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Michael Varin
02-07-2007, 02:51 AM
I found this story online. It's a real bummer.Space buff Brian Emmett has wanted to be an astronaut since childhood. As a kid he attended space camp and watched shuttle launches from Kennedy Space Center.

His lifelong dream was on the way to becoming reality when he won a 2005 sweepstakes by Oracle Corporation. The prize: a reservation for a free trip to outer space, to be provided by Space Adventures Ltd., a private company that books multi-million dollar trips into space on Russian rockets.

However, Emmett won't be on board when his rocket ship blasts off -- thanks to the IRS.

He discovered the trip -- valued at $138,000 -- would have to be reported as taxable income. As a result, he would owe $25,000 in taxes.

Unable to pay that amount, and not willing to go into debt for it, he abandoned the prize.

He was devastated.

"There was definitely a period of mourning. I was totally crestfallen. Everything you had hoped for as a kid sort of evaporates in front of you."

Other companies that offer similar space-flight contests have provided checks to cover taxes -- but those checks, too, count as taxable income.

Emmett's loss is just one very dramatic example of how taxes damage and limit the lives of citizens. How many millions of dreams, large and small, are destroyed by voracious taxes every year? How many opportunities are passed up, or never come into being? How many lives are diminished and stunted? How many wings are clipped? Out of curiosity I looked up some figures. In the US last year, the government federal, state, and local combined collected roughly $3,430,000,000,000 in tax revenue.

The founders of this country must be spinning in their graves.

Why do we tolerate this?

eyrie
02-07-2007, 03:29 AM
The asshole bureaucrats at the IRS should be sent on the space trip... one-way.

Kevin Wilbanks
02-07-2007, 09:42 AM
In this instance, it seems crazy to classify the trip as income, but there is probably some logic behind the rule, and no way to make an exception. If such a gift were exempt from income tax, one could 'give' employees gifts instead of pay, they could then sell the gifts and get tax free income. Or, an employer could make gifts to employees of things they were going to buy anyway. If this was allowed at all, people would find a way to do it routinely and extensively, and the tax base would shrivel up.

The reason inflexible and seemingly unfair rules like this exist is largely because so many people have tried so hard to weasel out of paying their share of taxes for so long - an ongoing nuclear arms race between the IRS and tax-evaders. When you add in the factor that the lawmaking process by which the system gets reformed or altered is itself corrupt, you end up with a big mess that upsets just about everyone.

heathererandolph
02-07-2007, 10:49 AM
How to turn winning $136,000 into a moment of despair!!! I should have such problems.

Mashu
02-07-2007, 11:51 AM
He should have tried to sell the prize. He could have done a lot of better things with the money. Space Camp is just a temporary thing.

Oracle wasn't doing him any favors though.

Chuck Clark
02-07-2007, 11:53 AM
If such a gift were exempt from income tax, one could 'give' employees gifts instead of pay, they could then sell the gifts and get tax free income. Or, an employer could make gifts to employees of things they were going to buy anyway. If this was allowed at all, people would find a way to do it routinely and extensively, and the tax base would shrivel up.

Something similar was actually legal for a long time. Employers "donated" employee's salary, etc. to a charity in Canada who banked in the Cayman Islands which then gave the employee a "gift" minus 10% that was not taxable. Many politicians, etc. did this for many years until this specific tax loophole was filled. In order to have the job I wanted for ten years I took part in this practice. I justified it in my mind at the time because many, many wealthy people were doing it... and I didn't really agree with the way tax money was being spent. Thank goodness we're educable.

Mike Sigman
02-07-2007, 12:56 PM
In order to have the job I wanted for ten years I took part in this practice. I justified it in my mind at the time because many, many wealthy people were doing it.Holy Smoke, Chuck.... would it be possible for me to come to Arizona and get a job walking around behind you, carrying your wallet? ;)

Cady Goldfield
02-07-2007, 02:10 PM
Don't forget, barter is taxable too! So, if you trade something of unequal value, the person receiving the service or item (or "prize") of greater value has to declare the overage as taxable income.

As if. :D

Chuck Clark
02-07-2007, 02:23 PM
Holy Smoke, Chuck.... would it be possible for me to come to Arizona and get a job walking around behind you, carrying your wallet? ;)

Mike, you would get bored quickly I suspect. That was many years ago before a bankruptcy after the oil boom and then fizzle in the early to mid eighties.

I'm a poor budo teacher now... a homeless person that has a small home and enough to eat with two dogs, many friends, and a few students. :)

Thanks for the offer though and best regards,

Michael Varin
02-08-2007, 03:07 PM
Don't forget, barter is taxable too! So, if you trade something of unequal value, the person receiving the service or item (or "prize") of greater value has to declare the overage as taxable income.The silly thing is, in all exchanges both parties believe they are receiving the item of greater value. If the value was equal, why make the exchange?

I suppose Uncle Sam wants his cut of everything.

Adam Alexander
02-11-2007, 02:23 PM
How to turn winning $136,000 into a moment of despair!!! I should have such problems.
That's one way to minimize someone's suffering.

If it were a person dying of cancer who couldn't use the cure because they were allergic, you'd be understanding because you can relate to the fear of death.

But when you've never known the feeling of dreams being crushed by the system, when you've never felt the sensation of a million little cuts, you can't relate to what it's like to lose because of someone else.

He should have tried to sell the prize. He could have done a lot of better things with the money. Space Camp is just a temporary thing.

Oracle wasn't doing him any favors though.
A lot better by your standards I suppose? I guess anything we make beyond what's necessary for self-sustenance should be applied to 'better things' besides realizing our dreams.


I suppose the world would be a lot better in your views if everyone just went back and forth to their forty hour grind and lived according to your values.

How grand...the views of the oppressive.

Mashu
02-11-2007, 03:18 PM
A lot better by your standards I suppose?

Of course. Didn't my minions deliver my edicts?


I guess anything we make beyond what's necessary for self-sustenance should be applied to 'better things' besides realizing our dreams.

Now you're seeing my Master PlanŽ.


I suppose the world would be a lot better in your views if everyone just went back and forth to their forty hour grind and lived according to your values.

How grand...the views of the oppressive.

My reign of terror cannot be stopped! Feel my wrath lower income prize winners of the world !

Adam Alexander
02-11-2007, 03:35 PM
My reign of terror cannot be stopped! Feel my wrath lower income prize winners of the world !

Typical.

Neil Mick
02-11-2007, 06:55 PM
The reason inflexible and seemingly unfair rules like this exist is largely because so many people have tried so hard to weasel out of paying their share of taxes for so long - an ongoing nuclear arms race between the IRS and tax-evaders. When you add in the factor that the lawmaking process by which the system gets reformed or altered is itself corrupt, you end up with a big mess that upsets just about everyone.

*sigh*

There is no law that states you have to pay Federal income tax.

Adam Alexander
02-11-2007, 07:20 PM
*sigh*

There is no law that states you have to pay Federal income tax.

Or, to put it a different way...

I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on the internet. Please accept some fantasy advice...advice derived from my fantasies.

Geeze, Neil, take some responsiblity. Someone might actually pay attention to you.

Cady Goldfield
02-11-2007, 07:21 PM
Neil,
How is it that we get snookered into believing that we do have to pay federal income taxes, then? Everything looks set up to impose penalties and prison on us if we don't
???Enquiring minds want to know.??? :rolleyes:

Neil Mick
02-11-2007, 08:10 PM
Or, to put it a different way...



Geeze, Neil, take some responsiblity. Someone might actually pay attention to you.

Oh, look! Jean misquotes me, in a cheap ploy to discredit! :eek:

Very damae, Jean. I'm reporting the post.

Did you really need to stoop so low>>>?

Mike Sigman
02-11-2007, 08:19 PM
Did you really need to stoop so low>>>?It is permitted to stoop low in Aikido, as long as you are not wearing your crotchless leather mini-hakama.

Neil Mick
02-11-2007, 08:22 PM
???Enquiring minds want to know.??? :rolleyes:

No you don't. You want to be sarcastic, get in a few good jokes, maybe hit the ole' "Mike n' Neil, at it again" button, should Mike chime in.

So, here's some advice...look it up. Find ONE law that say we HAVE to pay Federal Income Tax. In the meantime, find some other straightman who appreciates disrespect.

Now then...

Neil,
How is it that we get snookered into believing that we do have to pay federal income taxes, then? Everything looks set up to impose penalties and prison on us if we don't

See...that's the rub. And, that's where the question gets complex.

You don't have to pay taxes: but you have to submit a form...a form that states, "upon penalty of perjury," that your statements of what you made, are true. Notice how the IRS is very picky about you signing the form.

You have to sign the form, UNLESS, certain circumstances occur.

1. You didn't sign the form the year before; or
2. You made less than a certain amount.

(legally speaking, of course. The IRS will try to bully you into thinking otherwise).

There are other ways to get around the IRS...none surefire, of course. The bidness knows what it's doing, after all. Congressmen who offer up bills to restructure the tax code to make it more progressive (as in, eliminate or reroute the IRS) suddenly find themselves audited.

60 Minutes sure found out THAT lesson, quick.

Neil Mick
02-11-2007, 08:25 PM
It is permitted to stoop low in Aikido, as long as you are not wearing your crotchless leather mini-hakama.

Um...what does a crotchless leather mini-hakama look like...? And, where would you wear one...oh, never mind.... :eek: :D

Kevin Wilbanks
02-11-2007, 11:48 PM
*sigh*

There is no law that states you have to pay Federal income tax.

Yeah. Only an idiot would pay their fair share of federal taxes when they could get into a massive legal battle with the IRS that might take years, risking fines and imprisonment, based on questionable legal theories propounded by radical fringe groups instead.

What I can't see is what this smug assertion has to do with either sentence quoted, to which it purports to be a response.

Neil Mick
02-12-2007, 12:14 AM
Yeah. Only an idiot would pay their fair share of federal taxes when they could get into a massive legal battle with the IRS that might take years, risking fines and imprisonment, based on questionable legal theories propounded by radical fringe groups instead.

And this is why I *sighed*...

*sigh*

What I can't see is what this smug assertion has to do with either sentence quoted, to which it purports to be a response.

What I can't see is why you cannot simply take it at its word. Question it, explore it, guffaw at it...but of course, the most common thing to do, is to ridicule, before even considering it.

How....ordinary of you. How unimaginative.

Mashu
02-12-2007, 12:26 AM
You folks are 2 tents.

I watched this awhile ago:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4312730277175242198&q

Unless you lived off the grid somewhere in the wilderness and didn't work in the regular economy I don't see how you could do this.

Neil Mick
02-12-2007, 01:04 AM
You folks are 2 tents.

I watched this awhile ago:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4312730277175242198&q

Wow, Matthew, you're psychic. This film was exactly what I was thinking about, in the background. Good call. :cool:

Unless you lived off the grid somewhere in the wilderness and didn't work in the regular economy I don't see how you could do this.

Yeah, well, that IS the point. But there are other ways around the IRS...this is not even the most effective.

But, I'm no expert, either. My understanding is incomplete.

Mashu
02-12-2007, 01:13 AM
I think the movie was just something Aaron Russo did to attract attention? It just seems odd and a bit irresponsible. He's been a radical for ages but I couldn't quite understand what his underlying intention was. The part where the ex IRS? official tells him in Yiddish something to the effect that there is no hope for him kind of sums up the film for me.

GnosticWarrior
02-12-2007, 02:40 AM
Since we're on the subject, I wanted to add my 2 cents on taxes:

As long as there's governments, there will be taxes. However, taxes can be used as a way of creating incentives. The Federal Income tax should be scrapped for a consumption based tax. This would encourage savings and penalize those who buy more than what they truly need. But they still would have the ability to do so if they wish.

If citizens of a government wanted true taxation with representation, it would be a system where the amount of voting representation you have is directly linked to the amount of taxes you paid. Sort of like voting rights with corporation. Your voting represention are determined by the number of shares you own. It would be unfair for an individual who put up a stake of only 100 shares to have the same amount of voting representation as an individual who put up a stake of 1,000,000 shares in the corporation. Corporations would not be run efficiently or profitable if were run where each shareholder had the same amount of voting rights regardless of shares owned.

However, I know that just being idealistic. In order for that to happen, the majority votes in the current system would have to vote in favor of it and that would never happened. I wonder if the people who would have the least voting rights understand that their living conditions might improve if this change would be allowed to happen? You might have better thinkers and leaders such as Bill Gates or Warren Buffett running the country. Well at least these two men are donating their fortunes back to society and government allows them the capability to have the Non-Profit organization to do so in the way they see fit to run. I guess that's why the best minds stay out of government.

Thanks for letting me share. :)

Adam Alexander
02-12-2007, 08:20 AM
What I can't see is why you cannot simply take it at its word. Question it, explore it, guffaw at it...but of course, the most common thing to do, is to ridicule, before even considering it.

Here might be the explanation: You hijacked the thread with something that was totally ridiculous.

James Davis
02-12-2007, 10:07 AM
fairtax.org :)

Hogan
02-12-2007, 10:58 AM
fairtax.org :)

Nope:

http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/key_template.php?issue_it=17

Neil Mick
02-12-2007, 11:20 AM
I think the movie was just something Aaron Russo did to attract attention? It just seems odd and a bit irresponsible.

Yes, I found the movie to be a bit of a one-note. It had a point, but only one point, and it made it over and over for 90 minutes. There are other methods to avoid taxes besides this one.


Here might be the explanation: You hijacked the thread with something that was totally ridiculous.

Yeah, that's one possibility. Another might be that you (and several others) could not simply either ignore my original, one-sentence post, or respond with some semblance of etiquette.

Really, it says a lot more about you, than it does about me.

Kevin Wilbanks
02-12-2007, 12:13 PM
And this is why I *sighed*...

*sigh*



What I can't see is why you cannot simply take it at its word. Question it, explore it, guffaw at it...but of course, the most common thing to do, is to ridicule, before even considering it.

How....ordinary of you. How unimaginative.

How presumptuous of you. I actually have researched this. Tax protest is nothing new. It's been around since the 60's. Why isn't it popular by now? Free money for whomever has the 'imagination' to simply stop paying taxes... If it worked, it would have been the most popular, rapidly-spreading fad in US history.

One thing that would lend your position a lot of credibility here would be to prove that you have personally succeeded in evading taxes. By "succeed" I don't mean shirking without being caught for a little while, but successfully beating the IRS in court or causing them to drop their pursuit of you and give you permission to continue not paying based on your presentation of these arguments. Scanned documents in PDF format would be preferred.

Finally, with regard to the arguments alluded to here and more, here is a site with actual valid arguments and cited evidence (including text and explanation of title 26) that people might be interested in:

http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/jsiegel/Personal/taxes/IncomeTax.htm#me

There is even a page on the film in question:

http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/jsiegel/Personal/taxes/F2F.htm

Kevin Wilbanks
02-12-2007, 12:23 PM
Yes, I found the movie to be a bit of a one-note. It had a point, but only one point, and it made it over and over for 90 minutes. There are other methods to avoid taxes besides this one.




Yeah, that's one possibility. Another might be that you (and several others) could not simply either ignore my original, one-sentence post, or respond with some semblance of etiquette.

Really, it says a lot more about you, than it does about me.

You have to be one of the most overblown drama queens I've ever encountered. Your "one-sentence post" was off-topic, smug, and deliberately provocative. Since then, you have done little but posture are whine about how so many people took the bait. Absurd.

Neil Mick
02-12-2007, 12:25 PM
Why isn't it popular by now? Free money for whomever has the 'imagination' to simply stop paying taxes... If it worked, it would have been the most popular, rapidly-spreading fad in US history.

There are all sorts of reasons why a "fad" is/isn't "popular."

One thing that would lend your position a lot of credibility here would be to prove that you have personally succeeded in evading taxes. By "succeed" I don't mean shirking without being caught for a little while, but successfully beating the IRS in court or causing them to drop their pursuit of you and give you permission to continue not paying based on your presentation of these arguments. Scanned documents in PDF format would be preferred.

Yeah, sure, that WOULD be nice, wouldn't it? Except, I only made a simple, one-sentence statement...that there is no law existant, requiring you to pay Federal tax.

Now, you and Jean seem to extract all sorts of things from that simple statement...that one can get around paying the IRS (I never said that); or even that I was rallying ppl to avoid paying taxes.

You know what you're doing, when you ass-ume, don't you? :rolleyes:

inally, with regard to the arguments alluded to here and more, here is a site with actual valid arguments and cited evidence (including text and explanation of title 26) that people might be interested in:

http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/jsiegel/Personal/taxes/IncomeTax.htm#me

There is even a page on the film in question:

http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/jsiegel/Personal/taxes/F2F.htm

Interesting.

Of course, there's more to it, and as I said...the film focuses upon only one little factoid.

But, clearly you're on one of your little "missions," Kevin. The whole overtone of ridicule and disrespect sets me off. There's more to this topic, but I'm not in the mood to debate as if we're hurling factoids at each other's faces.

Have at it. You guys just continue on, from where I came in. :rolleyes:

(But, I AM wondering why the guy mentioned in the OP didn't just take the ticket, try to sell it on ebay, pay his taxes, then pocket the difference.

But, I'm not a tax lawyer...what do I know?

Neither, I imagine, are anyone else posting, here).

Neil Mick
02-12-2007, 12:29 PM
You have to be one of the most overblown drama queens

you have done little but posture are whine

Absurd.

Perhaps/perhaps not, but at least I didn't resort to personal attacks.

Typical. And, as usual, lacking imagination.

Mark Gibbons
02-12-2007, 12:39 PM
...Except, I only made a simple, one-sentence statement...that there is no law existant, requiring you to pay Federal tax.
...

1) Do you believe the statement you posted?
2) Care to explain what implications you intended be drawn from it?

Mark

Luc X Saroufim
03-02-2007, 12:31 PM
just came back from Dubai, where there's no income or sales tax. very refreshing.

Hogan
03-02-2007, 03:01 PM
just came back from Dubai, where there's no income or sales tax. very refreshing.

Makes you wish we all had oil wells in our back yards, doesn't it?

Neil Mick
03-03-2007, 12:53 AM
Makes you wish we all had oil wells in our back yards, doesn't it?

Actually, no. The smell alone would be enough reason to move...:yuck:

Mike Sigman
03-03-2007, 07:43 AM
Makes you wish we all had oil wells in our back yards, doesn't it?
You mean there are people on this forum that don't have oil wells???? Sheesh.