What Tax is "Fair"?

Many national governments are funded through a combination of income and broad based consumption taxes, usually in the form of a Value-Added-Tax (VAT).  In the United States, consumption taxes (in the form of sales taxes) have been left to the states, while the federal government relies on a combination of income taxes, payroll taxes, excise taxes, …

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Three States Act as Guinea Pigs for Other States in Fiscal Turmoil

As the federal deficit has grown to unsustainable levels, it has received an increasingly more media attention.   Less attention has been paid to similar large problems the states face.  However, almost every state (46 to be exact) struggled to close budget shortfalls for the current fiscal year (which begins July 1, 2010 in most states).   …

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Diversification Challenges in Today’s Market

Diversification refers to the process on reducing one’s overall risk by investing in different assets that have different characteristics.  If the various asset values do not move up and down together, then a diversified group of investments will have less variability or risk than the weighted average of its constituent parts.   Diversification works because the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/01/diversification-challenges-in-todays-market/

Diversification Challenges in Today's Market

Diversification refers to the process on reducing one’s overall risk by investing in different assets that have different characteristics.  If the various asset values do not move up and down together, then a diversified group of investments will have less variability or risk than the weighted average of its constituent parts.   Diversification works because the …

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New survey shows that 100 percent of people don’t mind participating in surveys.

No, the survey in the title doesn’t exist, but it was the easiest way to summarize the problem of response rates.  The reason why the hypothetical survey in the title got its result was because they first had to ask if they wanted to take a survey before they asked the survey question.  Thus, the survey reaches the …

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IRS report provides candid assessment of major problems

Nina E. Olson is the current head of the U.S. Taxpayer Advocate.  This is a government office dedicated to helping taxpayers solve their problems with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  On January 5, 2011, she issued her required annual report to Congress.  The report is exceptionally long.  We summarize the major components and themes in …

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Congress’ PAYGO was anything but

Pay-as-you-go, or “PAYGO” rules require that new entitlement spending and new tax cuts must be paid for dollar-for-dollar with entitlement spending cuts or tax increases. On February 4, 2010, pushing for passage of the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) legislation, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated on the House floor, When I became Speaker of the House, the very …

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Royalty Rule of Thumb Gets the Boot

The Federal Circuit ruled in Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. (January 4, 2011) that the widely used but fatally flawed 25 percent rule can no longer be part of reasonable royalty damages calculations. The rule has been widely used to calculate reasonable royalty damages for over two decades. Generally speaking, the rule pushed patent …

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Congress’ procrastination means a delayed 2010 federal tax refund

Taxpayers did not benefit from Congress’s procrastination on deciding whether or not to extend the 2001 Bush tax cuts.  Despite having ten years to make a decision, Congress left it until two weeks before the extension would expire to address the issue.  As a result, the IRS must now reprogram its processing systems for provisions that …

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Congress' procrastination means a delayed 2010 federal tax refund

Taxpayers did not benefit from Congress’s procrastination on deciding whether or not to extend the 2001 Bush tax cuts.  Despite having ten years to make a decision, Congress left it until two weeks before the extension would expire to address the issue.  As a result, the IRS must now reprogram its processing systems for provisions that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/01/congress-procrastination-means-a-delayed-2010-federal-tax-refund-2/