Tuesday, July 30, 2019


* The TAX FOUNDATION explains what is no surprise to me in “A Growing Percentage of Americans Have Zero Income Tax Liability”.

Despite occasional dips, the trend has been an increase in the percentage of nonpayers {taxpayers who owe zero income taxes after taking their credits and deductions} from 28 percent in 1950 to 33.4 percent in 2016.”

As policymakers debate narrow taxes on small groups of individuals, they should keep in mind that the income tax base itself has been narrowing for decades, as more and more people pay no income taxes. Tax credits continue to shrink the tax base and raise the percentage of nonpayers. If policymakers want to increase revenue significantly, they will have to look to broad-based taxes that fall on everyone, rather than targeted taxes on select groups.”

Many taxpayers actually “make a profit” by filing a Form 1040 – receiving a refund of more than the amount, if any, that they paid in.  And often fraudulently.  This is due to the various “refundable” tax credits available.

I have always opposed using the Form 1040 to distribute government welfare and other benefit program benefits, especially via refundable credits.  And I believe every American who is no longer a full-time high school or college student should pay some income tax – even if only $100.  A true “minimum tax”.

* Kay Bell tells us “Grassley makes a case for tax extenders, which were omitted from budget deal” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

Let’s get this straight once and for all –

(1) Perpetual “tax extenders” is a stupid policy.  If a deduction or credit is appropriate it should be made part of permanent tax law.  The Republicans in Congress did not consider these extenders to be appropriate when writing and passing the GOP Tax Act – or actually the people who wrote the law did not (no Republican in Congress actually read the entire Act, and neither did any Democrat, because they were told to vote against it regardless of what was in it).

(2) Making the tax extenders, or any tax law, retroactive to a year that has come and gone, requiring tons of amended returns, is even worse tax policy and should NEVER be done.

(3) Most, if not all, of the tax extenders are not “appropriate” and do not deserve to be extended, as they are specific “loopholes” for specific industries and taxpayers.

Got it?

* Tony Nitti returns after a 2-month hiatus and brings back “Tax Geek Tuesday” at FORBES.COM with “You Sold Your House – Is the Gain Taxable?”.

* Also at FORBES.COM, TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb reports “IRS Issues Guidance On Preventive Care And Health Savings Account Plans” –

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has added treatments for a range of chronic conditions to the list of preventive care benefits that may be provided by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) in tandem with a health savings account (HSA).”


What does so-called “reality tv” do?

It takes greedy self-absorbed individuals, totally devoid of self-respect and common sense and with questionable intelligence, puts them in unnatural situations, encourages them to act outrageously, and films everything they do.

This is not entertainment, and certainly has nothing to do with “reality”.

Reality tv is a partial cause of, and a continuing result of, the “dumbing down of America”.

If you don’t think reality tv is dangerous – remember that the undeserved credibility and celebrity provided by “The Apprentice” is a major reason we currently have a tv cartoon clown in the White House.


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