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Old 08-29-2011, 03:56 PM  
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Bufffet should pay his taxes before asking for more...

Sure seems hard for democrats to get this down...April 15 is NOT Republican tax day. Its Tax day for all. Rangle, Geitner, Buffett, that old screw who was Senate leader form S Dakota....all so confused.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion...#ixzz1WRqud7uZ

(NYP) — This one’s truly, uh … rich: Billionaire Warren Buffett says folks like him should have to pay more taxes — but it turns out his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, hasn’t paid what it’s already owed for years.

That’s right: As Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson notes, the company openly admits that it owes back taxes since as long ago as 2002.

“We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years … within the next 12 months,” the firm’s annual report says.

It also cites outstanding tax issues for 2005 through 2009.

Obvious question: If Buffett really thinks he and his “mega-rich friends” should pay higher taxes, why doesn’t his firm fork over what it already owes under current rates?

Likely answer: He cares more about shilling for President Obama – who’s practically made socking “millionaires and billionaires” his re-election theme song — than about kicking in more himself.

Buffett’s free to back Obama, of course.

And if his firm wants to keep its tax bill low, well, that’s its right, too.

But it would be nice if this “pro-tax-hike” tycoon were a bit more honest about it.

Start, for example, with his grossly disingenuous recent claim that, as he wrote in The New York Times, he paid only 17 percent of his income last year to the government — even as many working stiffs who make far less than him coughed up higher percentages.

Fact is, unlike most other folks, Warren Buffett gets most of his income from dividends and capital gains, which are nominally taxed at 15 percent.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Sure seems hard for democrats to get this down...April 15 is NOT Republican tax day. Its Tax day for all. Rangle, Geitner, Buffett, that old screw who was Senate leader form S Dakota....all so confused.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion...#ixzz1WRqud7uZ

(NYP) — This one’s truly, uh … rich: Billionaire Warren Buffett says folks like him should have to pay more taxes — but it turns out his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, hasn’t paid what it’s already owed for years.

That’s right: As Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson notes, the company openly admits that it owes back taxes since as long ago as 2002.

“We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years … within the next 12 months,” the firm’s annual report says.

It also cites outstanding tax issues for 2005 through 2009.

Obvious question: If Buffett really thinks he and his “mega-rich friends” should pay higher taxes, why doesn’t his firm fork over what it already owes under current rates?

Likely answer: He cares more about shilling for President Obama – who’s practically made socking “millionaires and billionaires” his re-election theme song — than about kicking in more himself.

Buffett’s free to back Obama, of course.

And if his firm wants to keep its tax bill low, well, that’s its right, too.

But it would be nice if this “pro-tax-hike” tycoon were a bit more honest about it.

Start, for example, with his grossly disingenuous recent claim that, as he wrote in The New York Times, he paid only 17 percent of his income last year to the government — even as many working stiffs who make far less than him coughed up higher percentages.

Fact is, unlike most other folks, Warren Buffett gets most of his income from dividends and capital gains, which are nominally taxed at 15 percent.
We already learned about how taxes are handled by people that champion higher rates while Obama was setting up his administration. This is a non story.
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:05 PM   #3
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:31 PM   #4
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Comically disingenuous by the NY Post. Essentially, Berkshire Hathaway, like so many corporations, is in discussions with the IRS regarding the amount of tax that it owes. Since Berkshire Hathaway is one of the biggest and most complex businesses in the world (it's actually an absurd myriad of businesses under one roof) I have no doubt it's got one of the most complex tax situations in the world also.

Berkshire Hathaway is perfectly entitled to dispute the interpretation of teh application of the tax code applied by the IRS. So long as they made timely filings and notices of appeals (or whatever the procedure is), these matters remain in dispute and can take years to resolve. The disputed amount is not yet "due and owing".

Unless you guys think that people should pay whatever the IRS says is due and the taxpayer has no avenue to argue with the IRS about it?

Further, there is a good argument that Berkshire Hathaway's officers and directors would be in breach of their fiduciary duties to their many shareholders if they did not advance good faith arguments regarding lowering their tax bill.

Finally, Buffett wasn't arguing that corporations shouldn't argue their tax position with the IRS. He wasn't arguing that corporations should pay more taxes. He was arguing that the super-wealthy should pay more taxes. INDIVIDUAL taxes are the issue, not corporate.

So the article is misleading in several ways. And BEP thinks I like strawmen...
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:33 PM   #5
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You want corporations to pay taxes? Why do you hate America?
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:55 PM   #6
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What an incredibly stupid article.

It is comical to see the reaction from people trying to defend the indefensible: that super-rich people who derive most of their income from capital gains pay only 15%, which is a far lower rate than the rest of us in the middle class.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
What an incredibly stupid article.

It is comical to see the reaction from people trying to defend the indefensible: that super-rich people who derive most of their income from capital gains pay only 15%, which is a far lower rate than the rest of us in the middle class.

They should definitely lower the capital gains tax for the rest of us.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
They should definitely lower the capital gains tax for the rest of us.


Why should income from your labor be taxed at a higher rate than passive income?
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
They should definitely lower the capital gains tax for the rest of us.
Cap Gain is 15% for all now.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
What an incredibly stupid article.

It is comical to see the reaction from people trying to defend the indefensible: that super-rich people who derive most of their income from capital gains pay only 15%, which is a far lower rate than the rest of us in the middle class.
What % of income taxes by individuals is Capital Gain? Would you also raise taxes on dividends and interest? How would you address retired people who live off the dividends and interest on their life savings?
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Sure seems hard for democrats to get this down...April 15 is NOT Republican tax day. Its Tax day for all. Rangle, Geitner, Buffett, that old screw who was Senate leader form S Dakota....all so confused.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion...#ixzz1WRqud7uZ
Do you have any other sources other than Rupert Murdoch's NY Post?
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
Comically disingenuous by the NY Post. Essentially, Berkshire Hathaway, like so many corporations, is in discussions with the IRS regarding the amount of tax that it owes. Since Berkshire Hathaway is one of the biggest and most complex businesses in the world (it's actually an absurd myriad of businesses under one roof) I have no doubt it's got one of the most complex tax situations in the world also.

Berkshire Hathaway is perfectly entitled to dispute the interpretation of teh application of the tax code applied by the IRS. So long as they made timely filings and notices of appeals (or whatever the procedure is), these matters remain in dispute and can take years to resolve. The disputed amount is not yet "due and owing".

Unless you guys think that people should pay whatever the IRS says is due and the taxpayer has no avenue to argue with the IRS about it?

Further, there is a good argument that Berkshire Hathaway's officers and directors would be in breach of their fiduciary duties to their many shareholders if they did not advance good faith arguments regarding lowering their tax bill.

Finally, Buffett wasn't arguing that corporations shouldn't argue their tax position with the IRS. He wasn't arguing that corporations should pay more taxes. He was arguing that the super-wealthy should pay more taxes. INDIVIDUAL taxes are the issue, not corporate.

So the article is misleading in several ways. And BEP thinks I like strawmen...
Interesting. I knew this was another Fox News type BS.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
What % of income taxes by individuals is Capital Gain? Would you also raise taxes on dividends and interest? How would you address retired people who live off the dividends and interest on their life savings?
It doesn't have to be a flat tax, and it also does not have to be completely equal to the income tax, given that lower incomes rely far less on capital gains.

Make it 15% to, say $150,000 or so, phase the 15% rate up to the income tax rate from 150k to 200k, and make it equal to the income tax rate above 200k. Increase those 150k and 200k levels every year for inflation. If you don't like the 150k to 200k phasing period, then pick your own numbers, somewhere under the 500k level. Done, fixed. Your IRA is probably not impacted much if at all, and the super-rich pay more than 15%.
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Last edited by alnorth; 08-30-2011 at 09:47 AM..
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:45 AM   #14
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Regarding the article, most of the media has not picked up on the story, because the NY Post is being incredibly stupid here.

Just because the IRS says you owe a tax does not make it true, Berkshire is incredibly complex, and they have been arguing for years that the IRS's opinion on how much was owed was completely wrong. If this company just meekly paid a tax they did not owe, the executives could be sued by their shareholders.

It now looks like both sides were incorrect, and they are going to settle up in the middle. (even if the IRS was right, we don't really lose out because the taxpayer has to pay a healthy interest rate on back taxes. Because of that high interest rate, it does not benefit you to delay paying taxes unless you think the IRS is wrong.) That is why we have tax court, the IRS can screw it up, and they are not the final arbiter of how much tax you owe.
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Last edited by alnorth; 08-30-2011 at 09:52 AM..
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
Comically disingenuous by the NY Post. Essentially, Berkshire Hathaway, like so many corporations, is in discussions with the IRS regarding the amount of tax that it owes. Since Berkshire Hathaway is one of the biggest and most complex businesses in the world (it's actually an absurd myriad of businesses under one roof) I have no doubt it's got one of the most complex tax situations in the world also.

Berkshire Hathaway is perfectly entitled to dispute the interpretation of teh application of the tax code applied by the IRS. So long as they made timely filings and notices of appeals (or whatever the procedure is), these matters remain in dispute and can take years to resolve. The disputed amount is not yet "due and owing".

Unless you guys think that people should pay whatever the IRS says is due and the taxpayer has no avenue to argue with the IRS about it?

Further, there is a good argument that Berkshire Hathaway's officers and directors would be in breach of their fiduciary duties to their many shareholders if they did not advance good faith arguments regarding lowering their tax bill.

Finally, Buffett wasn't arguing that corporations shouldn't argue their tax position with the IRS. He wasn't arguing that corporations should pay more taxes. He was arguing that the super-wealthy should pay more taxes. INDIVIDUAL taxes are the issue, not corporate.

So the article is misleading in several ways. And BEP thinks I like strawmen...
I agree with this (though it does paint Buffett as bit of a hypocrite for bemoaning that he isn't forced to pay more tax when he has settled like the rest of us) but 10 years to resolve is on the outside of ridiculous.
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