The last week has seen quite a few articles lamenting the lack of funding at the IRS. That lack of funding might drive the IRS to multi-generational lows in terms of the number of audits it undertakes (or at least based on the percentage of returns) in the United States, and might (further) reduce staff […]
June 29th, 2006. It was an innocuous day as the stock market was booming in the post-9/11 recovery. The economy was torrid and the unemployment rate was 4.6% in the USA. That fall, I opened up my checking account with Charles Schwab with their floating-rate free checking account (with no minimums or ATM fees) was paying […]
With my colleague PK writing about his 2014 savings rate, I thought that I would chime in as well. Using a loose definition of savings, where principal pay down of debt is included in the numerator, I have an after-tax savings rate of 53.42%. Without including principal paydown of debt, my strict savings rate would […]
In the Personal Financial niche, you can expect the sanctimonious chants of “but you gave the IRS an interest free loan!” to start posthaste if you admit you got a tax return. We, however, think that this “tax refund bad” meme is pretty silly… especially in an era of historically low interest rates. Is Getting […]
Well, glad that Fiscal Cliff thing is over. Seriously – we sweated a crisis that was created by politicians, that politicians are now happy they averted. Consider that! Dividend Cliff… Kind of Averted Since most of you readers are also avid investors (check out our stock picks for 2013, and our solid S&P 500 beating […]
Reading personal finance web sites is always funny this time of year. The end of the year is filled with articles about how to save money on taxes in the current year… 2012. Unfortunately for those recycled articles (“ain’t nothing changed ‘cept the date!”) that isn’t such a great idea this next year. So here […]
Have you ever seen an election season so dedicated to the intricacies of taxes? Mitt Romney must be glad he paid accountants to run the numbers, since just 4 years ago I seem to recalls number of issues with TurboTax. So yes, I’ve never heard this much ranting and raving about taxes, even though the last time a very rich person from Massachusetts ran for President there were many similarities. So, let’s talk a little bit about two different things – ‘Marginal’ rates and ‘Effective’ rates.
Subtitle: Until You Read This Article.
I’m not one for hyperbole… I’m more of a “here’s the data, deal with it” person, but I’ll make a vast blanket statement for you today. You see, you may not care too much either way about the whole ‘fiscal cliff’ scenario, where an expiration of the so-called ‘Bush Tax Cuts’ of 2001 and 2003 would reset to their previous levels. Perhaps you make under $200,000 as a single or $250,000 as a couple, so if the cuts expire and President Obama extends them in a second term you wouldn’t worry too much. Fine – I won’t spend this article discussing what the appropriate level of taxation is for the many strata of incomes earned in this country. However, I do want to draw your attention to the insidious effect of rolling back the 2001/3 cuts – namely, how the code characterizes dividends.
Been reading DQYDJ for a while? Good. You know that looking at data from a different angle yields very interesting insights.
Here’s one interesting thing: the federal income tax code benefits 18 to 35 year olds at the expense of 45 to 65 year olds. How do I figure? The IRS helpfully posted data for 2009 (links are xls files) on both the amount of income made by age group and the amount of Federal income taxes paid after credits. So, should the Silent Generation and Baby Boom Generation be mad at Generations X and Y? Partially! Read on.
Here’s something you can really sink your teeth into – a calculator from the Tax Foundation which will let you input your tax data. What does it output? Well, your tax burden under the ‘Bush’ tax cuts (passed in 2003), your tax burden if the plan expires, and your tax burden if the changes in President Obama’s budget are enacted. Now that you have this data, you can cut through the noise and choose which one you like the best by simply figuring out under which plan you owe the least! Joy!