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Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 13 Feb 2019, 14:46:58

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:
However, though there may be shrill whining from either side, IMO, there's no viable evidence to suggest the IRS isn't reliable in reporting data re aggregate tax numbers. And there's no better data source to really look at the big picture than a summary OF the big picture.

You have a very innocent view of our government agencies. What information they put out for public consumption is always well edited to make them look good and if you except their figures as being the whole true story they will manipulate your vote time after time.

And of course, you have solid evidence for this.

Only the entire history of the US government bureaucracy.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 14 Feb 2019, 01:01:21

vtsnowedin wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:
However, though there may be shrill whining from either side, IMO, there's no viable evidence to suggest the IRS isn't reliable in reporting data re aggregate tax numbers. And there's no better data source to really look at the big picture than a summary OF the big picture.

You have a very innocent view of our government agencies. What information they put out for public consumption is always well edited to make them look good and if you except their figures as being the whole true story they will manipulate your vote time after time.

And of course, you have solid evidence for this.

Only the entire history of the US government bureaucracy.

So you don't have evidence, re the IRS.

I agree with you about much of the government overall having too much corruption, BTW, including the recent NSA massive phone tapping scandal. I just haven't ever seen any evidence what the IRS reports as far as aggregate data is crooked or politically motivated.

Just like with Trump, even though I don't like him lying and don't like many of his policies, I don't think people or organizations should be prosecuted, much less convicted, without solid evidence.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 14 Feb 2019, 08:24:47

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
And of course, you have solid evidence for this.

Only the entire history of the US government bureaucracy.

So you don't have evidence, re the IRS.

I agree with you about much of the government overall having too much corruption, BTW, including the recent NSA massive phone tapping scandal. I just haven't ever seen any evidence what the IRS reports as far as aggregate data is crooked or politically motivated.

Just like with Trump, even though I don't like him lying and don't like many of his policies, I don't think people or organizations should be prosecuted, much less convicted, without solid evidence.

Why don't you start here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... ue_Service
and here.
https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cn ... -taxpayers
If you have never seen evidence of IRS misbehavior it must be because you never looked for it.
Last edited by Tanada on Thu 14 Feb 2019, 09:42:56, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed broken quote
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 14 Feb 2019, 15:46:17

vtsnowedin wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:
And of course, you have solid evidence for this.

Only the entire history of the US government bureaucracy.

So you don't have evidence, re the IRS.

I agree with you about much of the government overall having too much corruption, BTW, including the recent NSA massive phone tapping scandal. I just haven't ever seen any evidence what the IRS reports as far as aggregate data is crooked or politically motivated.

Just like with Trump, even though I don't like him lying and don't like many of his policies, I don't think people or organizations should be prosecuted, much less convicted, without solid evidence.

Why don't you start here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... ue_Service
and here.
https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cn ... -taxpayers
If you have never seen evidence of IRS misbehavior it must be because you never looked for it.

Sigh. Reading comprehension is a thing. You are talking about different things than I'm talking about.

I never said the IRS was perfect. I certainly never said there had never been allegations of political targeting by the IRS. We just had a recent (2017) issue all over the news with that.

Same thing as harrassing or abusing groups of taxpayers. For example, the poor have long been an easy target, as they tend to have less resources and less education to defend themselves. No argument there from me.

For one thing, accusations don't constitute proof. Often accusations constitute one group's perceptions.

And the complaints of your links are a completely different thing than the publishing of the overall tax data by general category or broad group.

I just searched on "IRS publishing false data on tax receipts". I'm not even finding obvious hits from wild-eyed blogger conspiracy types.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 14 Feb 2019, 18:03:33

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
For one thing, accusations don't constitute proof. Often accusations constitute one group's perceptions.

And the complaints of your links are a completely different thing than the publishing of the overall tax data by general category or broad group.

I just searched on "IRS publishing false data on tax receipts". I'm not even finding obvious hits from wild-eyed blogger conspiracy types.
A person or organization that will lie about one thing will lie about any other thing that suits their purpose. Go ahead and have all the faith you desire in the IRS's numbers but I take every thing they and every other federal agency says with a large grain of salt.
They exist to exist and the only goal is to achieve an increased budget in the next year. If you think they are hard working public servants only concerned with serving you the tax payer/ citizen as well as possible at the least possible cost I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn that is right for you.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 15 Feb 2019, 15:12:06

vtsnowedin wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:
For one thing, accusations don't constitute proof. Often accusations constitute one group's perceptions.

And the complaints of your links are a completely different thing than the publishing of the overall tax data by general category or broad group.

I just searched on "IRS publishing false data on tax receipts". I'm not even finding obvious hits from wild-eyed blogger conspiracy types.
A person or organization that will lie about one thing will lie about any other thing that suits their purpose. Go ahead and have all the faith you desire in the IRS's numbers but I take every thing they and every other federal agency says with a large grain of salt.
They exist to exist and the only goal is to achieve an increased budget in the next year. If you think they are hard working public servants only concerned with serving you the tax payer/ citizen as well as possible at the least possible cost I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn that is right for you.

OK. Got it. Anyone should spew anything they believe, and facts or evidence be damned.

Then we wonder why so much of this site is constituted by data and evidence from the lunatic fringe.

Or why Trump being POTUS is "normal", despite his problems with the truth at a record setting pace, even for a US politician.

Keep selling those bridges -- I'm sure it will work well for you. :roll:
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby Cog » Fri 15 Feb 2019, 21:25:39

I pay in quarterly estimated taxes. I just filed today and my refund is less than last year. I attribute that to getting better at figuring out how much I owe at the end of the year. At certain income levels long term capital gains aren't taxed at all which makes it complicated. My tax guy says I shouldn't do any federal quarterly tax payments since I owe so little at the end. I will get a small tax penalty for underpaying state taxes. I tend to make one large payment at the end of the year and the state wants tax money throughout the year.

So bottom line, I didn't see much difference to me at the federal level since I don't really pay much in the way of federal taxes.

After April 15th we should have some figures on revenue to the government. I guess the IRS is the people who report that.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 15 Feb 2019, 22:48:49

Outcast_Searcher wrote:OK. Got it. Anyone should spew anything they believe, and facts or evidence be damned.

I gave you evidence and you ignored it. Also I worked in government spending federal funds for forty years so have seen a thing or two first hand. That you disagree with my opinion is of no concern to me.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 15 Feb 2019, 22:51:53

Cog wrote:So bottom line, I didn't see much difference to me at the federal level since I don't really pay much in the way of federal taxes.
.

Did you see a difference in percentage taxes paid on total gross income? Up or Down?
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby Cog » Fri 15 Feb 2019, 23:17:39

vtsnowedin wrote:
Cog wrote:So bottom line, I didn't see much difference to me at the federal level since I don't really pay much in the way of federal taxes.
.

Did you see a difference in percentage taxes paid on total gross income? Up or Down?


Nor really. It would be easier for me to cipher that out if I had earned income through a job but since my income is purely on investments and capital gains, I don't see any difference. I mean I got back all the federal tax I paid in this year and the same as the year before.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 15 Feb 2019, 23:36:57

vtsnowedin wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:OK. Got it. Anyone should spew anything they believe, and facts or evidence be damned.

I gave you evidence and you ignored it. Also I worked in government spending federal funds for forty years so have seen a thing or two first hand. That you disagree with my opinion is of no concern to me.

You gave me "evidence" of what? That the IRS publishes false data in its summary numbers? If you did, I missed it.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 16 Feb 2019, 07:47:56

Outcast_Searcher wrote:You gave me "evidence" of what? That the IRS publishes false data in its summary numbers? If you did, I missed it.
As I said before you are quite free to trust anything the IRS or any other federal agency tells you.
This thread is about this years taxes and how the rules change has effected members here.
How did your taxes come out?
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 16 Feb 2019, 11:29:28

Being married to a CPA, who varies witholding on her own salary as the year passes, we never have much drama in taxes. I have not owed more than $300 or gotten as much as that in a refund, either. But I do hear all the horror stories about those who figured they could ignore taxes for the entire year, then come in and have somebody fix it in April of the following year.

Both the IRS and the State of California get irate over 5-figure and 6-figure amounts, and pile on interest and penalties.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 16 Feb 2019, 21:31:05

Here is another story about SALT and the push to reinstate the deduction. The interesting thing I picked from it was the average SALT deduction claimed by California residents (with New York andConnecticut being higher). California has a tax rate of 9.5% and New York has state and city tax rate that adds to a bit over ten percent, so the average deduction claimed of $18,438 means we are talking here of people making 185K or better. The article did not breakdown what if any percentage was property taxes vs, income taxes. I can see why working people are moving out.
https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/a ... 8bb38.html
An analysis by the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that nearly two-thirds of the benefit of repealing the cap would go to the top 1 percent of taxpayers.

But even though the wealthy reap the most benefits, many of the people affected by the new cap in high-cost, high-tax states are middle-income earners.

About 6.1 million California residents filed for the deduction in 2015, reducing their federal taxable income by $18,438 on average, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Only New York and Connecticut had a higher average deduction.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 16 Feb 2019, 22:18:09

I just completed my 2018 federal taxes. I saved about $3500 on my federal taxes due to the new tax law----almost exactly what I expected based on the tax calculator the Wall Street Journal put out when the Trump tax bill passed back in 2018.

Alaska doesn't have a state income tax or a state sales tax and my cabin is paid off so I'm not affected by the limit on the SALT tax deductions. However, I'm not that sympathetic to wealthy people who buy waterfront mansions and then want to deduct a million dollars in interest payments from their federal tax bills and now are whining because they actually have to pay taxes on their giant incomes.

Why should the wealthy get a huge tax break just because they bought a gigantic mansion? IMHO the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes, just like everybody else. I find it amusing †he that Ds are all upset that wealthy people have to pay more taxes because of the limits on SALT deductions---it seems like another example of how the Ds pretend to want higher taxes on their rich, but now that taxes on the rich have actually gone up in the Trump tax bill the Ds are endlessly caterwauling about it.

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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 16 Feb 2019, 22:38:45

vtsnowedin wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:You gave me "evidence" of what? That the IRS publishes false data in its summary numbers? If you did, I missed it.
As I said before you are quite free to trust anything the IRS or any other federal agency tells you.
This thread is about this years taxes and how the rules change has effected members here.
How did your taxes come out?

As I said upthread, I probably won't know until April, since various docs I need don't get sent until March, and I like to try to avoid later corrected 1099's, etc, when I have my preparer file.

I'm probably much like Cog in terms of my income not being overly repeatable. Unlike Cog, I'll be happy to report on my total tax burden as a percentage of my income compared to last year, when I know that in a couple months or hopefully less. Clearly that is the concept that matters much more than the size of one's refund.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 21 Feb 2019, 12:43:45

Outcast - To follow up on KP's post I told my wife the ideal tax refund should be $0. If someone doesn't understand that don't reply to me because I'll ignore you. But I later told my wife I might be wrong: our citizens are such poor savers it might not be a bad idea for some to have the govt force them to "save" some money...even at 0% interest. But, unfortunately, when that refund check shows up it typically is spent right away. Not that a bill would pass but even better: retain all the refunds until folks reach 65 yo. Of course that probably would get many to adjust their withholding to minimize/eliminate their withholding.

An interesting side note: not being advertised much but a potential bill being floated around Congress: force employers to automatically withhold some portion of paycheck for those with outstanding govt college loans. I think the feds are getting a tad nervous now that the total outstanding in over $1 TRILLION.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 21 Feb 2019, 16:41:40

ROCKMAN wrote:
An interesting side note: not being advertised much but a potential bill being floated around Congress: force employers to automatically withhold some portion of paycheck for those with outstanding govt college loans. I think the feds are getting a tad nervous now that the total outstanding in over $1 TRILLION.
That would be fine for those that are employed but what about those that dropped out and never got a degree that qualifies them for a paying job?
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 21 Feb 2019, 17:52:46

vtsnowedin wrote:
ROCKMAN wrote:
An interesting side note: not being advertised much but a potential bill being floated around Congress: force employers to automatically withhold some portion of paycheck for those with outstanding govt college loans. I think the feds are getting a tad nervous now that the total outstanding in over $1 TRILLION.
That would be fine for those that are employed but what about those that dropped out and never got a degree that qualifies them for a paying job?

The scenario I saw an article a week or two ago re a bill to deal with student loan deadbeats, was it would have some sort of means testing criteria, which in theory, would mean that the person should be able to afford to make the payments.

Given that the premise is to withhold a portion of the PAYCHECK, it follows that they'd have a paying job -- just maybe not a high paying job.

There are far too many people who try to equate they "can't" pay, with they don't WANT to pay, due to major lack of financial self discipline. This goes for bills in general, not just student loans.

I strongly suspect if there were a policy which emphasized repayment and not forgiving scofflaws who claim they couldn't afford it -- students, and their advisors, might clue in more to getting a USEFUL college degree, instead of pursuing something that sounds "fun" or "cool", and then be unable to pay.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Lower tax refunds? Are they a problem?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 21 Feb 2019, 18:22:16

I suppose skimming a recipients benefit check by the same percentage as you do a workers wages would amount to as much.
The people advising students about where to go to college and how to pay for it are not rewarded for giving good advice as that would reduce the number of students applying for admission. The population of students is already declining markedly and the competition is becoming fierce.
To some this and credit cards are the modern version of slavery where the potential slaves have to be tricked into selling there future earnings (plus interest) for a small benefit today.
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