Why doesn’t the IRS just send us a tax bill?

Why do we have to fill out a 1040 form? The IRS knows what most people owe. Why don’t they just send us a bill or a refund?

According to Cecil Adams, there are two reasons:

  1. Conservatives don’t want to make it easier to file your taxes. As long as you despise the process, you might support their “tax reform” (i.e., less taxes for the rich).
  2. Intuit spends millions on lobbying your legislators to keep things the way they are.

Source: The Straight Dope: Why doesn’t the IRS just send us a tax bill?

Wait! What? Trump Only Makes $500k a Year?

News comes today that Donald Trump is digging in his heels on not releasing his tax returns ever, telling George Stephanopoulos “it’s none of your business” how much tax he pays or at what rate. But last night TPM Reader JJ sent in a link to a … well, it’s just a harrowing revelation that makes me think that actually releasing his tax returns could be like heading to the ego guillotine for Trump. Some clever sleuthing by Crain’s New York Business reveals that Mr Trump, as members of the entourage call him, qualified for a tax break that requires your income be less than $500,000 a year. Yes, if you make more than half a million dollars a year, you can’t qualify. But Trump did qualify.

I figure that The Donald writes off most of his expenditures as business expenses. (NB: Three of his children are on the company payroll.)

Source: Wait! What? Trump Only Makes $500k a Year?

Corporate Deserters

“As more and more giant American corporations try to dodge U.S. taxes by moving overseas, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday announced legislation to ban those businesses from receiving lucrative U.S. government contracts.”

via Corporate Deserters – Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Since corporations are people, shouldn’t they be taxed like people? And if they move abroad, shouldn’t they pay income taxes just like American expats?

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.

[From the IRS website]

How Amazon sends its profits offshore to avoid paying taxes in the US

Basically, Amazon US pays its Luxemburg subsidiary inflated fees for the right to use its own software. The effect is to move large chunks of Amazon’s profit to countries where the tax rate is lower. The cool thing is that, apparently, both Microsoft and Google do the same thing.

Wal-Mart operates a similar scheme:

As the world’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pays billions of dollars a year in rent for its stores. Luckily for Wal-Mart, in about 25 states it has been paying most of that rent to itself — and then deducting that amount from its state taxes.

My question is: how do the rest of us get in on these scams?

Something Fishy Has Happened At Amazon Over The Last 2 Years.