Home » Taxes » Recent Articles:

Readers Split On Eliminating Personal Property Tax

December 18, 2019 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy, Taxes Comments Off on Readers Split On Eliminating Personal Property Tax
Missouri Capital, Jefferson City, MO, April 2011

A Missouri State Senator is going to try to eliminate personal property taxes by allowing citizens to vote on a constitutional amendment:

State Senator Bill Eigel says it’s time to end the payments. He sponsored the bill, SJR 44, which would ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment prohibiting counties and other political subdivisions from levying or collecting a tax on personal property. (KMOV)

In the recent Sunday Poll readers were split on the idea of eliminating the tax.

Q: Agree or disagree: Missouri should eliminate personal property taxes on vehicles.

  • Strongly agree: 8 [26.67%]
  • Agree: 5 [16.67%]
  • Somewhat agree: 1 [3.33%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [3.33%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 1 [3.33%]
  • Disagree: 6 [20%]
  • Strongly disagree: 6 [20%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 2 [6.67%]

Sen. Eigel’s bill, SJR44, is the same as SJR5 introduced a year earlier. It never got out of committee.  Eigel represents part of St. Charles County.

I think most realize the folly of the state taking away a source of revenue for Missouri’s counties. Not all counties are equal, some likely depend much more than others on this revenue. Taking it away might mean a reduction in services provided, or an increase in some other tax.

I favor evaluating government services and revenue sources to ensure they’re fair, but I don’t favor constitutionally starving counties to the point they’ve got to substantially reduces services.

Hopefully this new bill also won’t get out of committee.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should Missouri Eliminate Personal property Taxes?

December 15, 2019 Featured, Missouri, Sunday Poll, Taxes Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Missouri Eliminate Personal property Taxes?
Please vote below

It’s that time of year. Holiday parties, sure. But I’m talking about personal property taxes. Our bill is on our fridge with a calendar reminder. We pay online so we can wait until the last minute.

Our bill is significantly higher than previously because of the newer used car we bought in 2018.

At present, Missouri residents pay a yearly property tax on their vehicles. State Senator Bill Eigel from St. Charles County wants to put an end to that practice.

“I’ve been getting lots of feedback from my constituents, not only in St. Charles but around the St. Louis area, that are talking about the burden placed on households for having to pay for personal property tax on vehicles for a single year,” he said.

When the lawmakers go back to session in Jefferson City on January 8, Eigel said he will be working to get his bill out of committee and passed through the legislature so Missouri residents can vote on it. (Fox2)

This is the subject of today’s poll.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: How Should Illinois Increase Revenue To Fund Road Maintenance?

September 9, 2018 Featured, Sunday Poll, Taxes Comments Off on Sunday Poll: How Should Illinois Increase Revenue To Fund Road Maintenance?
Please vote below

Due to budget issues Illinois has been delaying road maintenance for many years, an issue in the current race for Governor.  The following, from a 2016 article, explains the options as outlined by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC):

GAS TAX
The MPC argues the state will need to raise $2.7 billion a year, half to spend and half to go towards bonds:

This is equivalent to a $0.30/gal increase in state motor fuel taxes and a 50 percent increase in vehicle registration fees. The tax and fees should be indexed to the consumer price index to keep pace with inflation. MPC recommends the state constitution be amended to create a transportation trust fund to protect this revenue. To acknowledge the effect of these increases on lower- and middle-income Illinoisans, the state earned income tax credit should double to 20 percent of the federal amount.

Because the state’s motor fuel tax has been unchanged for so long, Illinoisans are paying far less for road maintenance today when inflation is calculated:

The Illinois Senate has used the MPC’s estimates to draft legislation that would raise the gas tax by 30 cents, making it the highest gas tax in the nation.

Of course, not everyone is happy with that proposal. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce says Illinois needs to look into other options to fix roads. The Chamber’s recommendation includes an increased state income tax and a lower wholesale gas tax, while getting rid of some tax exemptions for goods like food and medicine.

MILEAGE TAX

Senate President John Cullerton has proposed a different way to get around a gas tax hike; a mileage tax. Illinoisans would pay 1.5 cents per mile in one of three payment options. From the Daily Herald:

Drivers could have a device that tracks the miles through geolocation technology, charging only for the miles driven on public highways and roads.

Alternatively, they could have an odometer tracker, which reports only number of miles driven, not where. The downside to this, notes Susan Martinovich of CH2M, an environmental and engineering consulting firms, is that drivers would be charged for miles driven out of state.

Finally, Illinoisans could opt out of installing any devices and pay a flat mileage tax of 1.5 cents per mile for 30,000 miles.

A mileage tax would also help the state raise revenue even as gas usage declines, thanks to better fuel efficiency and electric cars. The MPC’s plan also recommended Illinois stop raising funds tied to gas purchases eventually. It pushed for a mileage tax system by 2025. (GovTech.com)

So the question is how should Illinois proceed? Today’s poll includes the options listed above along with an option for “do nothing” and “unsure”. The poll’s options are presented in random order.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

Free Options For Filing Your Taxes

January 31, 2018 Featured, Taxes Comments Off on Free Options For Filing Your Taxes

The question in the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll was a bit of a trick. Let’s see the results and then I’ll explain:

Q: How will you file your 2017 taxes?

  • Free File via online software 5 [20%]
  • Free File via fillable forms 0 [0%]
  • Manually on printed forms 1 [4%]
  • Software 7 [28%]
  • Accountant 6 [24%]
  • Service like H&R Block, Liberty Tax Service, etc 5 [20%]
  • N/A — don’t need to file 1 [4%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 0%

The IRS’ “Free File” page is largely a listing of 12 different online software sites that offer, to those who qualify, a free option. The criteria varies, for those with an adjusted gross income over $66,000 the IRS offers free fillable forms.

Source: IRS

In the poll those who selected “software” are likely using one of the 12 listed by the IRS, though their incomes may disqualify from using them for free.

The following are the 12 Free File Software Offers:

Free Tax Returns.com
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is $66,000 or less, AND
  • Your age is 70 or younger, AND
  • Live in any state, except: FL, NV, TN, TX, WA or WY
  • Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for some states

FreeTaxUSA® Totally Free SM
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is $51,000 or less, AND your age is between 17 and 61
  • Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state

1040NOW.NET
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • If your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $66,000 or less
  • You live in one of the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, GA, IA, ID, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NY, OK, OR, RI, SC, VA, VT or WV

OR

  • Your AGI is $66,000 or less and you are 60 or younger and
  • You live in one of the following states: CO, CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, KS, LA, MA, MD, ME, MT, NE, NJ, NM, OH, PA, UT or WI
  • Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address

H&R Block’s Free File
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is $66,000 or less, AND your age is between 17 and 50, OR
  • Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
  • Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state

eSmart Free File Edition
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is $66,000 or less, AND your age is 54 or younger

Online Taxes at OLT.com
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is between $14,000 and $66,000
  • All Ages
  • Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
  • Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state

1040.com Free File Edition
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is $60,000 or less, AND your age is 52 or younger, OR
  • You are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
  • Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state listed above

TaxSlayer
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is $66,000 or less AND your age is 52 or younger
  • Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
  • Same criteria apply for a free GA state return

TaxAct®Free File
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is $53,000 or less AND your age is 56 or younger, OR
  • You are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
  • Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state

FileYourTaxes.com
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Adjusted Gross Income is between $9,000 and $66,000 or less, AND your age is between 15 and 65
  • Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
  • Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for some states

ezTaxReturn.com
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is $66,000 or less, AND you live in any of these states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, GA, IL, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, VA or WI
  • All Ages

TurboTax ® All Free SM
Receive a free Federal return if:

  • Your Adjusted Gross Income is $33,000 or less, OR
  • You are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • All Ages
  • Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
  • Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state

I personally use TurboTax ®, but another might work best for you. Too many choices? The IRS has a tool to help you decide. Out of curiosity I put in our info and it showed me 6 software sites with free federal & state returns, and listed the remaining 6 with free federal only.

With the possibility of another government shutdown next week and scammers filing fraudulent returns I wouldn’t delay.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: How Will You File Your Taxes?

January 28, 2018 Featured, Sunday Poll, Taxes Comments Off on Sunday Poll: How Will You File Your Taxes?
Please vote below

The federal government is reopened. at least temporarily, so the IRS will be anticipating your 2017 tax return. The tax season begins tomorrow:

Although the IRS will begin accepting both electronic and paper tax returns on January 29, 2018, paper tax returns will be processed later, in mid-February, as system updates continue. The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically for faster refunds

The filing deadline to submit 2017 tax returns is April 17, 2018.  That’s because April 15 falls on a Sunday in 2018. That would normally result in a move to the following Monday (April 16, 2018). However, Emancipation Day falls on Monday, April 16 this year. Since that’s a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, the tax filing deadline will be pushed ahead for all individual taxpayers to Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (Forbes)

In years past I’ve had to file extensions, now I file as soon as I get all our W-2s & 1099s. Today’s poll isn’t about when you’ll file — but how you’ll file. The options are numerous:

The answers above are presented in a random order. this poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

This message is only visible to admins.

Problem displaying Facebook posts.
Click to show error

Error: An access token is required to request this resource.
Type: OAuthException

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe