Tag Archives: tax reality

“Nightmare” Republican tax bill brings year-end chaos for homeowners

Homeowners across the country looked to battle the coming $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions by paying their 2018 property taxes in advance. Now the IRS has announced that only property taxes that have been assessed can be deducted in 2017.

The announcement did little to clarify who can take a deduction now for 2018 taxes.The Service didn’t define what “assessed” means in this case, and with each taxing agency having its own dates and systems for property tax bills, confusion is the byword.

The New York Times and The Washington Post both provided windows to taxpayer angst over this.

The final word — for now — goes to homeowner Brian Lowit of Baileys Crossroads, VA, who wired a payment to his county and then heard that he might not get a deduction. As he said to the Post, “It’s a nightmare. I’m definitely frustrated, annoyed and irritated. The rush to get that bill done screwed everyone up. It’s insanity and it’s stupid.”

Write a massive tax bill in secret and hold no hearings on it. What could go wrong?

“The Situation” is in a not-so-good tax situation

Did you know that “Jersey Shore” reality show personality Michael Sorrentino, aka “The Situation”, and his brother Marc, grossed almost $9 million in a variety of ventures over four years? Me neither, until I read the U.S. District Court indictment, reported inThe New York Times,charging the brothers with conspiracy and filing false tax returns. Michael… Continue Reading

Super-rich have super-low tax rates, in super times or bad ones

Let’s stop a moment to reflect on the tax lives of the 400 highest-earning Americans, and how they suffered in the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Oh, wait a minute—they didn’t suffer. As James B. Stewart points out in The New York Times, the fortunate 400 still averaged $202 million apiece in adjusted gross income in… Continue Reading

Now that’s a home run: McCourts back in court over billion-dollar Dodgers franchise

Nasty multi-million dollar divorces make for some great financial insights, especially when they wind up in court. Today’s lesson: How profitable it can be to own a professional sports franchise, and how the tax code’s preferential rates for capital gains benefit the super-wealthy. Frank McCourt owned the Los Angeles Dodgers. When he and his wife… Continue Reading

“Mean”states crush the poor, feds pick up the pieces

Most talk about tax fairness focuses on federal income tax rates and how much the wealthiest pay. But states collect billions in taxes also, and as Katherine S. Newman writes in the Opinionator blog section of The New York Times, state tax systems tend to be more regressive than the federal system, and most regressive… Continue Reading