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Question of the Day: Should Lois Lerner be Arrested or Should She Be Given Immunity?

It becomes very simple. It is EXTREMELY evident that Lois Lerner broke the law. It is also clear that she waived her 5th Amendment rights when she read a statement to the House Oversight Committee (Her lawyer should have read her statement, and there would be no issue with her 5th Amendment rights).

So should she be arrested for the crimes she has committed, or should she be granted immunity so she can testify freely? And do we then trust that what she proffers is EVERYTHING?

What say you?

 

From: The Hill:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has claimed that agents do not need  warrants to read people’s emails, text messages and other private electronic  communications, according to internal agency documents.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which obtained  the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request, released the  information on Wednesday.

In a 2009  handbook, the IRS said the Fourth Amendment does not protect emails because  Internet users “do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such  communications.” A 2010 presentation by the IRS Office of General Counsel  reiterated the policy.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/292989-irs-claims-it-can-read-emails-without-a-warrant#ixzz2Q7fFcu1d Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

Feds eye retirement-fund tax to cut $16 trillion-plus deficit New York Post ^ | 8:25 AM, April 22, 2012 | By GREGORY BRESIGER

Posted on Sunday, April 22, 2012 7:46:02 PM by DeaconBenjamin

Uncle Sam, in a desperate attempt to fix its $16 trillion-plus deficit, is leering over Americans’ retirement nest egg as its new bailout fund.

Capitol Hill politicians are assessing tax changes that could let the Internal Revenue Service lay claim to a portion of the $18 trillion sitting in 401(k) accounts and other tax breaks used by middle-class workers, including cutting the mortgage tax deduction.

A commission looking for ways to close the deficit, and, noting the extent of 401(k) tax breaks, recommends an examination of the system as one way to prevent government bankruptcy.

Besides 401(k)s, other possibilities include the mortgage-interest deduction on second homes, as well as benefits from employer-provided health insurance, which are untaxed now.

Under current 401(k) rules, total employee/employer contributions can’t exceed $50,000. In the proposed rule change, employer/employee contributions would be limited to 20 percent of the employee’s compensation, with a maximum of $20,000, the so-called 20/20 proposal.

Another proposal being discussed in Congress says all tax deductions on 401(k)s and IRAs to be replaced with an 18 percent credit. The credit, according to a proposal that has been endorsed by economist William Gale, would be placed directly in a person’s retirement account.

“Unlike the current system,” Gale told Congress, “workers’ and firms’ contributions to employer-based 401(k) accounts would no longer be excluded from income and would be subject to taxation, contributions to IRAs would no longer be tax-deductible and any contributions to a 401(k) plan would be treated as taxable income.”

In other words, the employee and employer would no longer get a deduction under the Gale plan, they would qualify for a credit. And the credit would “increase [government] revenues by about $458 billion,” Gale says.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com

[Printable PDF version]

Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on an historic repeal of the Obamacare law.  While there are many reasons to oppose this flawed government health insurance law, it is important to remember that Obamacare is also one of the largest tax increases in American history.  Below is a comprehensive list of the two dozen new or higher taxes that pay for Obamcare’s expansion of government spending and interference between doctors and patients.

Individual Mandate Excise Tax(Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

  1 Adult 2 Adults 3+ Adults
2014 1% AGI/$95 1% AGI/$190 1% AGI/$285
2015 2% AGI/$325 2% AGI/$650 2% AGI/$975
2016 + 2.5% AGI/$695 2.5% AGI/$1390 2.5% AGI/$2085

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS)

Employer Mandate Tax(Jan 2014):  If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.  This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).

Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years

Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013):  This increase involves the creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income

  Capital Gains Dividends Other*
2010-2012 15% 15% 35%
2013+ (current law) 23.8% 43.4% 43.4%
2013+ (Obama budget) 23.8% 23.8% 43.4%
 
*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.  The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). For early retirees and high-risk professions exists a higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family).  CPI +1 percentage point indexed.

Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:

  First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee
All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee
Current Law 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
Obamacare Tax Hike 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

Medicine Cabinet Tax($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)

HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap of $2500 (Indexed to inflation after 2013) on FSAs (now unlimited). . There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. 

Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers($20 bil/Jan 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exemptions include items retailing for less than $100. 

Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI; it is waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.

Tax on Indoor Tanning Services($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons

Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D($4.5 bil/Jan 2013)

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services

Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals(Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance,” and “billing and collection” rules set by HHS

Tax on Innovator Drug Companies($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year.

Tax on Health Insurers($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. The stipulation phases in gradually until 2018, and is fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits.

$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives($0.6 bil/Jan 2013)

Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2(Min$/Jan 2011): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.

Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting($17.1 bil/Jan 2012): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers

“Black liquor” tax hike(Tax hike of $23.6 billion).  This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel.

And this one is a Favorite:

Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”(Tax hike of $4.5 billion).  This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed.

Read more: http://www.atr.org/comprehensive-list-tax-hikes-obamacare-a5758#ixzz1BLBdRpEK

From the LA Times:

Over the years a lot of suspicion has built up across the country about Washington and its population of opportunistic transients coming to see themselves as a special kind of person, somehow above average working Americans who don’t labor down in that monument-strewn former swamp.

Well, finally, an end to all those undocumented doubts. Thanks to some diligent digging by the Washington Post, those suspicions can at last be put to rest.

They’re correct. Accurate. Dead-on. Laser-guided. On target. Bingo-bango. As clear as it’s always seemed to those Americans who don’t feel special entitlements and do meet their government obligations.

We now know that federal employees across the nation owe fully $1 billion in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

As in, 1,000 times one million dollars. All this political jabber about giving middle-class

… Americans a tax cut. Thousands of feds have been giving themselves one all along — unofficially. And these tax scofflaws include more than three dozen folks who work for the president with that newly decorated Oval Office.

The Post’s T.W. Farnum did some research and found that out of the total sum, just 638 workers on Capitol Hill owe the IRS $9.3 million in back taxes. As in, overdue. The IRS gets stiffed by the legislative body that controls its budget. How Washington works.

for the full story: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/09/congress-taxes-irs.html

From Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), if you are a federal employee, thus on the federal payroll, you should not be delinquent on your taxes.

      In discussing the ObamaCare legislation with my mother yesterday, she asked me when the stars would be removed from flag and replaced with a sicle.

     Five days before the election in 2008, Barack Obama said that we were just days away from fundamentally changing America, and no one really knew what he meant. Now we see what it means: Universal Healthcare is less than 48 hours from being a potential reality, albeit through legislative gimmicks to avoid failure as a result of the Massachusetts election, immigration reform with amnesty now on the table, union card check legislation, student loan takeover, the slaughter of capitalism, the virtual intrusion into our private lives.

      If ObamaCare passes Sunday, the largest expansion of the Federal government will occur, and the Republic called America will in fact be the Socialist State of America. 16000 new employees will by hired by the IRS alone to scour the country to make sure that 300,000,000 have the “government-approved” insurance coverage, including access to your bank accounts.

      While Nancy Pelosi invoked the feast of St. Joseph today (having the wrong day) to herald the passage of ObamaCare, I will join the many in lighting candles and praying that she is not successful.

CNN) — The pilot of a small plane that slammed into a building Thursday morning in Austin, Texas, set his house on fire beforehand and then intentionally crashed the aircraft, a federal official told CNN.

Federal officials told CNN the plane was a Piper Cherokee PA-28 they believe belonged to Joseph Andrew Stack.

Two F-16 fighter jets were sent from Houston as a precaution, but federal authorities said preliminary information did not indicate any terrorist connection to the crash.

“We do not yet know the cause of the plane crash,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a release. “At this time, we have no reason to believe there is a nexus to terrorist activity. We continue to gather more information, and are aware there is additional information about the pilot’s history.

“At this time, we are referring further questions to local authorities and the FAA.”

Read the latest updates on the crash

Two people were transported to University Medical Center Brackenridge, said hospital spokeswoman Matilda Sanchez. She could not provide additional information.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/02/18/intentional.plane.crash/

     Be sure to look at your first paystub for 2010 to note CHANGES:

After much investigating and several discussions with the IRS, it appears the Democrats have played a “cash-flow trick” on working Americans and are taking more out of American’s paychecks across the board–all the while touting the Making Work Pay tax credit.

The trick, when looking at the new withholding tax tables for 2010 as compared to post-stimulus 2009, buries an increase in federal withholding taxes–for all income categories–basically giving the government an interest-free loan until current year taxes are filed next year. Some would blame the increase in withholding on the Making Work Pay tax credit being spread out over 12 months as compared to 2009, which was only over 9 months, but this would be impossible as some MIDDLE CLASS wage categories carry an increase tax of over $200 per pay period.

Unlike the middle class wage earners, who are going to see huge amounts taken out of their paychecks, unless they increase their exemptions on their W4 form, it’s an increase that most wouldn’t even notice–$10 or $20 in some cases. Here are some of the “highlights” of the new 2010 withholding tables:

1.) Congress has lowered the threshold to capture more wages that qualify to owe taxes–across the board. For example, in 2009 the withholding tax threshold began at weekly single wage levels of $138. In 2010, that same wage is lowered to $116. In short, instead of the taxable wage starting at $138, it is now down to $116–which changes the income threshold and taxes even poorer Americans.

For married couples, the change in the weekly base taxable wage changes from $303 in 2009 down to $264 in 2010. These lower wage thresholds can be seen throughout the new withholding charts for weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual, and annual, as well as daily and miscellaneous pay periods.

This across-the-board reduction in the initial wage threshold increases the number of wage earners who would have to pay taxes.

2.) Instead of seven (7) wage categories, there are now nine (9) wage categories. The new structure allows for direct taxation on the middle class with these wages broken out into smaller categories. The direct hit on the middle class withholding taxes can be seen on all of the new tables. Additionally, the IRS could not explain these changes.

Let’s look at the actual numbers for one category and compare them from 2009 to 2010:
2009 Biweekly, Single, Payroll Period, after subtracting withholding allowances

Not over $276: $0 in taxes
Over $276 – $400: 10% payroll tax
Over $400 – $1,392: $12.40 plus 15% of excess over $400
Over $1,392 – $2,559: $161.20 plus 25% of excess over $1,392
Over $2,559 – $6,677: $452.95 plus 28% of excess over $2,559 (Notice the large salary range)
Over $6,677 – $14,423: $1,605.99 plus 33% of excess over $6,677
$14,423: pays $4,162.17 plus 35% of excess over $14,423

See full discussion at http://www.redstate.com/susananne/2010/01/06/congress-tinkers-with-withholding-tax-tables-for-2010/

     As reported earlier, job growth and salary growth is strong…. in the Federal Government!

    From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new Internal Revenue Service unit set up to catch rich tax cheats hiding their wealth in complex business entities is rapidly taking shape with the hiring of hundreds of employees.

The IRS high wealth unit, part of a broader effort to combat international tax evasion, is focusing on “the entire web of business entities controlled by a high wealth individual,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told a tax conference this week.

Another IRS official told Reuters “hundreds” of people have already been hired to staff the new unit, including some from within the agency.

“We have drawn top talent within the IRS that have expertise involving wealthy individuals as well as examination of their related entities,” said Mae Lew, an IRS special counsel.

The high-wealth unit is focusing on trusts, real estate investments, privately held companies and other business entities controlled by rich individuals.

While use of sophisticated legal structures can be legal, in other instances they “mask aggressive tax strategies,” Shulman said.

Tax authorities in Japan, Germany and the UK have also created similar units.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a $387 million boost for the IRS for the fiscal year that started October 1, in part to fund the high-wealth unit. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure on Sunday.

For full article: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BA45320091211

Tax collectors now hitting social networks to track deadbeats

Be very careful what you say on Facebook, MySpace, or any other social network site — especially if you owe money to the government.

That’s the lesson being offered by the Wall Street Journal this week, whch reports on numerous cases where tax collectors have used information that people have posted about themselves on social networking sites in order to track them down and collect on tax debts.

Just about any kind of update can be used against you, it seems. One deejay posted on his MySpace page that he’d be working at an upcoming party. Agents decided to crash it to collect their cash. Another man announced he was moving back to his home town and published the name of his new boss. Finding him to collect on an old tax bill was a matter of ease.

For Full article: http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/148083

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