Questions tagged [taxes]

Taxation consists of mandatory payments from taxpayers to the state.

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211
votes
12answers
52k views

Why doesn’t the IRS just send me a bill for the taxes I owe based on the info they already have?

So it's time to file taxes in the United States and it occurred to me that I am required to provide a lot of information that the government already knows. For instance, I have to provide the contents ...
81
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16answers
20k views

What ethical (if any) or economical arguments are offered in defense of the inheritance tax?

Although I am normally quite supportive of higher taxation, I've never really felt comfortable with the inheritance tax. I see no reason why the government should tax the money a parent wishes to ...
67
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8answers
17k views

Why is Trump releasing (or not) his tax returns such a big deal?

Why is it such a big deal that President Trump has not released his tax returns? Also, why would he make such a big deal about not releasing them, given that this just makes everyone more interested?...
66
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26answers
21k views

What reasons are there for a Capitalist to oppose a 100% inheritance tax?

As I understand it, most capitalists would argue that the reason the rich deserve their wealth is that they have worked for it, and the fact that they have managed to gain such wealth shows that they ...
66
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3answers
17k views

What significance could the information in Donald Trump's tax return have to his campaign?

I watched the debate, and I'm wondering what is going on with Donald Trump's tax return. I heard Hillary say the deal is either he's (1) less wealthy than he claims to be, (2) not making the ...
58
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10answers
14k views

Why is a big country less suitable for high-tax, high-welfare system?

Back when the US presidential election, I frequently heard the US is not suitable for the high-tax, large-welfare system like in Scandinavia. This is especially common among leftists, mostly Hillary ...
44
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3answers
7k views

Why does the US require non-resident citizens to file taxes even for non-US income?

The US requires US citizens to file a return for federal and state income taxes. Interestingly, per the 2017 IRS guide, page 5, it does not matter whether the US citizen resides in the US, or whether ...
40
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5answers
7k views

Why is the German GEZ a fee and not a tax?

In Germany, every household has to pay "Rundfunkbeitrag" (often called GEZ). It is 17,50 Euro per month, which is used to finance public broadcasting. Normally, I would expect public institutions to ...
35
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4answers
7k views

Why did Democrats oppose Ted Cruz's provision to allow funds from 529 plans to be used for homeschooling?

Senator Ted Cruz proposed an amendment to the recent tax reform bill to allow funds from 529 plans to be used for homeschooling1, but the Democrats voted against it and it did not make it into the ...
34
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2answers
6k views

Did Republicans accidentally kill corporate deductions, and will it force the Senate to revise and re-vote?

An article in New York magazine indicates that While Republicans were manically outlining their plans to take from the poor to give to the Trumps, they also, accidentally, nullified all of their ...
30
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8answers
10k views

Why isn’t the tax system continuous rather than bracketed?

In some countries like the US the tax system is bracketed rather than continuous. There would be some obvious trade offs, but would it be worth considering eliminating the marginal, bracketed tax ...
29
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3answers
1k views

Has the FairTax ever been implemented anywhere on any scale?

The FairTax is really a set of proposals through which all federal taxes are eliminated and a federal sales tax is implemented. In addition to this, a prebate is given based on the poverty level so ...
28
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8answers
4k views

What are the reasons for people to oppose Basic Income Guarantee?

The people of Switzerland will probably vote on implementing a citizen's income. The idea does not, of course, have universal 100% support. For some people (e.g. high income earners) there seem to ...
28
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1answer
4k views

Why the odd tax bracket intervals in the Senate Tax reform bill?

The US Senate's recently adopted tax plan calls for seven tax brackets. Ignoring for the moment the tax rates attached to each bracket, it seems strange that the taxable income range for bracket 5 (...
27
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5answers
4k views

Why aren't we seeing carbon taxes in practice?

(I originally posed this question under economics -- https://economics.stackexchange.com/questions/33267/why-arent-we-seeing-carbon-taxes-in-practice -- where the consensus seems to be that in ...
26
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12answers
5k views

How would one justify public funding for non-STEM (or unprofitable) college majors to a non college educated taxpayer?

I'm curious what kind of arguments one could give to justify to someone without a college education that they would have to pay for someone else's education that they themselves never received. With ...
26
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6answers
5k views

What prevents a government from taxing its citizens living abroad?

South Africa recently introduced new legislation that means many citizens working abroad that were previously exempt from paying income tax are now required to do so. It is also common knowledge that ...
26
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2answers
3k views

Is there a documented rationale why the House Ways and Means chairman can demand tax info?

The BBC says: House Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal said failure to comply with the new deadline would be interpreted as a denial of request. One of Mr Trump's top aides said last week that the ...
26
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3answers
5k views

How do states with no state income tax like Florida or Texas generate tax revenue?

How do states with no state income tax like Florida or Texas generate tax revenue? Do they have higher property tax or sales tax? I compared their property and sales taxes with other states with ...
25
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7answers
8k views

Shouldn’t conservatives embrace universal basic income?

Andrew yang, a Democratic candidate for president current this date, has made universal basic income the foundation of his platform. This appears to be accepted as a “far left” idea. However, the way ...
24
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4answers
5k views

How is Switzerland able to maintain low tax levels?

Looking at the countries with the lowest tax rate we can see many countries that derive their riches from oil supplies and thus can afford to have a low income tax rate and a low VAT rate. But there ...
24
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6answers
3k views

What are the objections to implementing a flat rate income tax in the United States?

Some of the most heated politics debates are about taxes, and who should get taxed more and who should get taxed less on their income. But there rarely seems to be any debate in US politics as to ...
23
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13answers
7k views

Why not have a wealth dependent income tax?

Usually states implement a progressive tax. So people with a higher income have to pay a higher tax rate. However I think that this is not helping much to distribute wealth more equally. Instead I ...
22
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2answers
4k views

What have been the arguments against VAT in the US?

The majority of countries in the world have implemented a Value Added Tax (VAT) - sometimes called a Goods and Services Tax (GST) - why hasn't the US? EDIT - I would assume that if a VAT were ...
22
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3answers
4k views

What gives the U.S. president the legal authority to raise tariffs?

In the last few minutes, President Trump has signed a proclamation to introduce tariffs on most imports of steel and aluminium to the United States. Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution states ...
21
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13answers
7k views

What is the logic behind charging tax _in the form of money_ for owning property when the property does not produce money?

I know that people living in comunities cooperate with each other when it comes to expenses to maintain the comunity. From what I understand, taxing property is a practice that started since before ...
20
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3answers
2k views

Would it be right, wrong or misleading to say that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 2017 passed by the Senate "largely cut taxes for the rich"?

In a recent question I asked, a commenter just told me: You should remove the "which largely cut taxes for the rich" because it is A) Not True. [...] I try to always consider that I could be wrong ...
18
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4answers
4k views

Why did the U.S. government lower the funding of the IRS?

Also needed: better tax enforcement through restored and increased funding of the IRS. An expert review of data released by the Congressional Budget Office and the Treasury Department indicates that ...
18
votes
1answer
6k views

Why are gambling winnings not taxed in the United Kingdom?

I recently moved to England and was somewhat surprised to learn that gambling winnings are not taxed. A Google search reveals this article from Forbes that explains that such a tax would be at most ...
18
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1answer
350 views

Did US make any significant fiscal changes following Panama Papers disclosures?

The Panama Papers disclosure was a huge scandal, so there were many reactions. This article illustrates Barack Obama's reaction to this: Barack Obama is launching a crackdown on international tax ...
16
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8answers
4k views

Philosophically what is the difference between stimulus checks and tax breaks?

For example, Republicans are for tax cuts, and Democrats are against them. On the other hand, Democrats are for stimulus checks and Republicans against. But the net effect of both seems to be the same,...
15
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4answers
4k views

What does it mean when something is said to be "owned by taxpayers"?

There are 470,000 results on Google Search for "owned by taxpayers". Some excerpts: RBS remains 62% owned by taxpayers after a 45 billion pound bailout in the 2008 financial crisis. (...
15
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5answers
8k views

Does the United States tax exports?

So the Trump administration has floated the idea of a 20% tariff on Mexican imports. Part of the Justification for this, was Sean Spicer's statement that (Emphasis mine) "Our country's policy is to ...
15
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5answers
904 views

How could a wealth tax (not income tax) be implemented to make evasion difficult?

Recently liberals and conservatives alike have floated returning to the high marginal income tax rates of the mid 20th century, as a method to help reduce inequality in the United States, among other ...
15
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2answers
437 views

How long is the tax code now, compared to before the Trump tax cuts of 2017?

There was a lot of discussion by mostly Republican politicians saying that the tax code is way too long and everyone struggles with doing their taxes and wouldn't it be great if the tax code were ...
14
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4answers
8k views

Why are German local authorities taxing DoD employees, despite the protests of the US and of the German federal government?

There's a pretty long military.com (Stars and Stripes) article on the matter of taxes on some DoD employees in Germany: The U.S. contends the situation amounts to a treaty violation, but so far ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Is Biden's assumption that the Capital Gains Tax increased on April 28, 2021 an ex post facto law?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Biden's budget appears to assume that the capital gains tax increased on April 28, 2021. The article states that whether this is true depends on whether ...
14
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2answers
636 views

Are there libertarian views on proper procedure to obtain property that was previously unowned?

A while back, there was a fun article making the rounds about some dude selling people "rights" to own a plot of land on the Moon. There was another one selling plots in open ocean outside the coastal ...
14
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1answer
2k views

How much will the ObamaCare tax penalty cost?

I've been trying to figure out how much the tax will cost someone who doesn't have have health insurance once the individual mandate comes into effect. Information is extraordinarily difficult to find....
13
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2answers
6k views

What are the advantages of a VAT over a normal sales tax?

In the United States, most consumers are used to paying a sales tax - a couple of percentage points per dollar of goods sold - that are used to fund government. By contrast, Europeans pay a "VAT" - a ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Why do we collect taxes on income from labor?

This question tries to illuminate why it is probably good if within a country/an economy there are more jobs rather than fewer jobs. I would agree, it seems to me that employment is likely to lower ...
13
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1answer
5k views

Who gets the funds raised by tariffs levied at the edges of the European Customs Union?

The European Union Customs Union has a Common External Tariff. A tax on imports. Who is the recipient of the funds raised by this tax? A country outside of the European Union Customs Union may levy ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Has high taxation of the rich been sustainable as an economic policy?

One of the backbone philosophies of the recent Labour party campaign was higher taxation of high earners (those earning above £80'000 per year to be precise). Has very high taxation of high earners ...
12
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3answers
579 views

Why doesn’t the U.S. have a bracketed corporate tax?

This might be a question better-suited for Economics StackExchange, but I figured I'd try my luck here first. In the U.S. we have a bracketed tax system for personal income tax, which serves to ...
12
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2answers
555 views

Does any country apply corporate tax based on where money is earned, rather than where the corporation is based?

To reduce corporate tax avoidance, Gabriel Zucman has proposed to tax corporate earnings where they are earned, rather than where the corporation is based: Say Google’s parent company Alphabet makes $...
12
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2answers
391 views

Why is active income taxed more than passive income?

In the United States, ordinary wage income is taxed at a much higher rate than capital gains. It changes from year to year but in general the maximum bracket is 35% vs 25%. This is counter intuitive ...
11
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3answers
722 views

Why is targeted scrutiny from the IRS bad?

There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about the IRS targeting various applications for tax-exempt organizations and scrutinizing their application more closely. These applications ...
11
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3answers
796 views

Why is it assumed that higher taxation leads to reduced incentives?

This is probably the argument offered against high taxation that I hear the most: it reduces incentives to work harder, hence ultimately hurts the economy. What is the justification for this? I'm ...
11
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1answer
641 views

How much of the deficit would be reduced by increasing taxes on the top 1% to 1990s levels?

President Obama has talked about raising taxes on the super-rich as one way to balance the national budget. This New York Times opinon piece says: We can achieve significant deficit reduction ...
11
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6answers
3k views

How does libertarianism challenge a "property is theft" counter-argument to a "tax is theft" argument?

An argument commonly ascribed to libertarianism runs as follows: Property is the right (either shared or exclusive) to enjoy the benefits of a particular resource. Theft is the non-consensual ...

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