Friday, April 15, 2011

Check's in the mail

Being one of the lucky 53% of Americans who actually gets the honor to pay federal income taxes, I mailed my check today and tip my hat to the 47% of you who actually pay no federal income tax.

Having paid income tax since my very first job ever at age 13 (after school vacuum cleaning several stores along Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn and also cleaning their bathrooms after they closed), I've managed to pay income taxes every year since that year and this past year was the most brutal tax year ever for me, even out-shocking last year's eye opener of a tax burden.

I'm one of those persons who is a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

As such, it has also always escaped me the fairness of having about 1% of US households pay about 40% of all taxes collected in this nation and the other top 9% of US households combine to pay almost 75% of all taxes collected.

The reason that most European nations and especially the new democracies from the former Soviet empire adopted either a flat tax system or a Value Added Tax (VAT) system is simple: "It's simple!"

Every nation in Europe that I've lived in had a flat tax, except for the UK, which has a VAT (17.5%).

But here, the tax laws are so complex, and the loopholes so many, and the tax load so disparate and so huge, that we need an army of IRS folks to enforce them and an even bigger army of accountants and lawyers to interpret them.

Makes my head hurt; check's on the way.


Anonymous said...

Fully agree with everything you said. I get out of owing taxes by having the government take out a lot throughout the year,but that's bad too because they are drawing interest on money that I'm not. I just hate having to come up with a big chunk of cash every tax season and not knowing how much.

Anonymous said...

47% of people pay no federal tax? Or do you mean they pay no additional tax at tax time?

Lenny said...

According to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization, about 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income taxes at all. They (like the rest of us) pay sales tax, property taxes, etc. and may pay state taxes, but no federal income tax at all!

If this system isn't busted, then I don't know what it is...

Anonymous said...

Damn, I had no idea. Thanks for the heads up.

- Earlier Anon