Lion of the Blogosphere


Cleaning up my apartment, I discovered an unopened envelope with a tax form, a sale of about $500 dollars of stock which was the stock grant from the company I used to work for. There was a tiny profit. I just finished filling out amended returns for federal and New York State so I could pay an extra $12 and $4 respectively. What a waste of time.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 17, 2016 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Taxes

78 Responses

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  1. Most people shouldn’t even have to fill out tax forms.The govt will know about that when the sale is reported by the brokerage firm. They can either take the tax out before giving you the profits or the govt can send a bill after they get all the income reported if you owe more than has been deducted.

    Does anybody owe for social security or medicaid? No. It should be the same with income for most people.

    They can even do with mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions. It’s all reported via computer anyway.

    I would like to get rid of all income based taxes for 90% of people, but I don’t know if it can be done with social security the way it is.


    April 17, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    • I sold some securities which for which the basis was not reported to the IRS. There’s no way for the IRS to know that unless you fill out a return where you specify the basis.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 18, 2016 at 12:52 am

      • What tax year are you talking about?

        Anything earlier than 2012, the statue of limitations have run out, and the IRS/NY has no right to collect the additional tax.

        Don’t forget, they might access additional late penalties for not paying the right amount of tax on time, within the SOL.

        What a mess! America and the IRS is a sh*thole or a sh*tshow. Furthermore, our tax documents are prolish by design. The Canadian forms are a lot more pleasing visually.


        April 18, 2016 at 1:52 am

      • Why the hell do brokerage firms make finding your cost basis such a gigantic pain? That could — should — be right there on any record or any sale. Is the lack of this information a way for the super rich to avoid or reduce taxes?


        April 18, 2016 at 8:20 am

      • It USED to be a huge pain, but that has changed recently. Fidelity has my 1099-B divided into two sections, one in which the basis has been reported to the IRS, and one in which it has not.

        Problem is, I know that if my claimed sales doesn’t match my 1099-Bs, the IRS doesn’t have basis information for every transaction, their computers will just issue me request to send them more money as if the basis on the sale I forgot to report is zero. Ouch! I figured it’s better to just file the 1040X and 201X for NY State right now to avoid that hassle.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 18, 2016 at 9:01 am

    • The self employed and independent contractors owe for Social Security and Medicare.


      April 18, 2016 at 8:00 am

      • It’s quite hilarious that many freelancers want to pay the least amount of self employment tax as possible, and their monthly social security payments would be a measly $10 or less, when they retire.


        April 18, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    • Being retired, I paid income taxes on 85% of my social security. My largest annual expense is state and federal income taxes…about 19.8%.


      April 18, 2016 at 8:39 am

    • While the vast majority of data comes in electronically now, companies still can send data in on paper. Some smaller companies still do. IRS may not even enter all the data sent on paper to their computers.

      Not all of my deductions get electronically reported. Things like property taxes do not as far as I know. There are other things, like home sales, that are very complicated.


      April 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

    • That’s how it works in some other countries.

      Dave Pinsen

      April 19, 2016 at 3:29 am

  2. You must have gotten a fat refund this year, stop complaint. What you had to do already? Click with your mouse a few times?


    April 18, 2016 at 1:51 am

    • I enjoy the way you remembered to do the accent, Yakov.


      April 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      • Yes, don’t forget medicate.


        April 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm

  3. Oh, then you should vote for Ted Cruz, he sez he will abolish the IRS when he’s President.

    2 Minute Alpha

    April 18, 2016 at 6:44 am

  4. If you’re married or the head of household with 3 kids and earn $18,000 a year, you not only pay no income tax after taking all the personal exemptions and the standard deduction, but the federal government gives you a lump sum payment of $6,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit. Low-income people LOVE the IRS. In anarchic poor black and immigrant neighborhoods, kids are divvied up so every tax filer gets the requisite two or three kids assigned to them to maximize their EITC.

    Mark Caplan

    April 18, 2016 at 7:34 am

    • True, but how come you know so much about it?


      April 18, 2016 at 11:30 am

      • Yakov, for a couple of years I did tax returns for low-class clients with Jackson Hewitt.

        Mark Caplan

        April 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      • You are a maven! But there is much more then meets the eye. I’m not going to elaborate on this point, though. Lol!


        April 18, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      • It’s the EIC and child tax credits that keep Block and JH going. Most people do their own, or

        Mrs Stitch

        April 18, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      • …they do their own..

        Mrs Stitch

        April 18, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    • The Hispanvasion is also very good at gaming the EITC, legal or not. It really doesn’t matter, you can still get the chunk o’ change. God knows how well the Asians are gaming the system. I bet every Pakistan hustler in America is pocketing four or five EITC payments a year.


      April 18, 2016 at 11:32 am

      • Most important, while we’re at the subject of NAMs.

        The IRS has grew significantly over the past few years, which means more jobs for racial minorities. The person processing your tax form is likely to be a black person than White.


        April 18, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      • @peterike

        They game it very well. I went to renew my Medicate in a Muslim office just for the experience, and a girl in hijab named Mariam took good care of me. Next time I miss my renewal by mail I’m going to check out the Chinese. Will they be nice? Will they understand English? Who knows.


        April 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    • In anarchic poor black and immigrant neighborhoods, kids are divvied up so every tax filer gets the requisite two or three kids assigned to them to maximize their EITC.

      When I worked for Jackson-Hewitt this happened all the time. “I’m taking the kids this year,” didn’t mean the baby daddy had custody, but that he negotiated to receive the child-tax credit that year. We are doomed.


      April 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      • How the hell many Jackson-Hewitt employees comment here?

        I never heard of Jackson-Hewitt. Showing my ignance.


        April 18, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      • They hire anybody and pay them low wages. Not a prestige job at all. Never take your taxes to those types of outfits.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 18, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      • If it isn’t prestigious, then why do SWPL types patronize H&R Block, which are mostly staffed by proles in greater America, and mostly staffed by NAMs, in a town like NYC?


        April 18, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      • They are too stupid to realize how bad H&R Block and those places are. (But H&R Block tax software, which is really a different company that H&R Block acquired years back, is fine, I use that.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 19, 2016 at 12:53 am

      • If you look at Jackson Hewitt locations, one can safely conclude that their clientele is not the 1% that Bernie Sanders is always talking about.

        Lewis Medlock

        April 18, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      • My retired 70-year old uncle has been preparing taxes on the side for decades, just out of his home. Last year he made of $80K! He’s just a self-taught, high school grad living off SS and a small corporate pension.

        E. Rekshun

        April 19, 2016 at 5:38 am

      • I’d guess every return I’ve ever taken over from H&R block has had a mistake on it. They’re bad. Full disclosure I do tax prep and we do charge a little more (less than you’d think though). If all you have is a w-2, use turbo tax or H&R block software.


        April 19, 2016 at 10:57 am

    • In anarchic poor black and immigrant neighborhoods, kids are divvied up so every tax filer gets the requisite two or three kids assigned to them to maximize their EITC.

      How does that work? The IRS only cares if two different people claim someone as a dependent and not about the actual relationship between the filer and the person being claimed?

      Lloyd Llewellyn

      April 18, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      • There are dependency rules. Yes, they probably never check them. I don’t know if a different person taking an exemption every year would trigger something. We don’t do too many low income people.


        April 19, 2016 at 10:59 am

    • I would never get my taxes done at H&R Block, for the life of me. In NYC, I’ve peeked through their offices, and all I see, are mostly blacks and a few proles.

      Why would any sane person pay a NAM at H&R Block to screw up their tax return royally?


      April 19, 2016 at 11:32 am

      • Unless your taxes are very simple, you need a Jewish accountant. My accountant, when I had my corporations, had a law degree, worked 5 years for the IRS and of course was Jewish and Orthodox. Perfect qualifications. He kept me on the straight and narrow. So yeah, who goes to NAMs for taxes? Other NAMs, I guess.


        April 19, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      • Yakov – Can you hook me up with a Meyer Lansky?

        H&R Block was founded by Jews. But of course, you need a New Yorker type for that!


        April 19, 2016 at 11:55 pm

  5. the tax could’ve been calculated and paid by your employer, or whoever managed the account on the employer’s behalf, just like fica (this is the system in many european countries). there’s no need for personal tax returns. that’s the reform a smart gop should pursue.


    April 18, 2016 at 8:55 am

    • We need tax returns for capital gains, unless your a Republican who endorses a zero tax rate on that, which would be a huge windfall for the rich.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 18, 2016 at 9:02 am

      • Why not simplify it with a proportional transaction tax? Capital gains should be like the estate tax, only kicking in when millions are involved, and no tax refund for capital losses.

        Capital-gains reporting is an example of burdening the middle class with the responsibilities of the upper class while excluding them from the perks.


        April 18, 2016 at 9:50 am

      • Why do you need a tax return for capital gains. Vanguard reports to me on a form my capital gains. Why can’t they just tell the govt, which they do anyway?

        What capital gains aren’t reported? Do some firms not report it? If not, make them.

        They should have a certain amount of capital gains not taxed. Maybe 10,000-20,000 per year in gains. Few people even have that. Maybe it should even be higher.


        April 18, 2016 at 8:15 pm

  6. This is something I would like to learn more about. In Japan, the government mails everyone a postcard each year showing what the government thinks they owe in tax. People can then just send a check, or contest the government’s estimates.

    I’m read on the internets that not only is this the standard way to do this outside the US, it was the way things were done in the US until the 1950s, then they changed to having the taxpayer doing all the estimating and the paperwork.

    If this is right, I don’t know the stated or actual reason for the change. I’ve noticed a tendency throughout my life for the paperwork and bureaucracy individual people have to do with to increase.


    April 18, 2016 at 9:22 am

    • Taxes are a weapon of social control, that’s why things changed. You want to deliberately discourage (white) family formation? Well, lower the value of the child deduction in relation to inflation. It has not nearly kept up. Want to grow the ghetto? EITC!

      When the modern income tax was introduced, the personal exemption for married couples was $4000, the equivalent of $94,376 in 2014 dollars. Individual equivalent was $70,782 in 2014 dollars. So what would YOUR taxes be like if you could deduct $70,000 for just yourself!!


      April 18, 2016 at 11:40 am

      • Don’t conservatives already complain that the rich pay too high a share of taxes? Also if your deduction were 70,000 and everyone elses remained the same that would be great. If everybody had that deduction than government revenues would plummet and a bunch of very popular government programs would be cut.

        Lloyd Llewellyn

        April 18, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    • The IRS (or taxes for that matter) is good for value transference-parasitic work.

      CPAs, JDs, financial advisors etc…love making a buck off their clients from tax preparation, tax advice and tax planning. This multibillion dollar industry also includes large accounting firms, BIGLAW, the run in the mill H&R Blocks, Liberty Tax and the low down, unlicensed, mom n pop tax preparer.

      America is an enterprise, NOT a country!


      April 18, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      • And I also forgot to mention Turd Prole Tax!


        April 18, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    • Ed, it can be even better than that. If you only have one income source, you don’t even get the postcard. Your employer adjusts your December pay packet so that you will have paid the exact amount that the government claims you should have.

      Your bank also takes tax out of interest payments before you ever see the interest.

      So the average person does zero paperwork with regards to taxes.


      April 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      • In Japan, is there a lot of business transacted off the books?


        April 18, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      • My guess: no, because the Japanese are too cooperative and law-abiding.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 19, 2016 at 12:54 am

  7. NY isn’t coming after you for a few bucks, Lion. It’s not like you’re Rush Limbaugh — they audit him every year even though he hasn’t lived or worked in NY for years. The corrupt IRS isn’t coming after you either for a few bucks. You’ve gotta be a big fish inimical to the Democratic Party (a documented RICO) before you get audited over that kind of chump change.


    April 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    • I assume that the computers automatically audit you if your returns don’t match the tax documents they have. On the other hand, if you’re like Yakov and your clients don’t fill out tax forms and send them to the IRS, then you can severely under-report your income and the IRS will never know. Of course that would be illegal tax fraud.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 18, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      • I don’t know what my clients do and I do not dispense tax advice to them. However, there is a mutual understanding regarding this matter, details may vary, but the basic idea is that we are here to make money, not to lose money.


        April 18, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      • If they send a tax form to the IRS you would know it, they’d ask you for your SSN or tax ID and you’d get a 1099 from them at the end of the year. Businesses will insist on doing that, the vast majority of individual homeowners (99.99%) will just write you a personal check or pay cash, neither of which is tracked by the IRS. Or if you take credit cards. I know that PayPal doesn’t report credit card transactions to the IRS.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 18, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      • Lion, I did accounting, I know how it works. People do what they have to do to make it in the city. The ones that don’t, complain and whine the whole day that they can’t afford this and that they can’t afford that.

        My IQ and intelligence are relatively low, but not that low.


        April 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      • “Lion, I did accounting, I know how it works. People do what they have to do to make it in the city. The ones that don’t, complain and whine the whole day that they can’t afford this and that they can’t afford that.”

        So you are saying that people who honestly pay their taxes and report transactions to the IRS are “complainers and whiners.”

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 18, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      • I’m saying that I respect people that honestly pay their taxes to IRS. However, the purpose of taxation is not to impoverished honestly working people while enriching elites and bums. This is what I’m saying.


        April 18, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      • Actually, I think you believe that people who report all of their income even when they could cheat and have practically zero chance of getting caught are suckers.

        Not saying there’s anything wrong with thinking that way. (Although the system might come under serious strain if everyone believed that.)

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 18, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      • Lion, are you gonna talk for me, or am I gonna talk for myself? Maybe you should cut out putting words in my mouth?

        If people derive moral satisfaction from feeling themselves upright citizens by paying all their taxes, it’s worth money to them. It’s their moral self-image that they are paying for. These are their values. It doesn’t make them ‘suckers’. However, I think these values are impractical in the current environment and are not even true. Some feel the same about my values and it’s OK. I pay a lot for things that are important to me and constitute my values. Nobody has to agree with me or like what I do. A ‘sucker’ is not even in my vocabulary.

        I got to run pick up a compressor for an important rabbi, he needs it for Passover. Talk to you later.


        April 18, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      • “However, the purpose of taxation is not to impoverished honestly working people while enriching elites and bums. This is what I’m saying.”

        That is PRECISELY what taxes are for. Welcome to America, Yakov! And enjoy your EITC check.


        April 18, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      • Yakov is a perfect example of why immigrants need to be carefully vetted. He takes pride in being a grifter mooching off of the system, a very common attitude elsewhere in the world.

        Mad Hatter

        April 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      • You gotta love those proles who illegal sublet their apartments in Manhattan through AirBnb, where they make a good killing, and the landlord takes them to court to evict them for a breach of contract.

        America is a nation, conducive of scamming, not too different from the 3rd world, because greed dictates our culture.


        April 18, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      • You wouldn’t get an audit but you’d get a matching problem most likely telling you owe them 15% of $500. Then again, you might not. I wouldn’t have amended until I got the notice.


        April 19, 2016 at 11:03 am

      • Oh, well too late. Already mailed.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 19, 2016 at 11:16 am

    • The IRS audits strong christian Donald Trump every year. Dishonest!

      Sagi Is My Guru

      April 18, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    • @Mad Hatter

      I’ve just told Lion to stop putting words in my mouth and now you start? I like paying taxes, when they make sense and I can afford them. This country went to war because of taxation without represention. It’s time to do it again. Even the best intended systems of government become corrupt because of the fallability of human nature. When this happens, it’s time for a revolution when good people kill the bad and take back what rightly belongs to them, or at least this is what I think.


      April 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    • ‘So you are saying that people who honestly pay their taxes and report transactions to the IRS are “complainers and whiners.”’

      Some, not all or even most, some. Your obligations to to your family, and that can be as extended as your family feelings go, preceed you obligation to pay taxes. To think otherwise is irrational. Imagine your kid asks you:

      – Dad, how come I have no brothers or sisters?
      – ’cause I was paying taxes and couldn’t afford any more kids.
      – Dad, how come I have crooked teeth?
      -‘ cause I’m an upright citizen, who pays all his taxes on cash transactions.
      – Dad, how come you cannot afford to send me to college?
      – ’cause I was paying taxes so that NAMs and illegals should go to college. The’ dreamers ‘, you know. Our government had decided that they are more important than the Americans and I paid for it.
      – Dad, so paying taxes is more important to you than your own family? You are willing to self-extinct, to lose the evolutionary battle, to go the way of the dido bird, to become a dinosaur to pay the freaking taxes? On cash transactions? Why? What’s the rational? What’s the moral code that can require you to sacrifice your family to this Molech?
      Dad, I don’t understand the Pakistanis, the Chinese, the Mexican midgets, even the proverbial Negro – all have siblings, some have huge families, go to college, have straight teeth how come? They will inherit this country now, they are everywhere, there are so many of them. Why did you do it, dad? Why?


      April 19, 2016 at 7:03 am

  8. I used TurboTax for the first time this year. It was great! Did my taxes, including Schedule E because of my rental property, in fifteen minutes! Still had to write a check to the IRS for $4500.

    E. Rekshun

    April 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    • I got tired of TurboTax price gouging and switched last year to TaxAct. Haven’t seen any difference except the price.

      April 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    • This is where you need a human touch, because a robotic program like TurboTax cannot gauge your moral latitude and give you options that may be best for you as an individual. Come to Brooklyn for tax returns with a human touch and face.


      April 18, 2016 at 9:24 pm

  9. I had some capital gains and my tax accountant said nobody has that. Of course , He was exaggerating, but I’ll bet few people have capital gains for stock sales. Most of it is in 401ks.


    April 18, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    • I’m sure i’m not the only person who sold stock.

      And there were the employee stock grant that I sold and even non-investors would have that.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 18, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    • Most of it is in 401ks.

      But not all. Some people still buy stocks after they hit the 401k contribution limits.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      April 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    • I had $100K in capital gains this year! All of it taxable! Sold a bunch of long-term mutual funds in order to but real estate.

      E. Rekshun

      April 19, 2016 at 5:32 am

      • That’s not a lot of money, but it’s a lot of money to pay taxes on. Asi es la vida! When I cash out of my Russian stocks, it’s gonna get ugly for me too. Everything is long term capital gains, though.


        April 19, 2016 at 12:23 pm

  10. Taxes are for suckas!

    Miami Herald, 04/18/16 – Bad tax day: Feds act against 2 in South Florida accused of filing fraudulent returns

    Tax preparers Rose Chazulle and Eli St. Phard filed thousands of tax returns on behalf of other people out of their South Florida businesses before federal authorities started noticing problems.

    Both individuals are accused of churning out return after return with overstated refunds and false claims to tax credits, according to civil lawsuits filed Monday — the day tax returns were due — by theDepartment of Justice.

    The lawsuits are the result of IRS audits of Chazulle, who runs her business out of Allapattah, and St. Phard, who worked in Lauderdale Lakes…

    According to the complaint, an audit of 340 returns of the more than 3,132 returns St. Phard prepared since 2009 showed that all but five were understated — a total of more than $1.8 million…

    Chazulle is accused of claiming false education and fuel tax credits on behalf of her clients, many of whom were hotel and hospitality workers. Her business, RMC Professional Services, also prepares immigration forms and divorce and child support paperwork. Chazulle also runs a nail salon next door…

    E. Rekshun

    April 19, 2016 at 5:27 am

  11. ^But, through no skill of my own, I was fortunate to sell at the market high back in July.

    E. Rekshun

    April 19, 2016 at 5:34 am

  12. A certified (by me) Wall Street genius, bond strategist Jeff Gundlach, whose uncannily correct pronouncements I’ve followed for several years, just said Trump will win the presidency if he gets the nomination. He was interviewed by the Financial Times (paywall). Business Insider (free) has the part of the interview dealing with Trump. Gundlach implies that you can judge Wall Street’s opinion of Trump’s chances of winning the presidency by watching defense stocks, which should rise along with Trump’s prospects.

    Mark Caplan

    April 19, 2016 at 10:02 am

    • Generally, I haven’t really seen where you can make money in the stock market knowing who’s going to win the election, even if you knew. The policies between Dem and Rep aren’t that much different that it effects corporate profits.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 19, 2016 at 10:25 am

      • Trump will be excellent for Russian stocks. I have UGEE positions. Can be the best investment of my life when Trump wins.
        You are right in general, though.


        April 19, 2016 at 1:38 pm

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