The Tax Policy Blog

April 15, 2009

10 Myths in Tax Policy

1. You aren't legally required to pay the federal income tax (for whatever reason, such as 16th Amendment was never ratified)

Researchers and activists sometimes make claims like this, but it should be treated as an academic argument and not advice for taxpayers. The federal income tax is here and it is collected; not paying it means fines, penalties, and often jail time. We at the Tax Foundation work for a...

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April 15, 2009

Recession chic is in, and on Monday Consumerist posted a list of 112 reader-submitted tips for saving money in these lean times.  The tips range from the obvious (don't buy things you won't use) to the bizarre (run your Ziploc bags through the washing machine and reuse them) to the gross ("sew your own reusable ladies' sanitary items.")

Unfortunately, a couple of the tips advise Consumerist readers to avoid sales tax...

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April 15, 2009

On the subject of Tax Myth #1 in Gerald and Joe's post earlier today ("You aren't legally required to pay the federal income tax") the IRS has a handy list of claims not to make when you tell them you don't have to pay income tax.  Arguments listed as verboten include:

  • Men and women are not "persons" as defined in the Internal Revenue Code, and therefore are not subject to...
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April 15, 2009

Today's Tax Day Tea Parties have attracted a lot of attention.  However, another group is holding a tax protest of its own on Boston Harbor today.

Join the Impact Massachusetts! will throw 1040 forms into the harbor to protest the federal government's non-recognition of gay marriages—and therefore its denial of certain tax advantages of marriage...

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April 15, 2009

Today, the group Citizens for Tax Justice, which supports greater progressivity in the tax system, came out with a study that concluded that the U.S. tax system (at all levels) isn't that progressive. Here's what the study concludes:

The total federal, state and local effective tax rate for the richest one percent of Americans (30.9 percent) is only slightly higher than the average effective tax rate for...

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April 14, 2009

Many local activists are organizing over 500 "Tax Day Tea Parties" nationwide this week spreading awareness of tax burdens and maybe venting a little anger. USA Today had a good write-up on the varied motivations of those attending local Tea Parties.

This website aggregates information about where and when all the Tea Parties are: http://taxdayteaparty....

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April 14, 2009

Tax Freedom Day for the nation is over, yet there are eleven states that have yet to celebrate their Tax Freedom Days.

Just in the last 36 hours, there were over 400 mentions of Tax Freedom Day on Twitter. (Don't forget to follow our Twitter account: http://twitter.com/taxfoundation.)

Here's a small...

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April 14, 2009

As New Jersey looks to fill another budget hole (by the way, the sun came up today too), there is currently much debate along political lines over whether or not New Jersey's recent income tax hike in 2004 led to high-income people fleeing the state.

Did at least one person move because of it? Almost assuredly yes. Did everyone move? Of course not. The answer lies somewhere in between. But while it may be difficult to measure the extent to which the tax hike led people to...

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April 13, 2009

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) recently released a report titled “Promoting State Budget Accountability Through Tax Expenditure Reporting.” The report addresses tax expenditures at the state level and says that states need to issue regular reports that provide details on all tax expenditures, their costs, and their effectiveness. The report defines tax expenditures as

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April 13, 2009

I'm at the University of Pittsburgh right now, and will be walking over shortly to a debate hosted by the William Pitt Debating Union here. It's part of a series of four debates on the future of Pittsburgh, and tonight's installment is about Pennsylvania's film tax credit. I'll be debating a chief of staff for a legislative...

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April 11, 2009

We've just received these quarter-sheet-sized cards about Tax Freedom Day. They explain how the date has changed over the years and the number of days each tax takes for Americans. If you're planning an event or activity, or would like to hand these cards out, print them out from this page: http://www.taxfoundation.org/legacy/show/24601.html.

...

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April 11, 2009

Today, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) gave the Republican response to President Obama's weekly address, and made mention of Tax Freedom Day, which arrives this coming Monday, April 13.

Sure, it's nice to have Tax Freedom Day...

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April 10, 2009

Reason.tv has a new video about taxes, including several bits of information from our website:

For more on Tax Freedom Day, click here.

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Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.

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