Taxes I Really Hate
Let’s face this fact; we all hate taxes. Let’s face this other fact; without taxes, there is no government, no services, no roads, no military, etc. So, let’s first agree that taxes in general are a necessity.
However, there are some taxes that seem to be extreme, at least in my mind, that I feel we should either have eliminated, or changed in some fashion, to be more fair and, well, less sneaky. What do I mean?
Let’s first look at estate taxes. An example, fake of course, is my father worked his entire life and built up quite a bit of wealth. Upon his passing, he’s got $20 million in the bank, his estate is worth another $5 million, and he’s been taxes all these years on every single piece of it. I’m the only heir, and I do okay, but nothing close to Dad; doesn’t matter. I inherit said estate and money, and we move on with life. Well, not quite, because the government now says that because it’s now in my name instead of my dad’s name, they have to heap a new tax on me; that doesn’t seem quite fair. It doesn’t matter that the entire estate has already been taxed, they have to tax it all again. Turns out I’m not alone on this one, as Fortune Magazine did a survey of small business owners who came back with 67% agreeing that they hate this tax the most.
Next, let’s look at gift taxes. They at least have modified over the years, but I still don’t like them. Now you can “gift” someone up to $13,000 before they’ll get taxed, which is better than the $9.999 we were allowed back in 2001. Luckily, gifts to spouses don’t count, but your kids will take a hit. What’s interesting here is that if we look back at the estate tax for a moment, if you can get your rich parents to gift you the house and estate up front then all you’ll owe on estate taxes is what the tax base is, but if you inherit it you owe taxes on the worth of the entire estate. How easy do you think it would be to get your parents to gift you their estate while you’re still alive? Oh, there is a limit there also, but it’s $2 million, so the majority of us are safe. Still, I hate the idea of gift taxes anyway. Why shouldn’t anyone be allowed to give whatever gift they wish to someone else? Sure, I understand the concept of money laundering, but does this mean the majority have to suffer because of the criminal intentions of a few?
The final tax I really hate is kind of unwieldy, that being excise taxes. Basically, these are taxes on goods produced within the country and pretty much sold within the country. So, let’s think about this one for a minute. You decide you want to make little clay animal pins. You go to the store and buy the items, which are taxed. You come home and start making the things. You make them (energy is taxed), and then you start selling them. You’re expected to collect sales tax on every single item, no matter if you’re an individual or a large corporation; no matter if you sell them locally or over the internet. And if you don’t, you could be sued by that other state for not collecting those taxes, even if they can’t totally prove how much business you did or didn’t do with someone in that state.
Of course, this is only one small example, but most everyone who produces something or even buys something can think of some way they’re getting touched by excise taxes. This prospect of internet taxes possibly coming at some point is very real, unfortunately, as more and more states are losing money and starting to blame it on internet sales, since, well, you really can pretty much not only find anything on the internet, but at a deal you can’t get at home for whatever reason. I live in New York, after all; most people know what our taxes are like.
Those are my three, but I’m sure you have your pet peeves also. My wife hates that a part of our property taxes goes to schools, as we have no children, whereas I see it as a necessary,… well, I don’t want to call it evil, but I understand. As I said at the beginning, I know taxes are necessary, but some of these seem like pure greed, and purely punitive towards wanting to do certain things with your money that should be your right.