Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!



  • This started off as a post citing the 2000 episode of the Simpsons (Bart to the Future) which predicted todays result, but it grew a bit, so I'm pre-emptively forking it, deliberately not linking to the cartoon (no doubt someone else already has anyway,) and hoping the topic will stay out of The Garage.

    @xaade said in Trump - president for the next decade:

    No one.. no one I've ever met, listened to, watched on TV, read in a book, ever, lines up to pay their fair share, be they millionaires, middle class, or poor.

    I know one!

    Richard Murphy, ex-accountant and self-professed (amateur-)economist, was an advisor to Jeremy Corbin, at least until Jez kicked him out again.

    He has a book on it - The Joy of Tax.

    And he's created the Fair Tax Mark - some aggrandizing tax version of virtue signalling that companies can sign up to to show that they (at least on the surface) pay their fair share of tax.

    And he's serious about it. All utter bollocks of course, to anyone who does know the basics of economics.

    He's also a hypocrite, having avoided1 tax himself in the past. Though I note, as I write this, references to those articles have been removed from his Wikipedia page.


    1 - Under UK law, there is 'tax avoidance' which is legal, and 'tax evasion' which is not. He conflates the two. Frequently. Though 99% of the time he claims certain tax avoidance schemes are illegal. Simplistically, if it's not evasion, (and unless it's made, retroactively or not, evasion) it's legal.

    There is also the concept, though not in law, of 'tax planning' which is supposed to differentiate between 'using the tax laws as intended' to not pay tax and 'abusing the letter of the law' to not pay tax. Planning is the former, Avoidance usually indicates the latter.



  • @PJH Well, we do a lot to ensure that businesses aren't taxed for expenses of the business. On a lesser note, we try to avoid taxing expenses of the family (daycare, etc). Big picture, "Don't tax productivity".

    The problem I was having, was all the criticism on Trump avoiding taxes, when the vast majority of people criticizing him do their best to avoid taxes.

    Hell, people even bend the law, often. You have rental property and you decide to buy some carpet, and there just happens to be enough left over to recarpet one of your own home's room, yet you claim it all on taxes.

    Yeah... You don't get to complain about Trump.

    It's a mistake to ask someone to find somebody out there joyfully paying taxes, of course. But the spirit of what I was trying to say, is that the majority of people on the topic are being hypocritical.

    I often get frustrated of people talking about the greed of the rich, when they go out and do greedy things on their own scale. They think because they have less means to greed, they are somehow less guilty.



  • @PJH said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    hoping the topic will stay out of The Garage.

    We should have a "troll this" button, like the popcorn one, that takes the reply to somewhere in the garage.



  • @PJH said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @xaade said in Trump - president for the next decade:

    No one.. no one I've ever met, listened to, watched on TV, read in a book, ever, lines up to pay their fair share, be they millionaires, middle class, or poor.

    I've heard of (but never met, AFAIK) people who are so scared of the IRS that they pay extra to avoid any possibility of being penalized. They are, however, certainly not the norm, and they are paying out of fear or, at best, duty, rather than enthusiasm.


  • kills Dumbledore

    Tax avoidance/minimisation is a tragedy of the commons type thing.

    It benefits each individual to pay as little as possible, but if everyone manages to pay diddly squat then there's nothing left for infrastructure and all the other benefits taxes pay for.



  • @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @PJH Well, we do a lot to ensure that businesses aren't taxed for expenses of the business. On a lesser note, we try to avoid taxing expenses of the family (daycare, etc). Big picture, "Don't tax productivity".

    The problem I was having, was all the criticism on Trump avoiding taxes, when the vast majority of people criticizing him do their best to avoid taxes.

    Hell, people even bend the law, often. You have rental property and you decide to buy some carpet, and there just happens to be enough left over to recarpet one of your own home's room, yet you claim it all on taxes.

    Yeah... You don't get to complain about Trump.

    It's a mistake to ask someone to find somebody out there joyfully paying taxes, of course. But the spirit of what I was trying to say, is that the majority of people on the topic are being hypocritical.

    I often get frustrated of people talking about the greed of the rich, when they go out and do greedy things on their own scale. They think because they have less means to greed, they are somehow less guilty.

    And that this is an actual widespread problem we have exactly what evidence to show that it is?

    Or is this one of those "But everybody knows that..." things which are usually not exactly grounded in reality?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @PJH Well, we do a lot to ensure that businesses aren't taxed for expenses of the business. On a lesser note, we try to avoid taxing expenses of the family (daycare, etc). Big picture, "Don't tax productivity".

    The problem I was having, was all the criticism on Trump avoiding taxes, when the vast majority of people criticizing him do their best to avoid taxes.

    Hell, people even bend the law, often. You have rental property and you decide to buy some carpet, and there just happens to be enough left over to recarpet one of your own home's room, yet you claim it all on taxes.

    Yeah... You don't get to complain about Trump.

    It's a mistake to ask someone to find somebody out there joyfully paying taxes, of course. But the spirit of what I was trying to say, is that the majority of people on the topic are being hypocritical.

    I often get frustrated of people talking about the greed of the rich, when they go out and do greedy things on their own scale. They think because they have less means to greed, they are somehow less guilty.

    And that this is an actual widespread problem we have exactly what evidence to show that it is?

    Or is this one of those "But everybody knows that..." things which are usually not exactly grounded in reality?

    The former. I've heard variants of "Well, I'm going to use this machine for web dev, so I'll claim it on my taxes. Hmm, how much was the GTX 1080 upgrade again?"



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    And that this is an actual widespread problem we have exactly what evidence to show that it is?

    Or is this one of those "But everybody knows that..." things which are usually not exactly grounded in reality?

    It's not a problem. Just human nature.



  • @pydsigner said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @PJH Well, we do a lot to ensure that businesses aren't taxed for expenses of the business. On a lesser note, we try to avoid taxing expenses of the family (daycare, etc). Big picture, "Don't tax productivity".

    The problem I was having, was all the criticism on Trump avoiding taxes, when the vast majority of people criticizing him do their best to avoid taxes.

    Hell, people even bend the law, often. You have rental property and you decide to buy some carpet, and there just happens to be enough left over to recarpet one of your own home's room, yet you claim it all on taxes.

    Yeah... You don't get to complain about Trump.

    It's a mistake to ask someone to find somebody out there joyfully paying taxes, of course. But the spirit of what I was trying to say, is that the majority of people on the topic are being hypocritical.

    I often get frustrated of people talking about the greed of the rich, when they go out and do greedy things on their own scale. They think because they have less means to greed, they are somehow less guilty.

    And that this is an actual widespread problem we have exactly what evidence to show that it is?

    Or is this one of those "But everybody knows that..." things which are usually not exactly grounded in reality?

    The former. I've heard variants of "Well, I'm going to use this machine for web dev, so I'll claim it on my taxes. Hmm, how much was the GTX 1080 upgrade again?"

    My question was more: "Do we have actual data on this or do I classify this as anecdotes?"

    The latter, it seems.

    @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    And that this is an actual widespread problem we have exactly what evidence to show that it is?

    Or is this one of those "But everybody knows that..." things which are usually not exactly grounded in reality?

    It's not a problem. Just human nature.

    If it's not a problem then I don't see why you keep on wailing about it and gnashing your teeth.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Rhywden
    There's plenty of data in the homeownership market to support that homeownership rates and housing prices are both higher than they would be without the tax avoidance strategy of the mortgage interest deduction.

    Any time someone proposes reducing or eliminating itemized deductions, dozens of charities come out against the proposal claiming that their revenues would dry up without deductible giving.

    When Cash for Clunkers was a thing, there were thousands of perfectly useable used cars that were destroyed in the name of tax avoidance. We're still feeling the side effects of that particular market distortion.



  • @izzion That's still anecdotes, though.

    It's also besides the point, though. It's a bit unfair of @xaade to speak of "They are all doing it, too!" while not defining who "they" are, exactly, and at the same time also ignoring the little fact that due to the way tax laws work, the more money you have the more options you have.

    I mean, seriously, Joe Blow from the streets could only dream about filing a billion dollar loss in order to avoid future taxes (and not being run out of the country by angry debt holders afterwards).

    Not exactly an option for everyone.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Rhywden
    The data exists, I just don't have it in front of me and you're as capable of Googling it as I am. The anecdotes are easier to explain and remember, hence that's what people will refer, rather than keeping dozens of rigorous scientific papers around to satisfy pendants who want to hand wring their way out of being wrong.

    And on a percentage basis, many Americans wipe out as much of their tax debt through legitimate tax avoidance strategies (and/or pre-tax-credit chasing strategies, aka welfare) as Trump did through his failed business venture. And I'm fairly confident that at least some portion of that billion dollars was in fact Trump's (probably Trump's father's, to be completely accurate) money. Even in the ruling class, 100%+ financing usually results in someone going to jail when the venture fails. (Bernie Madoff says :wave:)



  • @Rhywden
    Sure, you don't have billions to lose, but you can lose a similar proportion of your overall wealth and achieve the same result.



  • @izzion said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    you're as capable of Googling it as I am.

    It's not my argument and thus I myself don't have to do any Googling. Where does this notion come from that I have to do the work if you're the one trying to uphold your argument?

    Very weird. And not how it works. How does the short version go? Ah, yes: "Put up or shut up."



  • @Dragoon said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Rhywden
    Sure, you don't have billions to lose, but you can lose a similar proportion of your overall wealth and achieve the same result.

    Not if, for example, you're living from paycheck to paycheck. Also, your definition of "same" is somewhat weird.



  • @PJH said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    I know one!

    So do I. Me. Paid my tax when I was an employee in the UK, paid my tax when I was a contractor in the UK (and without any of that umbrella company bullshit that came in with IR35), paid my tax here in France when I was working freelance here (without "relocating" my earnings and company to the UK's rather more friendly tax regime as I was more-or-less legally allowed to do), and I pay tax now.

    I pay my tax gladly.

    If @xaade doesn't pay his taxes, that only makes him a fucking lousy cheat, and that's something he has to sleep on, without projecting his own greedy entitlement onto others.



  • @tufty said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    I was an employee in the UK, paid my tax when I was a contractor in the UK (and without any of that umbrella company bullshit that came in with IR35), paid my tax here in France when I was working freelance here (without "relocating" my earnings and company to the UK's rather more friendly tax regime as I was more-or-less legally allowed to do), and I pay tax now.
    I pay my tax gladly.
    If @xaade doesn't pay his taxes, that only makes him a fucking lousy cheat, and that's something he has to sleep on, without projecting his own greedy entitlement onto others.

    I pay lots of taxes, too.

    I voted for a tax and against a sales tax this time around, and voted to pay much higher taxes today instead of taking out trillions of dollars in loans to finance the government (literally kicking the can down the road...). I'd happily pay taxes to support organic growth instead of fake "growth" financed by expensive bonds. (3% growth financed by 4% bonds makes everybody worse off).

    I guess I'll just have to adapt again, and be richer again in 8 years, just like the last time. Too bad half the country doesn't know how the world works.



  • @tufty so while in the UK, you didn't put any money into a (personal/private) pension scheme?

    NI doesnt count for the porpoises of this discussion.



  • @PJH Nope. Good job, too, given that all my SERPS stuff is worth jack shit.



  • @tufty ok, so what's your (tax) opinion on those that do? (Presuming you're at least vaguely aware of the tax implications of doing so.)



  • @tufty said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    Good job, too, given that all my SERPS stuff is worth jack shit.

    Ah. That tends to be a function of where it was invested, not that it was a thing to begin with. Presuming youre talking about the opting out stuff.



  • Yeah, around - erm - 1990 or so, my existing SERPS pension was opted out of the state system and into a private system (under protest, but under advisement from my ex-wife). From then, my statutory contributions (but nothing more) were put into that private scheme. Which, thanks to 2008 and now lucas and his buddies, is worth approximately nothing.

    My opinion on those who did and do take advantage of tax relief on additional pension payments? It's fair enough in the vast majority of cases. The government explicitly put that scheme in place, and for a reason. It's not arcane shuffling of funds from one place to another, although I'm sure that certain people use it as part of an arcane scheme.



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Dragoon said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Rhywden
    Sure, you don't have billions to lose, but you can lose a similar proportion of your overall wealth and achieve the same result.

    Not if, for example, you're living from paycheck to paycheck. Also, your definition of "same" is somewhat weird.

    Obviously, if you aren't paying taxes, it doesn't apply.

    However, the tax breaks still exist. $5000 for daycare, $200 per child, %$ for homestead exemption.

    It doesn't matter if rich people have more options. It's hard to fault rich people for avoiding as much tax as possible when H&R Block literally runs a business on doing the same for everyone else.



  • @Captain said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    Too bad half the country doesn't know how the world works.

    :rolleyes:



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @izzion said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    you're as capable of Googling it as I am.

    It's not my argument and thus I myself don't have to do any Googling. Where does this notion come from that I have to do the work if you're the one trying to uphold your argument?

    Very weird. And not how it works. How does the short version go? Ah, yes: "Put up or shut up."

    Yeah, but I don't think I have to support this argument at all.

    At some point you go outside and say, "hey, gravity still works" and the vast majority of people don't run around expecting to find a spot where it stops working.

    Some things are common knowledge.



  • @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    It doesn't matter if rich people have more options.

    And meanwhile in La-La-land...

    @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    Some things are common knowledge.

    Oh, the infamous "Common knowledge". Yes, that's a good argument. \s



  • @Rhywden The point isn't contingent on options.
    The point is contingent on the reality that the vast majority of people will find as many tax breaks as possible.



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    Oh, the infamous "Common knowledge". Yes, that's a good argument. \s

    You don't get it.

    I don't fucking care to make or prove an argument to you.

    I... don't... fucking... care...

    And I don't care what you happen to think about the point.



  • @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Rhywden The point isn't contingent on options.
    The point is contingent on the reality that the vast majority of people will find as many tax breaks as possible.

    Listen, if the guy himself says this:

    Ensure the rich will pay their fair share, but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs or undermines our ability to compete.

    And then doesn't pay any taxes at all. How on Earth does that make him look anything but a hpyocrite?



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    And then doesn't pay any taxes at all. How on Earth does that make him look anything but a hpyocrite?

    Disclaimer: I'm no fan.

    1. Technically it's still possible for him to not be a hypocrite. He said that the rich pay their fair share as long as it doesn't destroy jobs or undermine ability to compete. So there is a contingency.
    2. My point is that the majority of people complaining about it, would do the same thing in his shoes, as indicated by their current behavior every year around april.

    Besides, "fair share" would be a flat tax. And I'm pretty sure you're against that.



  • @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    1. My point is that the majority of people complaining about it, would do the same thing in his shoes, as indicated by their current behavior every year around april.

    Which you haven't proven in any way. Sorry dude but this kindergarten-level argument of "Everyone does it so it's okay!" doesn't wash either.

    And, no, "fair share" does not automagically mean "flat". Don't know where you're pulling that one from.



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    1. My point is that the majority of people complaining about it, would do the same thing in his shoes, as indicated by their current behavior every year around april.

    Which you haven't proven in any way. Sorry dude but this kindergarten-level argument of "Everyone does it so it's okay!" doesn't wash either.

    I never said, "it's ok".

    Besides, I see no moral component in what people pay in taxes.

    Someone legally not paying taxes is a failure of the system more than of the person.

    You see, you're arguing from a perspective that there's some moral component in the exchange of money between a person's earnings and the government tax.

    I don't.



  • @xaade And I'm arguing from the point that you don't get to tell people off from complaining just because they hypothetically might do something.



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    And, no, "fair share" does not automagically mean "flat". Don't know where you're pulling that one from.

    Ok, I'll bite. How do you define fair?

    Honestly, a REAL fair tax would be changing everything into a service fee, and charging fees. Like road tolls.

    Fair isn't contingent on someone's earnings, but in what resources they consume from the government.

    Now, if you want what's compassionate. That's a different story. But you have to recognize when you're arguing from compassion, and when you're arguing from "fairness" (which is totally subjective) or "justice" which is objective in-as-far as the people agree on what that is.



  • @xaade You just argued my point by providing several different definitions for "fair".

    Good job! :thumbsup:



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @xaade You just argued my point by providing several different definitions for "fair".

    Good job! :thumbsup:

    Yes, because "fair" is an emotional argument that can't really be defined. It will always be something someone can use to arbitrarily argue against any tax system.

    I feel that fair would mean a flat tax. But I would also couple that with a minimum paycheck from the government, and tax that check. That would solve all kinds of problems, reduce welfare overhead, and to be "fair" put the poor on the hook for taxes so that they don't raise the flat tax to an obscene level.



  • @xaade However, I think you'll have to search very long and hard until you'll find someone who can honestly argue that paying zero taxes for decades while living like a king amounts to being "fair".



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    you don't get to tell people off from complaining just because they hypothetically might do something.

    Ok... technically it's possible that the majority of people who are taxed on income, claim nothing on their taxes. Defies reason, but possible.



  • @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    you don't get to tell people off from complaining just because they hypothetically might do something.

    Ok... technically it's possible that the majority of people who are taxed on income, claim nothing on their taxes. Defies reason, but possible.

    I did that for the last two years. I might have gotten back something but I calculated the probable returns to be less than what my time is worth.



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @xaade However, I think you'll have to search very long and hard until you'll find someone who can honestly argue that paying zero taxes for decades while living like a king amounts to being "fair".

    You're the one caring about "fair".

    I.... don't... care....

    If I could, I'd find a way to pay no taxes.

    I think what's "fair" is that this fucked up government deserves NONE of my money.



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    I did that for the last two years. I might have gotten back something but I calculated the probable returns to be less than what my time is worth.

    Oh look, a good argument for lowering taxes. People end up paying more if the effort isn't worth it.... :P



  • @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @xaade However, I think you'll have to search very long and hard until you'll find someone who can honestly argue that paying zero taxes for decades while living like a king amounts to being "fair".

    You're the one caring about "fair".

    I.... don't... care....

    If I could, I'd find a way to pay no taxes.

    I think what's "fair" is that this fucked up government deserves NONE of my money.

    I find it somewhat strange that you're proclaiming that you don't care about "fair" while, at the same time, complaining about people who in your eyes are hypocritical.

    You don't do that unless it goes against your sense of fairness.



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    living like a king

    Why does, how he live, have any impact on taxes?

    If someone went off the grid, and managed to live like a king through self-subsistence, they shouldn't pay taxes either.



  • @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    Technically it's still possible for him to not be a hypocrite.

    Considering that he is known to have used an illegal maneuver to escape paying taxes, nope not possible. That billion dollar "loss" wasn't his to claim. It was his creditors' to claim, when they got hosed on his business losses.



  • @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    living like a king

    Why does, how he live, have any impact on taxes?

    You yourself said that "fairness" is defined subjectively (and largely defined by society).



  • @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    If I could, I'd find a way to pay no taxes.

    You can do that already. Just break the law like Trump did.



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    living like a king

    Why does, how he live, have any impact on taxes?

    You yourself said that "fairness" is defined subjectively (and largely defined by society).

    Yeah, but there has to be a rationale. Otherwise you get in situations where it's "fair" for someone to pay 120% in taxes, because I didn't have a rich father.

    "Fair" these days is being built on envy.



  • @xaade That's not related to my argument in any way. I said, and I quote:

    However, I think you'll have to search very long and hard until you'll find someone who can honestly argue that paying zero taxes for decades while living like a king amounts to being "fair".

    Whether there's a rationale for it or not, that's beside the point.

    @xaade said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    "Fair" these days is being built on envy.

    Once again something you won't be able to prove.



  • @xaade That has never happened in the history of America, even including the golden age of 1950s America where the top marginal rate was 95%. (Because that's what it takes to pay down trillions of dollars worth of debt...)



  • @Rhywden said in Line up, line up, pay your taxes here!:

    Once again something you won't be able to prove.

    Like I said.

    I don't care to prove it.

    Alright. I'm out.


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