Calling All Agnostics

February 25, 2010

             Notwithstanding the hallowed tradition of “separation of church and state,” Obama recently proclaimed his “agnosticism,” with reference to the notion of raising taxes on folks making less than $250,000–a notion which all will recall he scrupulously disclaimed during the election process.  Now, suddenly, he “can’t know” whether tax increases make sense or not.

            “What I can’t do is to set the thing up where a whole bunch of things are off the table,” quoth BHO recently.  “Some would say we can’t look at entitlements.  There are going to be some that say we can’t look at taxes, and pretty soon, you just can’t solve the problem.”

            How about another idea:  actually cutting taxes, which history has shown, time and time again, is the real recipe for revenue increases!

            “Our real problem is not the spike in spending last year, or the lost, even the lost revenues last year, as significant as those are,” says the Pres.  “The real problem has to do with the fact that there is just a mismatch between the amount of money coming in and the amount of money going out.”

            Such a cogent analysis.

            And all of you California taxpayers out there had better get ready for the nastygram which you will likely receive very soon (if you haven’t already) from the California Board of Equalization.  We hear that by early March, the BOE will automatically create a use tax account for all individuals and businesses that reported more than $100,000 in gross receipts from a business or rental property on their 2007 income tax return.  The assumption, of course, is that such folk undoubtedly owe some use taxes to the great State of California.  Nice logic.

            Anyway, these folks will be required to electronically file their 2009 use tax return by April 15, 2010, not to mention the 2007 and 2008 returns!  And even if no dough is due!

            Why bother to comply, you ask?  Because if no return is filed, BOE will make their own estimate of what they think you owe, arising from assumed purchases subject to use tax, “based on (the level of your) income.”  And, as usual, they will tack on penalties based on the presumed unpaid amount.

            They just keep scrounging for more dough.  We guess the BOE is not agnostic on the matter.

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR – This article contains general information about various tax matters.  You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation.

            Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, with offices in Incline Village and Reno.  He is also a contributor to the recently published 13th edition of Tax Savvy for Small Business, published by Nolo.  He can be reached at 831-7288, and welcomes comments below.

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