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.): $1,500 Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): $1,500 Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.): $1,500
El Paso: Houston-based energy company that operates the country’s largest natural gas pipeline Profits: $4.6 billion Effective tax rate: -0.9% Top recipients, 2011-2012 David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $7,500 Mitt Romney ®: $5,000 Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.): $3,000 Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.): $2,750 Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.): $2,500 Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.): $2,500 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $2,500 Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas): $2,500 Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): $2,500 Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.): $2,500
CenterPoint Energy: Electric and gas utility company based in Houston Profits: $3.1 billion Effective tax rate: -11.3% Top recipients, 2011-2012 David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $22,050 Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas): $13,458 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $10,299 Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.): $7,000 Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas): $4,000
IRS Provides Bitcoin and Virtual Currency Guidelines
Well, that ends all the guesswork about how to pay tax on Bitcoin and other such virtual currency transactions and gains. The IRS has issued a notice that provides an FAQ about the tax implications of transactions involving virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
You can see all the 16 Q&As in the notice (2014-21), but the summary of it is that the IRS wants you to treat virtual currency as property as far as U.S. federal tax purposes are concerned.
General tax principles as applied to property transactions will be applicable to transactions that use virtual currency. Here’s a few specific rules as to how it will work:-
- Wages paid in virtual currency will be considered as the employee’s taxable income and must be reported by the employer on a Form W-2, and must be subject to federal income tax withholding and payroll taxes same as other payments made in property.
- Loss or gain from the sale or exchange of virtual currency will depend on whether it is a capital asset in the hands of the taxpayer.
- Virtual currency payments will be subject to the same reporting requirements as any payment made in property.
A little bit of an expanded discussion is required for the second point. If you invest into and are holding on to a Bitcoin hoard, then you need to figure out the loss or gain for purposes of capital gains.
But a taxpayer who receives virtual currency as payment for goods or services simply factors it into the gross income based on the fair market value of the virtual currency, measured in U.S. dollars, as of the date that the virtual currency was received.
Secondly, if you buy something using Bitcoin and there’s a difference between the fair market value and the value of the property you purchased, then you have to show the gain or loss.
A special note for Bitcoin miners – the fair market value of the Bitcoin mined must be included in the gross income.
Oh, and here’s the kicker – the notice and the rules therein must be complied with even for transactions before the issue date of March 25, 2014.
This means that if you just filed your returns and it shows underpayments or improper reporting related to virtual currency transactions in violation of the notice, then you could be subject to penalties – unless you are able to establish reasonable cause for the non-compliance.
The fast food industry is notorious for handing out lean paychecks to their burger flippers and fat ones to their CEOs. What’s less well-known is that taxpayers are actually subsidizing fast food incomes at both the bottom — and top — of the industry.
Take, for example, Yum Brands, which operates the Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut chains. Wages for the corporation’s nearly 380,000 US workers are so low that many of them have to turn to taxpayer-funded anti-poverty programs just to get by. The National Employment Law Project estimates that Yum Brands’ workers draw nearly $650 million in Medicaid and other public assistance annually.
Meanwhile, at the top end of the company’s pay ladder, CEO David Novak pocketed $94 million over the years 2011 and 2012 in stock options gains, bonuses and other so-called “performance pay.” That was a nice windfall for him, but a big burden for the rest of us taxpayers.
Under the current tax code, corporations can deduct unlimited amounts of such “performance pay” from their federal income taxes. In other words, the more corporations pay their CEO, the lower their tax burden. Novak’s $94 million payout, for example, lowered YUM’s IRS bill by $33 million. Guess who makes up the difference?
Combined, these firms’ CEOs pocketed more than $183 million in fully deductible “performance pay” in 2011 and 2012, lowering their companies’ IRS bills by an estimated $64 million. To put that figure in perspective, it would be enough to cover the average cost of food stamps for 40,000 American families for a year. My new Institute for Policy Studies report calculates the cost to taxpayers of this “performance pay” loophole at all of the top six publicly held fast food chains — McDonald’s, Yum, Wendy’s, Burger King, Domino’s and Dunkin’ Brands.
After Yum, McDonald’s received the second-largest government handout for their executive pay. James Skinner, as CEO in 2011 and the first half of 2012, pocketed $31 million in exercised stock options and other fully deductible “performance pay.” Incoming CEO Donald Thompson took in $10 million in performance pay in his first six months on the job. Skinner and Thompson’s combined performance pay translates into a $14 million taxpayer subsidy for McDonald’s.
What makes all this even more galling is that these fast food giants are pocketing massive taxpayer subsidies for their CEO pay while fighting to keep their workers’ wages at rock bottom. All of the big fast food corporations are members of the National Restaurant Association, which is aggressively working to block a raise in the federal minimum wage to a level that would let millions of fast food workers make ends meet without public support.
[Photo] A Burger King worker cleans up at a Burger King restaurant in Sunnyvale, Calif. The fast food chain is operated by Yum Brands, whose CEO, David Novak, received a $94 million payout for 2011 and 2012. Of that, $33 million was subsidized by taxpayers. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)