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200

It's certainly possible, and plans have previously been made to do it, but then what would happen to the tax preparation industry? That may seem like a silly question, but for the capitalist tax prep industry, automating away a large portion of their industry is a huge problem, so naturally they would lobby against it. ProPublica has an article from last ...


163

What arguments are typically offered by those supportive of this taxation technique, both ethically and economically, in order to defend and promote its use? Inheritance Taxes As Taxes In Lieu of Income Taxes Inheritance taxes aren't taxes on dead people who paid taxes on what they earned during life. The dead people are dead. They suffer no harm and ...


134

Philosophical reason - why do some people in the government have a greater right to decide what to do with the assets than the person that owned them (through their will, by giving it to heirs/foundations/charities/donating it to the treasury)? Incentives 1 - most humans seem to value the welfare of their children more than they value their own. By imposing ...


127

There's a whole wikipedia article on the topic. In a nutshell, he has been the first major party nominee since 1976 not to make his tax returns public. And he did not release them in spite of promising during the campaign that he would. When he reneged on the promise, he put forward that they were complex enough that lay people wouldn't understand them or ...


84

In most countries where this system is used, there is a level of continuity between brackets. For example, in the United Kingdom, where the tax brackets are defined as follows: 0% up to £12,500 20% from £12,501 to £50,000 40% from £50,001 to £150,000 50% over £150,000 In this scenario, if I were on a £200,000 salary, I would not pay 50% on the whole £200,...


83

Caveat: These are impressions of a Scandinavian dude (assuming you would include Finland) who only lived in the US (in late 80's) as a grad student/post doc, but never raised a family there. I would say that the question is more complicated than just a matter of size. The scale may affect the viability of a welfare system financed by we the taxpayers, but ...


80

The IRS doesn't do that in the USA, because politics has decided so, as outlined in AquaticFires answer. I have paid income tax in Sweden, Canada, and the UK. In Sweden, I was sent a completely filled form which I was invited to amend, in case anything was missing. It was just a couple of pages. It usually resulted in either a small deposit into my bank ...


79

Answers to clarification questions There are no "rich people" forms. However, there are forms that are far more likely to be interesting when a rich person files them. For example, when someone claims charitable donations on Schedule A or 8283, they need to list the donations. He also has to write out what personal business related tax deductions he's ...


64

What you seem to be missing is that the foundation of capitalism is voluntary exchange. The rich do not inherently "deserve" their money; a capitalist philosophy rejects the idea that we have the ability to decide who deserves what at some high, societal level. Rather, it emphasizes that individuals should be able to engage in only those economic activities ...


63

Here is the statement from Senator Wyden (D-Oregon) regarding his opposition to the amendment: Mr. President, Senator Cruz's amendment expands tax subsidies for upper income households to aid private or parochial schools by allowing 529 account balances to spend up to $10,000 a year on private or parochial school tuition and supplies. ...


56

The United States is the richest country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) by financial assets per capita and first in the world by wealth per adult among the countries evaluated. The US has the most billionaires of any country, more than the entire continent of Europe, much less Africa or South America. The reason to ...


55

Forget about names, except for PR purposes. A clear-headed analyst looks that the net flow of money, now and in future entitlements. Call it "UBI" or "tax credit", call it "tax" or "mandatory insurance premium" or "tithe" -- people either give money to the government and government-affilated institutions like pension schemes and insurance, or they get money....


51

Firstly, I think there is some flawed logic in the OP's premise that, historically, the purpose of taxation was to tax the production of something. When a person earns a salary, they are not producing money - money is being given to them in exchange for their labor/expertise. Money is only 'produced' by a central bank or national mint, so by the OP's logic, ...


44

You seem to have a common misconception of tax brackets (at least the way they're implemented in the US and in many other countries): The tax rate of each bracket is marginal - that is, it is only applied to the income that is "inside" the limits of that bracket. "Entering" a bracket does not affect your tax rate for the income below the bracket. Thus, the ...


42

According to Merriam Webster, capitalism is... an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. There is nothing in this definition that ...


42

There are two issues with your question. The first is that you're approaching this from a wrong angle. The question is not how or whether a property tax is justifiable or justified, but rather how or whether its modern variation came into existence with any kind of sensible rational. The second is that your idea of there being some kind of barter system is ...


42

You want people to be able to understand their tax returns. Addition and multiplication are hard enough; finding your place on a curve could involve square roots or (gasp) logarithms. Even some college graduates might have trouble applying that in the real world, without the formalism of calculus homeworks.


41

This is explicitly stated in US tax law. From 26 U.S. Code § 6103. Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information: (f) Disclosure to Committees of Congress (1) Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on Finance, and Joint Committee on Taxation Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the ...


39

There's a number of misconceptions about the estate tax in the US. It's a tax that only affects the very wealthy, it taxes income that can otherwise go untaxed, people with vast amounts of wealth are already able to minimize its impact, and it helps to increase social mobility (reduce income inequality) by preventing the ultra wealthy from hoarding too much ...


38

You're not alone in thinking that taxing wealth more and income less is a way to reduce inequality. It's something that some commentators do argue (here's an example from the NY Times), and most countries already have a mix of taxes that include both income, and things that are linked to wealth independent of income (examples below). However, your ...


37

The reporting on the senate bill still having the AMT set at 20% and the new corporate tax level being at 20% while the house bill removed the AMT is accurate. Corporations have been outspoken in their opposition to the 20% corporation tax with the 20% AMT as it would essentially remove the tax benefits currently available for R&D funding and other tax-...


37

The difference between a fee and a tax is that while a fee can be designated to be spent for one specific purpose, a tax is not. All taxes go into the state coffers and parliament decides how that tax money is then redistributed to all the government activities. History is full of taxes which were promised to be leveraged for very specific purposes but then ...


36

Wow, so my understanding was way out of date. Here's a history of taxation and gambling in the UK, which includes what I though was still the case; The first shops opened in 1961 but under the condition that a new levy was to be charged at 6.75% to bookmakers. Bookies passed this on to punters in the form of a 9% betting tax. The tax could either be paid ...


36

This isn't the only reason, but one of the current reasons is that Donald Trump has not divested himself of any of his business holdings before assuming office. He has continued to profit off of these businesses throughout his term in office. The emoluments clause exists for a reason. There is a great deal of evidence of foreign powers paying money to Trump ...


35

It's not a matter of land area or even directly population, per se. The key part of the quote in the question is the homogenous part. The USA is the opposite of homogenous (and, at least for most of its history, a large percentage of the country has prided itself on that fact.) The USA has a large Southern border across which millions of people from much ...


35

Private property is a core characteristic of capitalism. Hence, under the capitalist system, it’s my money (and that's all the reason I need). A country that doesn’t respect ownership is, by default, non-capitalist. A country that does respect ownership needs to show a compelling excuse for taking away ownership or ignoring it. The idea of “...


30

Liberal/bipartisan arguments against a VAT: Most states already have sales taxes and value added taxes (VATs) are essentially a tax on sales. VATs are regressive, as they tax consumption rather than income and the poor consume a larger portion of their income. While businesses pay VAT to the government, they collect the money from their customers. ...


29

The usual argument is that the wealth belongs to the family, and it's their right to pass it on to their children. There are also significant practical problems with very high inheritance taxes and family businesses; if all of the family members are involved in the business, is it right that the death of one should incur a tax bill that bankrupts the rest ...


28

The reason why it exists in the current Senate bill is that it exists in the current system and they didn't fix it. You do not have to look farther than that. The House did fix this as part of reducing the rates from seven brackets to four. This is one of the brackets they killed. The reason why it exists is that a set of tax cuts passed during ...


27

As opposite to the assumption from the question, if all citizens have the same rights, why can't some of them use something, what other can? Why can't an unemployed use a limousine, a yacht or a house with swimming pool? Isn't this the discrimination? The equal rights mean that two citizens in identical situation will be treated the same. So, two citizens ...


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