Everyone is looking for deductions for their 2011 federal tax situation. We’ve all heard of the mortgage deduction, the medical deduction, and even deductions for owning an electric car–but are those all the deductions you can find? It’s important to know all the deductions, so you can maximize your own personal benefits this tax season. There are many “unique” deductions that are perfectly legitimate that most individuals probably are not even aware exist. These deductions have been used in the past and are still on the books. Perhaps they might even help you this tax season. Take a look at this list of the top ten strange and weird deductions.
Polls show the millionaire tax and spending cuts are popular.
In general, people are in favor of President Obama’s proposal to increase millionaires’ taxes, but are still more in favor of spending cuts, as shown by an Associated Press-GfK poll. This gives Republicans an advantage over Democrats in the ongoing battle over the economy.
The poll shows that while the President’s proposed millionaire tax is generally popular, the plan does not effectively change the partisan views of public towards the $1 trillion yearly deficit.
Republican and retired New Jersey Mike Whittles said in support of the tax proposal, “Everybody should be called to sacrifice.” Still, Whittles said, he’d prefer spending and government waste reduced first.
Obama’s plan to impose at least a 30 percent income tax for millionaires was favored by 65 percent of the people polled by AP-GfK, while only 26 percent were opposed.
However, 56 percent as opposed to 31 percent approved of cuts in government spending rather than higher taxes — a small shift from the previous year’s poll.
Overall, people had a more optimistic view of Democrats than Republicans and positivity towards Obama as the presidential election approaches. Democrats received 54 percent favorable responses while Republicans had only 46 percent, corresponding with the results of a January 2011 poll.
Obama’s plan has little chance of passing in Congress despite Democratic support. Still, the proposal unifies Democrats in their opposition to GOP plans to lower top income earners’ taxes.
The 2012 taxes proposal was nicknamed the Buffet Rule since billionaire Warren Buffet is a supporter of higher taxes for the wealthy. The wealthy GOP candidate Mitt Romney released his tax returns to show he paid 15 percent.
Nearly two-thirds of independents and two-fifths of Republicans approve of Obama’s proposal. In addition, 60 percent of whites and 50 percent of conservatives back the plan, groups who generally support the GOP, and also 60 percent of those who earn more than $100,000 a year.
Rick Santorum 2012 taxes and tax plan offers big savings for the wealthy and large corporations, while increasing the deficit. His plan substantially cuts taxes, but the raise in the deficit counteracts any short term benefit to the American people.
The Santorum tax cuts would give the upper one percent the biggest tax cuts. Individuals who make between three-million to eight-million dollars would receive an average tax break of around one million dollars by 2015. The middle class who makes around fifty to seventy-thousand would receive around two-thousand dollars. The lower class making around twenty-thousand would get about thirty-nine dollars.
Santorum’s plan would increase the disparity between the haves and the have not’s. The burden on the middle class would increase and the upper class would continue to pay less taxes. Increasing the deficit would devalue the American dollar and lessen our spending power as a nation.
The Santorum tax plan would cut investment income and lessen the taxes of large corporations. The problem remains that corporations do not give back their profits with more jobs or increasing the growth of industries in the United States. Modern business looks at the profit margins and has no problem sending jobs abroad or having off shore bank accounts that cannot be taxed.
The Santorum plan only increases the economic problems, which exist today. The creation of more jobs, lessening unemployment, and lowering the deficit are not part of his plan. His plan is a bandage on a bleeding economic wound, with no constructive plan to keep the patient alive.
It might not be immediately obvious, but Mitt Romney has millions of his fortune in investments funds in the Cayman islands, an infamous tax refuge.
A representative for Romney says he obeys the law, and that he pays the normal taxes despite where his money is.
As Republican nominations get closer, Romney is finding it harder to keep the secrets about his wealth under wraps.
Jack Blum, a lawyer from Washington thinks Romeny’s financial situation is a disgrace to the United States tax system.
Romney recently let out that he has been paying only 15% in taxes, much less than most of us. He stated privacy as the reason for wanting to keep this information separate, but all potential presidential candidates have to expect people to look into their financial affairs.
Romney is not hurting for money. His fortune is estimated at 250 million, and he pays lower income taxes on his investments in the Cayman Islands.
Blum says channeling money through offshore accounts lets investors avoid many small fees and traps that they would pay if the same money was on US soil. The primary reason for having funds in that location is avoiding taxes.
It may not be illegal, but it looks bad to some people, and the tax havens like the Cayman Islands cause the US government to lose out on $100 billion in revenue every year. Considering his timing, Romney may be wishing his investment funds were somewhere else less suspicious right now.