You Don’t Have to Pay Taxes… Or Do You?

I was on a forum, and there it was. A poster declaring that you don’t have to pay taxes, that taxes are illegal, just watch this video and it will explain everything. I didn’t watch the video, I’ve seen too many of them I know how it goes. There will be a discussion of how the 16th amendment was never properly ratified, or a new definition of Income, maybe an explanation of how to file a Zero income tax return. Probably followed by an appeal to send just $49.95 for your un-tax kit.

So I replied to the forum poster that the IRS has probably heard his argument before, and dismissed it. Also, like it or not, they are the ones making the rules. I told him the best way to lower your tax burden was to either find a good tax professional who knew the tax law, or buy yourself a good tax book (like the JK Lasser book) and learn how to work within the laws to create the lowest legal tax liability. The other alternative is to not make much money. A married couple with 2 children who’s income is from earnings can make over $30,000 without owing federal income taxes.

He didn’t like my response. And gave the typical response of tax protesters everywhere. He said that if everyone knew they didn’t need to pay taxes I’d be out of a job. He claimed I probably knew that people didn’t have to pay taxes, but I wouldn’t tell them because I was working with the IRS to keep everyone “slaves to the system”.

That argument always makes me laugh. If I knew a legal way for people to avoid taxes I’d be the most popular tax adviser in the country. I’ve seen how much money people will pay for a tax scam, I can only imagine what they would pay for the real deal.

So before you hand over your money to “crack the code” or “un-tax” yourself, do me a favor. First read the IRS’s free PDF on the most popular tax scams. Then check out the Quatloos site for more information on scams, and the scammers that run them. Finally, take a look at eTaxe.com for some interesting commentary on the major tax protester arguments.

Now, I’d love to hear your tax story. Have you tried one of these “systems”? What did it cost? Have you heard from the IRS?

Book Review: Land of Opportunity Forever

The Land of Opportunity Forever: Energizing America

by Stephen Manoj Thompson, Ph.D

One of the great things about the internet is being able to find books by unknown authors that are outside of the mainstream, yet have compelling and interesting content. Land of Opportunity is one of those books.

In The Land of Opportunity Forever: Energizing America Dr Thompson looks at two major world economies. The first chapter looks at America and how it became the superpower of the world. The next two chapters detail some of the social and cultural issues that are challenging America’s status as a superpower. Then the attention turns to India, a country which is becoming a major world economy.

Specifically he looks at social conditions in India and America and shows that the weakening of American culture and moral appearance is at the root of it’s economic problems. He contrasts that with India’s strong national culture and pride of country and its growing presence in the world economy. He then finishes with suggestions on the changes America needs to make to remain a super power.

I found The Land of Opportunity Forever: Energizing America a very interesting read. I had to agree with many of the suggestions. Especially those regarding America’s education system. The current system is failing with unacceptable high school drop out rates. We need more college graduates with degrees in science and engineering. We need to encourage people to get out of debt and start saving. We need to encourage strong families. By looking at the social and cultural influences that are fueling India’s economic growth we can see what needs to be done for America to maintain its position as world super power.

Where is My IRS Stimulus Payment?

The IRS Stimulus payments are going out. Most single people are getting $600, married couples are getting $1,200 and there is an extra $300 per child under the age of 17. So a married couple with 2 children can expect a stimulus payment of $1,800. If you were expecting your stimulus payment by direct deposit you should have it by now. Paper check payments are being mailed weekly according to the last two digits of the primary filers social security number. You can look at this schedule of stimulus payments to see when you should expect your check. But not everyone is getting what they expected, and some people are surprised to find that they are getting nothing! Here are some of the reasons why your tax stimulus payment may be delayed or missing.

You may not have gotten the full amount of your payment because:

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Children and the Family Business

Have you heard the ad on the radio? You know, the one with the kid talking with the cute lisp about her Dad’s used car lot? Or how about the yellow page ad, the one with the picture of the dentist and his family? Do the used car salesman and the dentist think that using their children in their ads will help bring in business? Or maybe the reason they have their children in their ad is because they have a shrewd tax adviser?

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Tax Freedom Day

This year Tax Freedom Day arrived on Wednesday, April 23, 2008. What is tax freedom day? That is the day that Americans stop working for the government, and start working for themselves. Just think about it, all the money that you have earned up until last Wednesday, went to pay taxes. Not just federal income taxes, but state income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, sales taxes and property taxes.

Every year The Tax Foundation calculates Tax Freedom Day. They ask “What price is the nation paying for government?” The answer is shocking. Americans pay more for taxes than for food, clothing and housing combined. About 33% of all income goes towards maintaining the government.

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Net Fool’s Blog Contest

Net Fool Contest Banner

Tax Season is finally over and to celebrate I am going off topic today. The Net Fool is having a contest and I signed up as a sponsor! I am only one of many, this contest has so many prizes offered that everyone who enters should win something! Prizes include cash, blog reviews, advertising and much more. In fact, there is over $4,500 being offered in cash and prizes! For a complete list of prizes keep reading. To enter the contest click on the banner above and read the post at The Net Fool.

I’m going to run my own little side contest here in conjunction with the Net Fool Contest. Leave a comment on this post and I will give 10 random commentors 10 Entrecredits each! Make sure I know your Entrecard ID!

Now for the prize list…it’s huge!

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