Tag Archives | Taxes

Internet Access Might Be Taxed For First Time

You have a friend request from Uncle Sugar.

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org. Source: Matt Britt (CC)

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org. Source: Matt Britt (CC)

The Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998 is set to expire on Nov. 1, which means internet access and usage in the US could soon be taxed for the first time. Combined with efforts to standardize a sales tax on online purchases, these new taxes could mean a big hit on consumers. Congress could act to eliminate one or both taxes, but it is unlikely they will make any unpopular moves so close to the midterm elections.

Fortunately for Internet users, extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, these tax cuts are likely to get bundled with other internet taxes — specifically, state-level sales taxes on out-of-state online retailers (a Supreme Court decision had previously prohibited taxing online retailers without a presence in the state).

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Billionaire Wants More Votes For The Rich

Yes, billionaire investor Tom Perkins is absolutely serious, the 1% should get more votes because they pay more in taxes (and if you pay no taxes, you would get no vote). From CNN Money:

Tom Perkins suggested Thursday that only taxpayers should have the right to vote — and that wealthy Americans who pay more in taxes should get more votes.

The venture capitalist offered the unorthodox proposal when asked to name one idea that would “change the world” at a speaking engagement in San Francisco moderated by Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky.

“The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes,” Perkins said.

“But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?”

The audience at the Commonwealth Club reacted with laughter. But Perkins offered no immediate indication that he was joking.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Bill O’Reilly Has A New Book Claiming That Jesus Died In Protest Of High Taxes

killing jesusI can’t even. Via the Daily Beast, early Christianity expert Candida Moss reviews a new scholarly work for the Fox News crowd:

Jesus was killed because of taxes. That’s more or less the message of Bill O’Reilly’s new book. In Killing Jesus: A History, Bill O’Reilly and writing partner Martin Dugard bring us their long-awaited “accurate account of not only how Jesus died, but also the way he lived.”

The basic argument is that Jesus died because he interfered with the taxation-heavy Roman revenue stream. The reason the Jews eagerly anticipated the Messiah, writes O’Reilly, is, “When that moment arrives, Rome will be defeated and their lives will be free of taxation and want.”

It’s true that the people did long for the Messiah and that the majority of them were poor and oppressed. But even if the Romans had been overthrown the people would have still been paying tithes to Jewish authorities to sustain the Temple, as Biblical and Jewish laws demand.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The IRS War On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

IRS War On Medical MarijuanaCongressional Republicans (with the Obama administration’s bipartisan support) are all for using the IRS to target and decimate one sector of the U.S. economy — medical marijuana providers. Alternet reports:

The IRS employs Section 280E, a 1982 tax code addition that was a response to a drug dealer’s successful effort to claim his yacht, weapons, and even bribes as business expenses. Under 280E, individuals involved in the illicit sale of controlled substances — including marijuana, even medical marijuana in states where it is legal — cannot claim standard business expenses on their taxes.

“The Obama administration is using Section 280E to push these local and state licensed medical marijuana dispensaries out of business,” said Kris Hermes, spokesman for the medical marijuana defense group Americans for Safe Access.

Most small businesses pay an effective tax rate of between 13% and 27% on net income, according to the Small Business Administration. With the unintended application of 280E, state-legal marijuana providers pay an average effective tax rate of 65-80%.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

If Corporations Dodge Taxes, Why Shouldn’t You?

Robert Scheer writes at Truthdig:

Go offshore young man and avoid paying taxes. Plunder at will in those foreign lands, and if you get in trouble, Uncle Sam will come rushing to your assistance, diplomatically, financially and militarily, even if you have managed to avoid paying for those government services. Just pretend you’re a multinational corporation.

That’s the honest instruction for business success provided by 60 of the largest U.S. corporations that, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, “parked a total of $166 billion offshore last year” shielding more than 40 percent of their profits from U.S. taxes. They all do it, including Microsoft, GE and pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories. Many, like GE, are so good at it that they have avoided taxes altogether in some recent years.

But they all still expect Uncle Sam to come to their aid with military firepower in case the natives abroad get restless and nationalize their company’s assets.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Artist Steals Identities Of 200,000 Corporations Avoiding Taxes In The Cayman Islands

Loophole For All is a move of extremely questionable legality but unquestionable inspiration from Paolo Cirio. The press release and introductory video explain:
Paolo Cirio, contemporary artist and pirate, hacked the governmental servers of the Cayman Islands and stole a list of all the companies incorporated in the country. Now on Loophole4All.com, he is selling the identities of those companies at a low cost to democratize the privileges of offshore businesses. Paolo hijacks the identities by moving their addresses to his Caymans mailbox and issuing counterfeited certificates of incorporation from the Caymans company registry. This massive corporate identity theft benefits from the anonymous nature of those companies since the real owners’ secrecy allows anybody to impersonate them. Through Loophole4All.com, anyone can hijack a Caymans company, from 99¢ for a certificate of incorporation for a real company to $49 for a mailbox in the offshore country with mail rerouting.
Continue Reading

The Handbook of Human Ownership

A friend and cohort recently sent me a link to the Handbook of Human Ownership: A Manual for New Tax Farmers by Stefan Molyneaux of Free Domain Radio. I don't agree with every point he makes, but the satirical and wry delivery of a supposed powered elite's motivations, their twisted view of history and philosophy is fairly compelling. I may just be a newly devoted listener to this spectacular "veneer of critical thinking."
"If a reporter imagines that he is some sort of free-thinking iconoclast, he is in complete denial about the reality of his enslavement. This denial always manifests itself in hysterical attacks against anyone who dares to point it out, or who actually is a free thinker... To sum up: if we attack the slaves, we lose. If the slaves attack each other, which is so easy to orchestrate, we win."
Continue Reading

The Big Lebowski Explains the Fiscal Cliff

Kind of a stretch by Jonathan Chait writing for New York Magazine, but on the other hand has anyone else done a better job of explaining the so-called fiscal cliff?
The Big Lebowski

The tax deal completes the first piece of a multistage showdown between President Obama and congressional Republicans over the federal budget and the economic recovery. The Obama administration made concessions, but the concessions were small, and it is gloating that it won a larger strategic victory by breaking Republican anti-tax absolutism. Republicans, including anti-tax absolutists themselves, mostly believe they got through the first and most unfavorable stage as intact as could be. (Grover Norquist: “We’re in this impossible, upside-down position, where if you do nothing, taxes go up. That’s what we got saved from. That goes away now.”)

In gaming out the next, and much more dangerous, stages, the crucial question is, which side is right? I believe Republicans are.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Want Less Inequality? Tax It

Wikimedia Commons (CC)

British economist Arthur C. Pigou, friend and contemporary of beloved John Maynard Keynes, eventually not only came around to the Keynesian logic, but also expanded on the common-sense philosophy to promote social balance and checks with the gentle, invisible hand of the Public. By incentivizing what benefits the downtrodden (perhaps with subsidies) and disincentivizing poor practices (by taxing rampant, unregulated profits), a more reasonable parity between the classes could be reached, stimulating economic growth and benefiting everyone.

This doesn’t have to be a ‘redistributive’ scheme that pits neoconservatives against progressives. Indeed, such a rational, gradated, and bracketed system makes sense to anyone who believes in the American traditions of pragmatism, equality, openness, innovation and opportunity.

Via the American Prospect by Liam C. Malloy and John Case

But the conventional strategy for fighting inequality—far higher taxes on the rich—usually rests on a foundation of fairness, and the question of what’s fair and what’s unfair turns out to cut different ways, depending on your point of view.

Read the rest
Continue Reading