On to the GOP’s Tax Day Special, per Dana Milbank, as “Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy“:
Give credit to Republicans in Congress.
They’ve discovered, belatedly, that income inequality is a problem, and they’re no longer proposing to give tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Now they are proposing to give tax breaks to the wealthiest two-tenths of 1 percent of Americans.
On Tuesday afternoon, the House Rules Committee took up H.R. 1105, the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015,” with plans to bring it to a vote on the chamber floor Wednesday — Tax Day. It is an extraordinarily candid expression of the majority’s priorities: A tax cut costing the treasury $269 billion over a decade that would exclusively benefit individuals with wealth of more than $5.4 million and couples with wealth of more than $10.9 million.
That’s a tax break for only the 5,500 wealthiest households in the country each year, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Of those, the 318 wealthiest estates each year — those worth $50 million or more — would see an average windfall of $20 million each, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
And this at a time when the gap between rich and poor is already worse than it has been since the Great Depression? Never in the history of plutocracy has so much been given away to so few who need it so little…
GOP leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) have begun to recognize that the vast gap between rich and poor is detrimental — and to blame the problem on President Obama. Their solution, so far, has been to propose cuts of hundreds of billions of dollars from food stamps, Pell grants, Medicaid and other programs for those without means — and, on Tax Day, to give $269 billion to the few who already have the most….
Apart from making a little list (they never will be missed!), what’s on the agenda for the day?
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.:
It’s easier when you’ve already deposited your refund.
When the only tool you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail. All problems can be solved with tax cuts.
On “Meet the Republicans” or any other Sunday morning political show, why don’t the pundits challenge the Republicans about their pro 1% stance? I would love to hear exactly how giving more tax breaks to the rich while slashing policies which help the middle and lower classes is supposed to address income inequality.
If the media was remotely liberal, we’d see some Republicans squirming on Sunday mornings.
Speaking about the sustenance of the 99% …
Waybackwhen in ’09, we had the Great Peanut Butter Panic, when a couple of processing plants were found to be, hmmm, ‘less than sanitary’.
Back before then, store-brand peanut butter usually retailed for about 7 cents/ounce, or $1.29 for the standard 18 oz jar (and you stocked up when ’twas on sale for $.99 a jar).
The ‘panic’ basically doubled – or more – the price of the goober spread, and it has stayed at that level ever since.
Did taking those processing plants out of the system drive the supply/demand equasion upwards to that extent ? Or be there something or someone else to blame ? Doth any BJers know more about this ? My PB&J jones goes a-raving.
Ecrasez l’infame. Eat the rich, also.
Filed the extension form for our household, with a small payment which will easily cover the conservative numbers.
Then heard something on NPR that wasn’t actually crap: A blivet of an interview where a finance sort said “Returns put together at the last minute are likelier to have errors.” (It made much more sense than anything else NPR had on this morning.)
Since filing for the extension is my modus operandi, I felt vindicated and more than a bit relieved. I may not be rich, but I’m thinking like a rich man: Get everything I can from the gummint.
@jafd: I paid $7.45 for a big jar (40 oz) jar of Jif Extra Crunchy at the Publix in Pinecrest, Florida. That works out to 18 cents/ounce.
I filed yesterday–but had actually done the returns a few weeks back. Wanted to make sure my IRA check got deposited inot my account.
Let me jsut add that is the state of Michigan wants me to e-file, they shoudl make it free like the feds do. There is no way I am paying $25 to Turbotax get my $200 refund a few days sooner. And Turbotax has made it much more difficult to file by mail. Before, it was given as an option: e-file or mail?. Now you have to figure out for yourself how to print the return for mailing. Not that difficult, but might be a bit of a challenge for those with minimal computer skills. And all this after they changed the software without making it obvious (to force anyone with investments to buy the more expensive version) and had millions of people mad at them. Bastards.
I’m sure the deficit hawks will squash the GOP’s tax plan.
We paid an accountant $50 about a month ago. Got our refunds within a week. No muss, no fuss, no headaches, no worries, no wondering did I ask the right questions, did I give the wrong answers, no panic attacks…. Why did I ever do them myself?
PS: Happy Birthday to my lovely wife.
@dr. luba: dr. luba, I got the option on my Turbo tax software this year, I mail in my state and efile my fed like you do.
@dr. luba: For me it was worse, I e-Filed the Feds but printed my California return for mailing. You are correct, they are trying to make if difficult. $25 to pay the state? They’re kidding, right? I got a postcard from Costco about the edition confusion and they gave out a free upgrade.
Like it or not (and I damned sure don’t), this is the government the American people have elected and re-elected ad infinitum. (and I consider sitting on your ass on election day a vote).
The Death Tax lies have been a huge success. People think everything is The Death Tax- probate fees, recording, unpaid property taxes on land they inherit, deed transfers. “Is this THE DEATH TAX?!”
It really has to be up there in the top five of complete and utter bullshit Republicans have successfully sold. There is a huge group of people in this country who believe they pay taxes they don’t pay.
Thank Dana, for finally giving the “sound bite” about the Estate Tax and those who want to abolish it. It is all about Aristocracy and Nobility. Those who want to abolish this tax want America to be Aristocracy (as arguably the Ante-Bellum South was and romanticized in “Gone with Wind.”) Taxes are for little people say the Republicans.
@OzarkHillbilly: $50 is cheap, my late MIL paid some hack in NV (no state returns) $400 to do hers. Took me all of 10 minutes to get her returns done and got her a bigger refund as well. She never went back to the hack. I think price all depends on where you live and how complex your returns are. We never paid less than $150 and that was 20 plus years ago in UT and CA.
I think people believe the lies they want to believe. It’s Fox’s business model.
Police in Pennsylvania said on Tuesday that the tombstone of Hillary Clinton’s father had been knocked over in a possible case of vandalism, the Scranton Times-Tribune newspaper reported, days after she announced her presidential bid.
A person at the Washburn Street Cemetery reported that the gravestone of Hugh Rodham had been overturned, Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano told the newspaper.
Graziano said the tombstone may have been vandalized. “I’m not sure how else it would have fallen over,” he told the Tribune.
The police department in Scranton could not immediately be reached for comment.
I don’t know. This stuff isn’t surprising when you consider the amount of hate talk coming from the fox news and national and local radio bloviators. The rubes listen and listen, and when the poison starts seeping out of their pores they do this.
My middle son (who is 20 and doesn’t make very much) asked me perfectly sincerely why people wait- he gets money back so he just assumed everyone does. He’s thinking “file! it’s all upside!”
He must have been wondering what all the fuss was about in political campaigns.
The fuss is about rich people’s feelings, of course!
@Gindy51: Yes it is. Been getting my taxes done by her ever since I moved out here (14 yrs). Twice the price would still be worth it (says the guy who screwed up his taxes once and found himself in medium deep doodoo)(hence the panic attacks). Ours are fairly simple, with the exception of some overseas rental property, and even that is fairly simple in Janice’s hands.
And that would be surprising why? The group of people who actually buy the GOP power in Washington admittedly is a little smaller, but to target the tax cuts even more narrowly kind of would have made the quid pro quo too obvious.
I found this fascinating:
TurboTax is against the simplification of tax preparation. It isn’t government that makes filing such a complicated pain in the ass, it’s the private sector. The article compares tax prep to vehicle registration:
“Imagine if your vehicle registration fee was done the same way,” Mr. Bankman asked in a recent interview. “Imagine if the state said, ‘Go to your car, find your VIN number and then look at this table that has different tax rates to find out how much you owe.’ If they did, people would probably need to hire an expert for that too.”
I’ve had tax preparers tell me it’s way too complicated. And unfair to folks who can’t afford tax preparers.
The reform plan would work like this: Today, employers, banks, brokerage firms and pretty much every other financial organization in the country send the federal government detailed records about our economic activity every year. These organizations also send you, the taxpayer, a similar set of documents, which are forms with names like W2 and 1098. After you file your taxes, the government matches its two sets of documents to make sure you have filed correctly.
To Mr. Bankman, this double documentation doesn’t make much sense. If the government is already collecting financial data from employers and banks, why can’t the I.R.S. use that information to precalculate our tax returns for us? At the very least, why can’t tax software just connect to the government’s database to download all the information that the government has collected, saving us all that record-keeping and data entry?
Tax-day article in the NYT about how TurboTax opposes simplified filing. Since last year, when the IRS (apparently) started requiring brokerages to include the cost basis for securities transactions, my taxes could have been done, trivially, by the IRS.
ETA: Looks like germy got there three minutes before me.
Iowa Old Lady
@SRW1: It’s also revealing of how big wealth inequality is that a break for so few people accounts for so much money.
A lot of W-2’s are now downloadable into TurboTax. I think it’s up to the employer.
Gin & Tonic
@dr. luba: Don’t know how, but NYS law is that if you do your taxes by TurboTax, you are required to file electronically, and TT is prohibited from charging you.
@Gin & Tonic: Wasn’t turbotax hacked this year? And refund checks were held up because of it?
Not an aristocracy — a kakistocracy — nor anything noble about it.
This gives them far too much credit for good faith. None but the most benighted and stupid of them actually believe they are solving anyone’s problem but their own.
I started on our taxes on Monday evening. It’s not terribly complicated but it usually takes a couple of hours to do the various “worksheet” calculations which always end up not changing anything. But the “FreeFileFillableForm” site has enough quirks that I can’t seem to get it right the first time any more. The error messages are terribly cryptic, also too. “Why not just tell me that I didn’t include Schedule A?” I finally succeeded last night. A day early! Woot!
Yeah, it’s stupid to wait so long when one is expecting a refund, but life gets in the way. At least nobody stole our identity and got the refund first. :-/
Next is our Virginia return. Fortunately, that’s not due until May 1. It’s more aggravating than the federal because they make joint breadwinners do a bunch of separate figuring just to claim a $259 credit. Grr…
@Cervantes: All problems CANNOT be solved with tax cuts.
It takes a delicate combination of tax cuts AND repeal of all regulations to solve all our problems. Plus a hefty reduction in the social safety net.
Then all our problems are solved. The man on the radio told me. And his callers agreed with him so it must be true.
@germy shoemangler: My understanding was that TT accounts were hacked– so if you avoided setting up an account, you were (relatively) safe.
Gin & Tonic
@germy shoemangler: I don’t know. I’ve had no issues.
Have they no shame? And really, is this a case of those at the very top asking for this tax break or is it just the Republicans slavishly looking for gifts to lay before their masters?
Their base is just a complete mystery to me. How on earth can anyone support the fiendish policies that they put forward?
Pissed off? Can’t take it anymore? Watch Danielle Ate The Sandwich play croquet with a rabbit an sing.
@Gin & Tonic:
We don’t use TurboTax, etc., and that arrangement you describe does sound odd, but I do know that you can e-file in New York using a web-based system, just as you can in Massachusetts.
@raven: That’s different. :-)
That was a relief, both video and lyrics — you’re right.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: She’s playing here this week and I saw the ad for her in the music mag.
Whenever life gets you down, Mrs Brown
And things seem hard or tough
When people are stupid, obnoxious, or daft
And you feel that you’ve had quite enough …
Some useful advice delivered by Stephen Hawking.
M’aidez! M’aidez! I have been moderatered!
@Amir Khalid: You must be new here.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@dr. luba: I haven’t used Turbo Tax since the C-Dilla uproar in 2003. Don’t trust Intuit any further than I can throw their HQ building.
I’ve been very pleased with TaxAct, especially this year when my state taxes became considerably more complicated.
Completely unrelated, the new Daredevil show on Netflix is fantastic. People who know a lot more than I do about cinematography are raving about it. As a very old-school DD fan, I’m enjoying the characterizations.
I just took my taxes downstairs to the mailbox.
Yes, I’m one of those who mails the taxes in.
Hey..$26.9 billion a year is more than enough to fund every Republican race for President on down to dog catcher. Once you have embraced a sociopathic (Galtian) worldview, the suffering of the Untermensch no longer is of interest, much less concern.
When I used to do our taxes myself I used the free online forms to do the federal, and then found a free online form to do the state taxes. I bought the H&R block software one year, then found out I could have gotten the same thing for free online. That’s in MO, I realize other states might be different, but my point is that it seems you should never have to pay to e-file your taxes. Before that I made a math error once, they corrected my math and adjusted our refund to reflect the difference, it was no big deal. Of course our taxes were pretty simple, sadly it’s not that way anymore.
We’re getting money back this year, and they held back enough that we don’t have to pay quarterly taxes, for which I’m grateful. As a person who inherited an estate and had to pay estate taxes, I didn’t mind doing that at all (it almost killed my mother, the Faux News watching conservative). The estate was on the lower end of the amount that requires payment, and I was one of two inheritors (the other was my mother). I have more money now than I’ll ever be able to spend, part of me wants to give it all away but I know that would be foolish. If I could give it all away and have my sister back I’d do it in a heartbeat, that’s for sure. It’s not my money, it’s hers, and I never forget that.
Partners, Milwaukee-Style. What the fuck did people think would happen?
Mr Stagger Lee
At least the GOP is honest about who they stand with, and will do whatever to give their constituents what they want. Can the Democrats say the same?
Sorry to hear about the loss of your sister.
Right after Hillary announces she’s running for President, this happens.
I filed later than usual this year because the tax form from the health insurance marketplace was incorrect the first time. It wasn’t a big deal though and it all worked out fine. Hopefully I’m not one of the people for whom fake returns were filed after a data breach at one of the big supermarket chains. Guess I’ll find out when the state processes my return.
Paul in KY
@Patricia Kayden: Because they are in that 1% and are hoping it passes.
Paul in KY
@rikyrah: I do it too. And I like it!
In the next few weeks the Trans-Pacific Partnership “Free Trade Agreement” fast-track authority debate will come to ahead. This is the one item on President Obama’s second term agenda that leaves me asking “why?” It divides the Democratic Party and will have a terrible political cost going into a election that any humane, liberal person will want them to win (because the other party is run by Sociopathic Idiots), for something that will only enrich the multi-national corporations of the U.S. and Japan. It appears that Obama has convinced himself that this will be a “trade agreement” done right, and has been persuaded the banking and corporate Democratic wing that this is possible, although of course the biggest motivation is to extend patent, copyright, and trademark protections into Asian markets. Also, he seems to think this is a “geopolitical” slam dunk, a big word for U.S. imperial politics in Asia contending in the great game with China by binding even closer Japan (enemy WWII) and Vietnam (who said we lost the Vietnam war, talk about irony) with the U.S. versus China (our No.1 trade partner and investment destination – talk about “frenemy”).
After 25 years of globalization, inequality, and slow growth, the unicorns promised by “free trade” neo-liberals and corporate democrats now ring like old cliches. And the VSPs seem very frustrated that their shiny promises of glorious prosperity for all are seen as a joke.
This is the first year that this actually made a difference to me so I was unaware of this situation in Illinois, and it helps me understand why Illinois is in the finacial mess it is in.
The Feds tax IRA distributions, pensions and SS (the latter depends on how much other income you have). The State of Illinois, in it infinite wisdom, taxes none of those. I can see leaving SS alone, and maybe even pensions, but IRA distributions? Obvioulsy, the people who have the largest stake in that game are the very wealthiest. I don’t have the slightest idea what the actual figures are, but I wouldn’t be surprised if by taxing those, most of the financial issues in the state would disappear.
Are there other states that don’t tax those incomes?
@Mr Stagger Lee:
What’s your opinion? Which Democrats are you talking about? For example, do you give Obama credit for the PPACA? Was he honest about it? Was it (enough of) what his constituents wanted?
Here is what another Democrat is saying:
Is she being honest? Are these the things her constituents want? Can and will she deliver? Should she “do whatever” in order to succeed?
Your (rhetorical?) question is worth taking seriously, especially if you do so.
@japa21: According to the intertoobz, Maryland does not tax SS and has a ‘pension exclusion’ of $29,000 if you’re over 65. I think that includes IRA distributions.
Gin & Tonic
@japa21: Many states do not tax income of any kind, whether it’s wage income or pension or investment income. Here’s a chart/map from a retirement perspective, where you can click on any state and see what’s taxed and what isn’t.
NC did away with a bunch of standard deductions and it was a $400 swing from last year’s paltry refund. At least I was able to pay online without too much fuss…my federal return, tho, I owe :-( They only charge 1/2 of 1% monthly on the remaining balance, so not terrible.
It is THE DAY. The last official day of filing season. Tomorrow I get to deal with the disappoint of the late extension filers and other whiners. I just need to get through today. Oh and I might be alone in the office because my co-worker’s father had a stroke. Yay team me!
@Gin & Tonic: Georgia be jammin!
Acdcording to the folks over at Huffington:
To which I say – El Al has flights leaving daily and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Most of these critters could not find Iran if it was the picture on the 100 dollar bills they get from the pro-Israel lobbyists.
Is our pundits learning?
Gin & Tonic
@raven: Now you just have to retire.
@terraformer: Well, if you gauge it by Mika’s performance of tearing Carly Fiorina a new one on live teevee, then, maybe.
@Sherparick: Smartypants has a good counterpoint.
Me? Dunno. The devil’s in the details.
Please tell me climate change is somewhere in the list.
To say that “the Feds tax IRA distributions” is too general, because it depends on the kind of IRA, your age, and so on. Also, as you are aware, the rules change from time to time. You may find that withdrawals (in retirement) from Roth IRAs are tax-free whereas withdrawals from “traditional” IRAs are not (in part because taxes may never have been paid on the latter monies).
There are a half-dozen or so states that tax no income whatsoever. Ignoring those, yes, the remaining states differ in how they tax the various kinds of retirement income.
@Gin & Tonic: Holdin on hoping to make it at least 67. We learned last week that my colleague will be replacing our boss and that means things should stay the same for me. I need to max it now since I can only really hope to get 20 in the system.
@Mustang Bobby: Is it possible that (given that quote) the GOTea is opposed to the former because they refuse to accept the latter?
Thank you for the work you do.
Not something you hear often enough, I imagine.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I like the pith of this comment from the linked post:
Hardest part of filling out tax forms for me is the diabolical work sheet for calculating Amount of SS that is taxable, I’m sure some of you are familiar with it. Went on line and found a free site that does just that part for you.
@Cervantes: I wrote a thank you to the mayor, city manager and all involved with our sewer work. The mayor wrote back and seemed really pleased!
This just in from my Facebook feed:
Eh. Between the refund we got from the state we only ended up owing about $600 when the Federal is factored in. I consider that a good thing. And I am happy to pay for my government. Suck on that TeaHaddists.
As noted above, it’s not explicitly on the list at this stage of the campaign — but if and when she wants to, she can work it into “building the economy of tomorrow, not yesterday” or (I suppose) “protecting the country.”
Here is Steve Benen on the “four pillars” she wants to talk about right now.
And here is John Podesta, “Chairman of ‘Hillary Clinton for America’,” who mentions sustainability and climate change explicitly.
@kindness: We got $3k back, into the addition fund ! (and the new stackable washer dryer I just ordered since I have run out of gas repairing the 15 year old ione)!
Iowa Old Lady
The only time I’ve minded paying taxes was when I was making minimum wage and every penny counted. We are lucky enough now to have plenty to pay for what we need and want. This country has been very good to us. Paying our taxes is the patriotic thing to do.
@Iowa Old Lady: What about them there freedoms?
See, this is the kind of thing I expect with a woman president. They’re scared of blacks and want to stop Obama. They think women are vulnerable and want to attack Hillary. Geez, it’s scary to think that her odds of being assassinated are bigger than his, but misogyny’s history is quite clear. Celestia and Luna, watch over her.
@germy shoemangler: and @NorthLeft12:
It’s important to look at the base. Don’t think for a second politicians or rich people are any different from the voting block. They believe the same bullshit, are just as crazy, and are neither smarter nor stupider.
Yes, the base loves starving the poor and feeding the rich. They love starving themselves. They believe it will solve everything. They think it will work because A) The country is bleeding to death from handouts that let lazy black people lord it over hard working whites, and B) Fuck you, liberals. Also known as Cleek’s Law.
Gin & Tonic
Says in my news feed that Aaron Hernandez was convicted of murder. Now what are the local news channels going to lead with every damn day?
@Iowa Old Lady:
Was that before the EIC (now EITC)?
(I’m not necessarily praising every aspect of these programs.)
Mailed mine yesterday. Since I freelance I’m always bummed about the size of the self-employment tax, no matter how little I made or how many deductions. it’s the substitute for the social security withholding so I guess I shouldn’t bitch.
Bwah, no new updates on Lovey or Thurston?
@Gin & Tonic: WaPo notes that Hernandez is due for a second, double murder trial next month. So the story will go on for a while.
Yeah, we know what you meant, but the bolded word is an ironic misspelling in that context, isn’t it?
We inherited some investments from my late dad and, though we did have to pay a good-sized amount in taxes this year, it turns out that they were all set up to withhold tax automatically, so it wasn’t as big a bite as we were fearing. Yay!
On this date in 1947, Jackie Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He grounded out in his first at-bat, going 0-for-3 while scoring a run. Fifty years later, his No. 42 would be retired by all of baseball.
The motivation is much simpler and more selfish than that: “MINE! I decide if and who gets it, not the government!”
I’m so sorry about your sister. If there aren’t any family members you want to help out with the money, I wonder if you would want to do something like set up a scholarship in her name or make some kind of sizable donation to a cause she would have liked with her name attached (a children’s hospital, animal shelter, etc.) That way, you can feel like you’re doing something with “her” money that she would have liked and also do other people a bit of good.
We are still young enough that we’re planning to save most of what we got for retirement, but since we don’t have kids, we’re also thinking about what to do with it once we’re gone.
Gin & Tonic
@MattF: Yeah, I know, but the local media market is weird. This trial took place in Fall River, MA, which is closer to Providence and is covered extensively by its TV and papers. The next one, IIRC, will take place in Boston, so may have a little bit less coverage in Providence. But I’m sure this verdict will be appealed, too, so this story won’t die for another couple of years, probably.
mai naem mobile
I’m wondering does anybody else think the numbers of people in the .2 percent seems low along with the amount of wealth. It seems that $5 to $10 mil. of wealth would cover any retired specialist physician or at least a multidecade practicing specialist. 3000 families just seems too few for wealth. Annual income, maybe, but wealth? Anybody who bought a few rental properties.in the Bay Area, NY or LA in the 70s/80s would probably fall in the group. I think I could.come up with 500 celebrities/sports people/pols/finance people off the top off my head who should be worth more than $5mil.
Iowa Old Lady
@Cervantes: It was before EIC. I am old. It was before everything.
Probably most of it was FICA, but that sure looks like a tax to me.
You mean remotely non-partisan. The press should just be looking to see if they can make any politician uncomfortable not just democrats.
@Gin & Tonic: Between the legal fees and civil suits, his money is gone. The only thing that I hope, is that he had a good financial planner, who put money in a trust for his child.
@Iowa Old Lady:
“Who’s ‘FICA’ and why is he getting all of my money?”
Yes, I still remember lines from ancient episodes of “Friends.”
@JPL: ha, I bet.
@Iowa Old Lady:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was … FICA?
(With apologies to the author of John 1:1.)
Why can’t I go to a federal government site to e-file my federal tax forms? Many of the federal government sites are really good,
like reporting social security (generating w-2 and filing w-3 for employer).
I think I know the answer, Turbo tax and its ilk want their share.
@mai naem mobile:
I think that means 3000 families will have a death any year, and all the other wealthy families will not have a death this year.
The work sheet is the means to apply/hide the formula used for the calculation. If they showed the formula I would know what it is doing.
I hate that.
There are links at the Michigan tax site to supposedly free e-file sites. Whether any of them are any good, who knows?
Some of this crazy stuff has taken hold because the Democrats have been complicit in their silence. Our last Congressional elections evidenced this and even now, they line up with the Republicans on many issues with their silence. That is what I am hoping Hillary will start setting a tone, if nothing else, but somehow, we have to start recruiting and running better Democrats…Somehow. Sheesh.
You can efile for free at the IRS site. Some states have efile options as well.
Not everyone has access to a computer. And some tax situations are complicated.
Good to see a posting about the estate tax. I was going to post something about it in an open thread. The Democrats (and Hillary) should work this to death.
The GOP led Congress seems intent on offering only 3 bills this session. Repeal of the Estate Tax, Making Abortion illegal again, and repeal of Obamacare. Rinse and repeat.
And by the way, the claim that tons of family farms are lost to the federal estate tax is a big lie.
Briefly, HR Block originally did accounting. When Congress complicated the shit out of taxes with the IRS Code change in 1954, companies ran to the Bloch brothers asking them to do their employees’ taxes, and an industry was born.
Skip to today. One of the reasons taxes are complicated is that weenie Congressional staffers who think narrowly like accountants write the actual legislation, along with lobbyists who drop bags of money on Congress critters. Then its dropped into the laps of the IRS, which the GOP has strangled with budget cuts.
And hell, there are areas of tax still guided by temporary regulations, because Congress can’t be bothered to clarify their own freaking laws.
I don’t work for Turbotax, but I spent a big chunk of time this tax season writing notes for use by industry representatives trying to deal with the sloppy mess of implementation of the Affordable Care Act in meetings with the IRS and healthcare.gov folks.
Yeah, Turbotax and others are special interest groups with their own interests, but they are not responsible for the tangled mess of the tax code. Not by a long shot.
Not quite. I went, and the last step is: “you are now leaving the IRS site for a private provider”
OTOH: I think I will use it from now on. It does cover all the forms, so is essentially identical to what I do now with fillable pdfs,
except for printing it out and mailing.