When Will the Tax Code Change?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The claim that the I.R.S. will be totally Y2K compliant by the end of January 1999 is, IMO, the biggest whopping lie that anybody has yet told in this unfolding saga.
So what in your opinion is the next move from the federal government to prevent rampant tax evasion and inability to collect in 2000?
I expect something like a flat tax to be pushed through Congress around April 1999. It would be daunting but not impossible to develop a new system to archive wage reports from businesses and calculate each persons' tax. I honestly don't see any way around this and I'm surprised that we haven't heard any rumblings about this at all.
-- Franklin Journier (email@example.com), December 04, 1998
I think a flat tax is likely. I think it's also likely the Social Security Administration will take over the I.R.S.'s tax collecting functions.
The SSA could become a very powerful branch of the government. It got an "A" on Congressman Horn's Y2K report card.
-- Kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 04, 1998.
Note that if in fact the IRS does go for a flat tax, this will be a big event for Y2K awareness. It will show John Q. Public that 1) Y2K is really-truly real; and 2) Y2K compliance deadlines announced by governments and businesses don't mean diddly.
If the move for a flat tax occurs in April 1999 -- when many places roll over to fiscal year 2000 and start having big problems -- this will really add fuel to the fire as people head to the banks to "get my money, all of it, now!".
-- Jack (email@example.com), December 04, 1998.
And there would be a whole bunch of unemployed people who would be PO'ed Big time. Just think of the lawyers,accountants,H.R. Blocks etc, which would become "downsized" in a heartbeat.
It works for me folks.
-- sweetolebob (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 04, 1998.
If there is a flat tax, how would it be set? And how would people below certain economic levels be expected to pay a set amount?
This is particularly going to be a problem if the light bulb is going on, and people are scraping whatever $$ they can together to make strategic Y2K preparations purchases.
-- Sara Nealy (email@example.com), December 04, 1998.
I'm betting the feds lean more towards implementation of a National Sales Tax in place of our current tax code to alleviate Y2K problems.
Although I support a flat tax (no deductions, everyone sends in the money-perhaps then the sheeple will care more about how the govt. wastes it) even without Y2K, the flat tax is fair, it's simple, it's biblical. However, the Flat Tax would still require the government to track your income to establish the % required from you to pay.
To continue a revenue flow that is GUARANTEED to the Govt., a sales tax on everything will ensure they collect from EVERYONE buying anything. Whether gas, food, clothes, generators and so on, the bookeeping based on inventory would be the seller's responsibity, with the IRS agency simply checking their books to make sure the proper tax collected was sent in.
Look for that possibility. The Flat tax was too demonized by the Democrats during the '96 election cycle to have any real ground politically...which is a shame. But hey...that's the Democrat M.O. these days: demonize what you disagree with so the public will never want it.
Taxes however are the furthest thing from my mind....survival supplies has taken precedence over everything else.
-- INVAR (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 04, 1998.
Some Flat tax FYI:
A Flat Tax would be a set percentage of your income. It will cross all economic levels and be a fair system of tax payment. As it stands now, (especially if you're self-employed as I am) almost 50% of your income is gone in state, local and federal taxes. If you wonder why it takes two to make ends meet these days, it's because one of you is working just to pay taxes.
"What about the loopholes the rich get?" The tax code now has everyone "hiding" income in various shelters and write-offs from the IRS. The rich class pays the biggest proportion of taxes, their rates are higher.
A flat tax in comparison would require say 10% across the board percentage of incomes. In other words, a millionaire would pay 10% and you would pay 10%. This is fair because if you make $60,000 a year, your tax would be $6,000. A millionaire would pay $100,000. The rich would be paying "their fair share", and so would you.
The reality of a flat tax is impossible as too many people are deceived into believing the Home Mortgage Deduction saves them from paying a large tax. Folks also believe the lie that they would pay more tax under a flat system then they do now with all the deductions and other complicated crap. Politically this will never happen.
A Federal Y2K tax contingency would in all estimations be a National Sales Tax.
-- INVAR (email@example.com), December 04, 1998.
flat tax or national sales tax = duck
what the h ll am i thinking about; duck everywhere, big d mn duck.
see you on the other side.
-- areseejay (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 04, 1998.
"When Will the Tax Code Change?" When they have to go to a manual system. Flat is simple. Perhaps the American people will decide to fire the IRS for IT mismangement of the people's $$ contributions by next year. Remember "voluntary compliance?"
-- (email@example.com), December 04, 1998.
A flat tax is fair IF AND ONLY IF there are no deductions except the personal deduction. No others of any kind whatsoever. And if you think that would ever happen - I will sell you the Brooklyn bridge - you can make a fortune from charging tolls on the footpath after Y2K.
The exact same problem exists with a national sales tax - it is fair only if every damn transaction in the country is taxed. Period. I will bet you everything I have against a rusty nail that stock and bond sales will not fall under a national sales tax. Guess what - that is most of what the rich buy - what else can you spend any amount of money over ten million or so on anyhow? So under either system the rich get out of paying taxes - this is news?
And not to change the subject - but a guy on talk radio down here today was pumping for both a national sales tax and for school vouchers. The school voucher system would bring a simple economic law in effect in about 10 minutes - bad money drives out good money. In this case - the vouchers would become worthless really quickly as the cost of the private schools everyone would try to get their kids into would rise exponentially - and the (now) public schools would be trying to get by on the kids that could not get into the private schools. Who benefits from that? - only the people who already have their kids in private school - they get extra money to keep their kid where he is. Some big whoopee for the rest of us.
-- Paul Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 04, 1998.
lots of great ideas about the possible future of taxation.
I kind of lean toward the National Sales Tax because it's essentially simple. When I think of the future of the government I tend to see it as very local in nature with less national monitoring.
-- Michael Taylor (email@example.com), December 05, 1998.
For a flat tax to work, both unearned and earned income would have to be used as the basis for calculating the tax. Otherwise, those who don't work for a living would pay no taxes, a la Bill Gates.
Anyone who could arrange his compensation as unearned income, e.g., CEO stock options, would also pay little, if any, tax. Since the wealthy and powerful would never accept a flat tax on unearned income, a flat tax is very unlikely.
The alternative would be punitively high tax rates on wages, salary, and tips. I think the economically well-situated would be willing to work with this.
-- Nathan (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 05, 1998.
And before you figure the IRS will just go away with a Flat Tax, back when my wife was TSR ("1=800=where's my f****ng refund bitch!"), the Flat Tax was being talked up BIG. All the folks at the agency were worried about their jobs and then they were asked "Well, who do you think is going to administer this?" Poof no more worries.
-- Chuck a night driver (email@example.com), December 05, 1998.
You got it Chuck
A flat tax would be the exact same beast we have now, with only one tax bracket. No way can a employee making 50K pay the same tax as someone who is self-employed grossing 50K, but with lots of expenses. IMHO it solves nada.
National sales tax makes more sense to me, much easer to regulate w/o computer help.
-- Uncle Deedah (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 05, 1998.
Nathan, Chuck, Deedah
Glad to see some "uncommon" common sense finally show at the end of this thread. The issue, after all, is not the "simplicity" of a so-called flat tax (there is no such thing), but has always been the definition of "income" and whether all types of income should be taxed at the same rate. As the examples already mentioned have shown, the flat tax would fall heavily on certain classes of businesses/owners, and would ease on other classes which, for all intents and purposes, *should* (by reason of the amount of resources they use) bear a proportionately higher percentage of the tax burden.
So, don't be deceived by the latest talk about tax reform, VAT, Flat or whatever as a *replacement* for the yoke we bear now. What have the various tax "reform" movements done for us so far? All have *increased* the complexity of the tax code; look at the thickness of the 1040 instruction manual. Think VAT is a great idea? Consider that governments are good at creating and instituting new taxes, then forgetting about rescinding the old taxes. Be careful what you ask for: you may get it.
In principle, I think federal income taxes are immoral and constitutionally illegal. The waste, mismanagement and corruption caused by such enormous amounts of OPM in the hands of a relatively few individuals is the proof. Also, consider this: there is no direct relationship between the total revenue collected by the government, and the total expenditures by the government, thanks, in part, to unbridled borrowing/deficit spending.
I've mentioned before a couple reasons why certain of our leaders might desire a Y2K disaster; the repudiation of the national debt may be another.
-- Elbow Grease (Elbow_Grease@AutoShop.com), December 06, 1998.
National sales tax? So a 200 dollar tv would now be 350 dollars? I think I will buy a used tv, much cheaper, no paper trail, no tax. Hey! We even get to keep all of our paycheck. I think I will also start bartering my services. I often thought of going into the appliance repair buisness. Big money if N.S.T. passes. Oh my! I was dreaming at the keyboard again.
-- smith (greedyGOV@irs.com), December 06, 1998.
-- smith (email@example.com), December 10, 1998.
If we get a national sales tax -- Garage sales, here I come! Works for me.
-- Lisa Jean (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 10, 1998.