Monday, January 23, 2012

On Taxes, Fairness, Politics – and You

On Taxes, Fairness, Politics and You

Lately there’s been some (or a lot of) discussion about what is fair when it comes to paying income taxes in America. The gist of what I understand the question at stake seems to be:
Should those who have a boatload of money and can
afford everything they ever want, need, or desire for the
rest of their lives without working another day
be using so-called tax havens to avoid paying taxes?
Before we go any further, let me repeat something I’ve said several times before but that’s worth restating here for my new readers: I don’t care much for politics. By that, I mean I don’t get emotionally bent out of shape discussing it. As you might expect, I have close friends who are diehard party-line members on both sides.
As a citizen and a financial professional, I must stay informed, and of course I have my own opinions – who doesn’t? What I’m saying is that I could go either way, at any time, based on the SPECIFIC issue at stake. So if you don’t like my views, please don’t take it personally.
To Answer the Question
I don’t think anyone – rich, poor, or in-between – should be criticized for paying nothing more than what they are legally required to pay. Isn’t that what fairness is all about? Paying what you must pay?
I can understand people wanting to make sure that the Federal government gets more revenue, especially in this age when America is running unimaginable deficits all over the place, but we must not forget that Uncle Sam makes the laws for us to follow and can take pretty good care of himself when it come to taxes. Trust me on this one and never try to shortchange the IRS on your taxes, because it won’t be pretty when they catch up with you.
I may not be one of the wealthiest folks; however, I know things in the tax code which IF I follow them – LEGALLY – can incredibly reduce or completely eliminate the taxes I need to pay. In fact, some of my clients are thrilled to work with me because of how we have used our proven strategies to position them to keep more of their money, to the extent that the law allows.
Does that make me an unpatriotic, inconsiderate guy? I hope not!
When YOU file your taxes, don’t you wish your tax guy/gal would “save” you all he/she could, as long as it was done legally? Thing is, there’s no law on the books preventing ANYONE from paying more than they’re required into the treasury, or even donating all of their income to Uncle Sam. But I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who deliberately pays more than they’re required to pay.
So I’m not sure exactly whose “side” I’m on with this tax issue, but I’m definitely getting some calls and messages from friends on both sides. Feel free to weigh in and let me know what you think below.
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