Saturday, January 26, 2008


* An article on once and for all answers the question “Did the Bush Tax Cuts Favor the Wealthy?”.

According to the article, “a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) says the Bush tax cuts made the tax code more progressive, no matter how progressivity is measured. In fact, the report concludes that every major tax change (Republican or Democrat) over the past two decades has increased the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans.”

Michael D. Stroup, a Stephen F. Austin University economist who authored the NCPA report, states, "It is politically popular to say that tax cuts benefit the wealthy" but, "The accusation does not match the reality."

I highly recommend that you click on the article to learn some interesting statistics.
* Another article from reports on an annual poll from Chief Executive magazine on ranking the best and worst states in which to do business.
For once New Jersey is not last on the list – it is 47th, behind Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and California. However, NJ is down one from its rank as #46 in the past two years’ polls.
* The Tax Foundation’s TAX POLICY BLOG makes an excellent point in its post “Remember: Tax Rebate Checks Are Coming Soon Anyway” - “There is one point that seems to have been overlooked: this spring, billions of dollars of tax rebate checks are already set to be sent out to people.” The Foundation is, of course, talking about 2007 federal income tax refunds!
The posting points out that, “Taxpayers with incomes below $100,000 typically have the greatest refunds (on net) while those who are above $100,000 are much more likely to owe the IRS money come April 15th. These large refunds are mostly due to credits that are available only to those whose incomes are below $110,000 such as the Child Tax Credit and EITC.” So lower income taxpayers will be receiving the biggest refunds.
To be fair, the Foundation notes, “Now it may be the case that those who are proposing a stimulus for this year have already taken the refunds that are set to be sent out this spring into account.” But between you and me – I doubt it very much. I frankly don’t think they gave that much thought to it. Congress is just looking for a way to make themselves look good to taxpayers who will be receiving the extra rebate check in an election year.

* Speaking of the Tax Foundation – the TAX POLICY BLOG also reports that the January-February 2008 issue of its TAX WATCH print newsletter is available to download. An article based on an analysis of the latest federal tax and spending data from 2005 discusses the “return on investment” of the states – the amount of federal monies returned for every dollar in taxes paid by residents. According to the article, like Oliver Twist, New Jersey is once again last on the list - “2005’s biggest loser was New Jersey, which received 61 cents in outlays per tax dollar.” This list is different from the one discussed above in the article.
* A recent posting by Joe Kristan at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG indicates that TurboTax is clairvoyance-enabled. Joe’s bottom line is “just because TurboTax defaults to something doesn't make it right” – another reason the tax-uninformed should not be using tax software as an alternative to a professional tax preparer.

* Trish at OUR TAXING TIMES reminds us that this year there will be “No More Floating”. The minute the IRS receives your check the money will be automatically withdrawn from your account.

* Nothing to do with taxes – but check out my review of Nathan Lane in David Mamet’s NOVEMBER in yesterday’s posting at ANYTHING BUT TAXES.


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