ENTERTAINING NEWS FLASH!! The following headline just in, is from Hubby, the FNN’s (Fake News Network’s) specially embedded reporter….
Rumor has it that Salem witches and warlocks were drowned for not paying their taxes. The deaths are listed as Covid.
At this time, no further information is being given to give any countervailing Real News details. Being good customers of entertainment, you’re expected to swallow the entertainment of Fake News as easily as you do movie theater soft drinks (or because of Covid, whatever are your choices of drinks at home).
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Speaking of home, let’s settle in and talk some tax law. GROAN!!! I know, I know…tax law doesn’t sound very exciting. But, I think you’ll soon agree that, when you look at tax law as a game, although the game is slow, it can be very interesting when you understand how it’s played. I promise you won’t be disappointed when you get the play by plays of what I like to call “Tax Tag, You’re It…No, You Are! And, So On!”
And besides, it can’t hurt to understand how the games are played, if for no other reason than that it will give you something to talk about at halftime.
OK…Lets introduce some of the key players, figure out what the game plan is, and (keep in mind that), as more players come onto the field, you’ll meet them, as well.
Social media and biased news sources have decided that Trump is guilty of tax fraud and will be going to jail.
As a lawyer -whose favorite subjects in law school were tax courses- I can tell you -without qualification- that whatever amounts Trump paid in taxes may offend some (others want the name of his accountants), what Trump did is not only all legal, it’s according to a game played by: Democratic leaders and politicians, Republican leaders and politicians and business people from both parties who can afford to play in that high roller tax arena.
Now, GAME ON!! Actually two of them running simultaneously….
In a capitalist society, by virtue of how the tax laws are written, every person of means is encouraged to play the same legal games (because they’re the best way for capitalism to survive). Each wealthy person, to varying degrees, depending upon their levels of income and who the players can afford to hire to shield their winnings, has access to the board and the game pieces.
The auditors (for Trump and for the millions of others who can afford to play…again, keep in mind, it’s a completely legal game) may rule that some players have to pay the taxes they’ve legally avoided paying (assuming the game has been legally played). But those rulings constitute only one stop on the game board.
According to the rules and regulations of this high roller game, played with due process game cards, Trump’s accusers seem to have forgotten, the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is the cushion of the constitution. Some of those rights give non players and players a right to carp about the game (but not to mislead or lie as biased news sources do).The due process parts of those rights, give the players all of they need to keep capitalism’s wheels greased.
As for the workings of due process….if an IRS audit(or) decides a taxpayer owes the taxes, the taxpayer can appeal that decision. The appellate process, starting within the tax court appellate system, can be taken as high up the judicial chain as a taxpayer’s finances will allow.
That can take years.
This may be maddening to us, as non players, busily working to stay ahead of our normal bills and still pay our taxes, but it’s the way the system was designed, years before Trump was a gleam in his father’s eye. I know that Trump’s haters don’t think so, but Trump was once that gleam, and then a baby and then a toddler….. and even his naysayers would have had to admit that, with not as much hair,and a lot smaller, he was probably kind of cute.
And now for intermission….
Thinking of Trump as a baby reminds me of a joke that points to a diplomacy “game“ my daughter and I played with my grandson, Michael, when he was six years old. We were having a discussion about how to be polite when faced with a situation that called for diplomacy. I thought it would be a good opportunity talk with him about diplomacy, it’s meaning, it’s usefulness, etc., especially in very tight social situations.
It was my turn to ask a question and so I asked Michael what he would do in the case of a woman who had a very ugly baby who the mother wanted him to ogle over. From her fussing and cooing over her baby, the baby’s mother obviously thought the baby was an absolute darling. I posited that the mother was waiting -with baited breath- for him, as her guest, to eagerly agree with her. Michael thought the question over carefully. My daughter and I could almost see the brain waves in his head. The seconds ticked by. Then, Michael smiled from ear to ear, as he exclaimed,
“I know!! I’d say: Aawwww….he must look like his father!!”
So much for our teaching Michael diplomacy. Some people are just born diplomats.
And, some are born money players like Trump.
Now back to the games….
Given what we know so far, Trump’s tax returns naysayers need to remember that Trump didn’t make up the game, nor write the rules. He just plays it better than most.
If those are the facts, why do social and news media umpires want to blame Trump for legally playing a game, that’s been played by wealthy Democratic leaders, politicians, and business people from both parties, but they say nothing about those other players?
“Oh!! I know!”…even Michael, or any thinking six year old could probably explain the reason….“Media companies make lots of money from their subscribers and advertisers if they sensationalize fake news. From that game of unconscionable greed, the media moguls can take the millions they make and shield the loot in the game they know is coming up: The Tax Tag game!!”
And, make no mistake, media moguls, political leaders and politicians, of both parties, who have the financial means to play the game, do so, and are either just more polished in playing or the FNN doesn’t care to expose its players for doing what Trump is doing.
Meanwhile, back at the, property taxed, ranch….
of course how much in property taxes will depend upon whether it’s a working ranch, how many horses have to be cared for, how many head of cattle were sold and if you had to depreciate that sale because more people are now eating fish, the weather and the crop problems, and when the tax is due, will depend upon who owns it…
But I digress…
After all of the audits are put in their folders, any disputed audits can be appealed to the highest judicial levels…even to the US Supreme Court. Not all cases will get up that high,but some, with constitutional issues, can.
Now for the capitalist game wind up….
At the end of the game board spaces, if the taxpayer is told to pay the amounts the highest appellate courts rule is due, taxpayers can finally pay those amounts. The fun part here is that taxpayers can also work out an “accord and satisfaction”, lump sum lower payment and/or taxpayers can work out a quarterly re payment plan!!
Saaay….If you have the money, this tax game can be really fun to play.
Oh!! One other interesting fact: There’s no jail on this game board. The game has been designed by Uncle Sam with help from Simon Says and Mother May I. Those who know how to play -or have help from high paying accountants and tax lawyers- will never go to jail, as long as all of those rules and regulations are followed.
For mind blowing information on the rules and regulations, of the federal and state tax codes, please refer to them and please note this for your reading pleasure: the federal tax code is so long that no one really knows how many words it contains and many of the rules and regulations keep changing every year. And even if you finish it, the Talmudic interpretations of each word in the codes will make your head spin….But, if you’re rich enough, you might be able to take a deduction for the wear and tear of that head spinning. But don’t take my word for it. Check with the creative accountants and tireless tax lawyers of the rich and famous.
If we don’t like this well designed game (which, arguably, makes a capitalist economy function better than without it, as it provides lots of disposable income to create jobs), we can always choose to watch (we still won’t have the money or power to play) a game which allows the government to hold all of the money. It’s called socialism (and in far too many cases -one is too many- a totalitarian communist dictatorship).
Saaayyy….let’s get the remote and watch how the socialist game is played….
Warning….if you choose to watch the socialist game, you really should to be aware that the, seemingly -in the beginning of the game- fair, rules and regulations, can quickly turn into the game into one of slip and slide, smack into totalitarianism. In the socialist game, even if you -as a snared watcher (like Hotel California, you cant leave), there’s rarely a chance to ever vote to watch any other game or to start the game over. If you believe you have any Bill of Rights available to you, even to bitch s out the game when watching it, I have great waterfront property in Arizona, to sell to you for the price of your vote. It’s an absolutely perfect place for a communist commune. Once there, don’t expect any amenities or even the water unless you’re facing east or west…but then the views of each ocean are pretty far off. That said the view of the Pacific Ocean is a little closer. Anyway, you won’t be there to watch the waves but to watch the game of poverty and hunger for you, and extreme wealth and luxuries for your communist (née socialist) leaders.
And now for the wind up….
Under capitalism, we can try to get our legislators to change the rules and regulations of the capitalist game, but that’s not easy either. They like their power so it’s like trying to get them to change the rules of (their living large on our dimes and making rules for themselves that don’t effect us) games they play. Besides most of them are too busy profiting from the tax game to want to change anything.
And, as for changing the rules of the socialist game? Those who play, stop all watchers from living in those societies, from saying anything if they know what’s good for them and their families. So, while the capitalist tax game isn’t perfect it’s far better than any other game being played.
Let’s check out the refreshments before we review the plays to see who wins….
Given what’s being served under capitalism and communism, as a game watcher, if I have to pick financial bad medicine or my poison (as in pick your poison parlance), rather than chance a shot (groan…another pun) in the back of the patoot, from socialism, I’ll take my capitalism with that sugar of freedoms to carp about how the game is played.
So now that we’ve had refreshments, let’s review the plays and the political players to see who wins…
The bottom line is that reforms aren’t going to happen for either the capitalist game or the communist game and we can only watch to see that we’re not financially and socially injured as we watch the players play.
Socialist or communist leaders have no intention of changing the rules of their games because the way their games are set up, despite their youthful idealism, they all become fat and disgustingly rich (check them each out) at the expense of their terrorized subjects.
As for capitalism, our forefathers (to be politically correct, is that supposed to be forepersons?) set up the capitalist system and our recent (within the last hundred years) ancestors set up the the tax game of the system. Unfortunately, because we’re a representative democracy and don’t govern according to mob rule -at least not yet, G-D forbid), our representatives were/are many of the players. Let that one sink in… If many actually play the tax game to their own financial advantage,what incentives do they have to change the rules to suit us? And would a change of rules really suit us if capitalism works best when people who have lots of money are encouraged to spend it, especially when that encouragement comes in the form of loose tax laws.
Now…after all of the analysis of the problems with, and the conflicts of interest in, both games, let’s apply the following mathematical formula to determine the winner, or more accurately, the lesser of one problem and one evil:
1. count the number of people trying to get into capitalist countries from totalitarian countries.
Ok….got that number? Now,
2. count the number of people from capitalist countries trying to get into totalitarian countries.
As an accountant, I’m not.
As a lawyer, I rest my case.