taxation

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.

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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.

STOP TAXING MENSTRUAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS

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. petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106063

10 Big Companies That Pay No Taxes (and Their Favorite Politicians) | Mother Jones

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

Giving data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Includes all 2011-12 campaign donations from each company’s employees and corporate PACs.

(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)

The scope of the mainstream media’s dialogue regarding this issue is so narrowly focused it concerns me…..hmmm I wonder why their scope of discussion is so narrow? Could it be their funders?!

“[Government] payment should be in accordance with each owner’s interest.”

For more: http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/what-can-adam-smith-teach-us-about-tax-policy

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.

Fast Food Giants Use Loopholes to Avoid Taxes on CEO Pay | Moyers & Company

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.

(Read Full Text) 

[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)