“This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.”
That’s Albert Einstein talking about out tax code.
Formally, federal tax law is a particular chapter (Title 26) of the United States Code. The federal tax law contains 11 subtitles, which among them comprise 9,833 sections.
The number of words in the tax code? No one knows. Seriously, no one knows. The lower bound seems to be 16,000 pages, and even that’s not definite. A conservative 250 words per page, and that’s 4 million words. Even counting the number of sections is exhausting. They go from 1 to 9873, and counting, but plenty of numbers are missing.
Politicians may tout the virtues of our “progressive” tax system, but it doesn’t really favor the poor over the rich.
Nor does it favor the rich over the poor, not when 40% of federal tax receipts come from 1% of the population. Fairly or otherwise, the tax system favors the diligent over the unprepared. (As most things in life, so maybe the system is fair.)
Specifically, the system favors independent businesspeople over salaried workers.
You can do what almost everyone can but few bother to: play the IRS’ game. Only make sure you’re on the winning team. Read my recent article in the Women’s Council of REALTORS e-newsletter.
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One day after the House of Representatives approved it HR 4462 was unanimously approved by the Senate and will be signed by the President within days.
The law that brought our notoriously partisan leadership together changes Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code so that when you file your tax return for 2009 you can deduct any money you send to Haiti in January and February from your 2009 income. *
Making a change to our tax code in less than a week proves that despite their rhetoric to the contrary Congress believes that tax incentives work.
Why hasn’t Congress put together a tax package that would reward businesses that hire new employees, provide health care coverage, verify citizenship status and turn a profit?
Washington has spent the last year doing the exact opposite and the result is 10% unemployment.
Maybe it’s time to clean house in the nation’s capital?
For Haiti relief:
American Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
Before you give, check out the charity on Charity Navigator
American Express and Visa are waiving their fees for donations made by credit card to legitimate charities.
*Obligatory disclaimer because there are too many lawyers in the world: To be eligible to deduct your charitable giving you have to itemize deductions and charitable deductions are subject to income limitations.
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