A New Avenue for State and Local Taxes Americans love shopping online, in large part because of lower prices. Online merchants offer lower prices because they have a lower overhead compared to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers – and they also enjoy a sales tax advantage. A 1992 Supreme Court decision prohibited states from requiring businesses to
What goes up must come down – when considering the effects of gravity. That principle doesn’t typically apply to taxes. In the rare cases where taxes do go down, other taxes tend to go up to compensate government coffers. Because state taxes are often linked to the federal tax code in different ways, changes in
In 1996, the Small Business Job Protection Act created 529 savings plans: state-administered programs designed to help parents save for their children’s future college costs. In a 529 plan, deposited funds are allowed to grow free of federal and state taxes and growth remains tax-free as long as the money is used for qualified educational
If you have done your homework leading into retirement, you probably already know that Social Security benefits may be subject to federal taxes under certain circumstances. Did you know that some states also impose taxes on Social Security? Currently there are thirteen states that impose at least some tax on the benefits of Social Security
Does your home state encourage or discourage partying? A simple way to assess the partying tolerance level is through “sin taxes.” Granted, low sin taxes do not necessarily equate to more partying, but they certainly don’t hurt. Alcohol and tobacco taxes are huge cash generators for governments, adding $7.04 billion and $18.17 billion respectively to
How do you adjust the U.S. tax system so that everybody pays his or her fair share? That argument has been going on for as long as taxes have been collected – because it’s very difficult to get everyone to agree on the definition of a fair share. Not everyone receives benefits proportionate to the
Soon you will be filling out your federal tax forms, and unless you are lucky enough to live in seven states, you will be filling out state tax forms as well. Are you fortunate enough to live in one of these seven states, or are you on the other end of the spectrum, dealing with
Does your ability to pass on your wealth to your heirs depend on where you live … and die? Indeed it does. Federal estate taxes apply no matter where you live within the U.S., but eighteen states subject their citizens to estate taxes or inheritance taxes. The difference between the two is that estate taxes
According to a report by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, illegal immigrants in the United States pay in almost $12 billion dollars in taxes annually. This amount includes sales, property, income, and excise taxes that go to local and state budgets. The findings contradict the talking points of many politicians seeking support for
The U.S. economy has been slowly climbing out of the effects of the Great Recession, but new milestones suggest that we are finally turning the corner toward full recovery. A recent study by The Pew Charitable Trusts noted one such milestone. In a majority of states, inflation-adjusted state tax revenues have topped pre-recession levels. Using
One great way to start a fight is to initiate a debate about what constitutes a fair share of taxes. Should they be progressive, regressive, or neutral? An even better way to phrase the question is: Should taxes be based on a proportionate share of income, consumption, or some other property? Those are the basic
Every year, the Tax Foundation compares the total amount of taxes paid in America and the amount of spending on the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. In most recent years, the Tax Foundation has concluded that Americans spend more on taxes than on necessities — and 2015 is no different. The Tax Foundation projections
Tax Freedom Day is the day when our collective income as a nation is enough to pay our collective federal and state taxes for the year. Considered in that respect, all of the income we earn after that point may be considered “tax-free.” Tax Freedom Day is calculated in April of each year using projections
Taxes could easily end up comprising a large percentage of your expenses in retirement. Most states have sales taxes, income taxes, property taxes, gas taxes, estate taxes and inheritance taxes just to name a few. It makes sense to consider seriously the taxes each state imposes when deciding where you wish to live in retirement.
Tax discussions often focus on the largest payouts, typically the Federal Income Tax and the FICA taxes that are taken out of your paycheck to pay for Social Security and Medicaid (among other things). State and local taxes tend to be afterthoughts, but they shouldn’t be – they can absorb significant amounts of your income.