Rich Wealthy Feed

Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Tuesday, Nov. 7, is election day. The hubby and I already voted. But, as expected in an election year that doesn't include national races, we are in the vast minority. With almost 18 million registered voters, an early count of early voters showed that statewide turnout was only 5.53 percent. I'm a bit surprised. I thought the property tax cut ballot initiative would have energized more of my neighbors. Texas property tax cut: The proposition was put on the ballot by the legislature in response to homeowner complaints about Texas' real estate taxes, which... Read more →


I get alerts every day from search engines, the U.S. Department of Justice, and emails from my unpaid tax researcher, also known as the hubby, on tax crimes. Many of the tales of tax offenders end up in the weekly Tax Felon Friday feature. Today, however, I'm focusing on official efforts to facilitate such felonious tax actions. Taking from the IRS: The U.S. House this week approved financial aid for Israel. The GOP bill to provide Israel $14.3 billion calls for that amount to be offset by taking funds, once again, from the Internal Revenue Service. The vote is latest... Read more →


Mega yachts in Portofino, Italy, a favorite harbor of the rich. (Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash) The Internal Revenue Service announced last week that it had collected $160 million in back taxes from wealthy taxpayers. But that's just a pittance of what tax collectors globally could get if an international tax on billionaires is enacted, according to a European tax policy research group. The super-rich typically use complex business structures to avoid taxes, notes the European Union (EU) Tax Observatory, an independent research laboratory hosted at the Paris School of Economics. That leads to most of us in... Read more →


The rich and famous frequent Monaco's glamorous casinos. The European principality also was the base for a U.S. taxpayer who didn't report all his taxable income to the IRS. The lesson, for him and an unconnected counterpart in the prime U.S. gambling destination of Nevada, is that the house — in this case, Uncle Sam's tax agency — usually wins. (Photo by Kaja Sariwating on Unsplash) Many people liken dealing with the U.S. tax code to wagering. You try to follow the casino rules and common sense, but the temptation to push your luck is often too enticing. Sometimes those... Read more →


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service relies on taxpayers voluntarily filing correct tax returns and paying the tax amount shown on those forms. Millions will be doing just that tomorrow, Oct. 16, to comply with the extended filing deadline. Unfortunately, however, too many people find ways to avoid paying the U.S. Treasury what they legitimately owe. They are why the latest update on the Tax Gap shows it has grown. A lot. The Tax Gap is the amount of money the IRS is owed, but which it hasn't been able to collect. The agency's latest estimates... Read more →


The coming wage base bump also means more FICA taxes for higher earners. It looks like this man got the good news that his Social Security benefit will be larger next year. However, the tax news for high earners who are still working isn't as welcome. (Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The Social Security Administration (SSA) gave 71 million benefits recipients good news today. Next year, they'll get a 3.2 percent increase in their Social Security retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. The cost-of-living (COLA) bump means that retirees will, on average in 2024, see more than... Read more →


Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash There are nine states with no personal income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. I mention this today because the lone winner of last night’s Mega Millions $361 million ($157.3 million one-time cash option) jackpot bought the slip in Texas. If that person lives here, he/she/they are in luck, since the millions only have to be shared with the Internal Revenue Service. California, Washington special situations: The same goes for the other no-income-tax states, as well as California. Yep, although California is infamous for many and varied... Read more →


Update, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024: Former IRS contractor Charles Littlejohn today was sentenced to five years in prison for disclosing tax return information without authorization. Update, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023: Former IRS contractor Charles Littlejohn pleaded guilty on Oct. 12 in federal court to disclosing tax return information without authorization. As noted in the post below, the compromised tax data was that filed by former president Donald J. Trump, and billionaires Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffett, among others. The tax material was given to two separate media organizations, which published stories based on the information. Littlejohn's sentencing hearing... Read more →


IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, pictured at a Senate Finance Committee hearing in February, today announced the agency's new, expansive plans to enforce federal tax laws in a more equitable way. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been part of the Internal Revenue Service's arsenal for a while. Now, thanks to more money from the Inflation Reduction Act, the tax agency is going to use more AI to expand its examinations of high-dollar earners. That includes not only individuals, but also partnerships and corporations. This shift of compliance efforts will shift the IRS' focus from working-class to wealthy taxpayers, noted IRS Commissioner Danny... Read more →


America's elite billionaires club last week welcomed a new member. The person who has the sole winning ticket, purchased at a Publix grocery store in Neptune Beach, Florida, can claim the $1.58 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The Aug. 8 jackpot was the largest Mega Millions jackpot awarded, according to the national lottery. The winner, who has yet to come forward, has the option of taking the nearly $1.6 billion spread out over 30 years. Or the winner can slide into the millionaires' club by getting a single cash payment of $783.3 million. One vs. 30 payouts: Most people opt for... Read more →


Flags of member nations at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Photo by Peda Run on Unsplash) Here in the United States, the Internal Revenue Service has gotten a lot of attention for its efforts to fight tax evasion. Earlier this month, the IRS reported that it IRS had collected $38 million from more than 175 high-income tax delinquents. That money was the result of a new initiative made possible from $80 billion new Inflation Reduction Act funds, although Republicans clawed back $1.4 billion of that money (and more to come in future years) in the debt... Read more →


Photo by Chris Ensminger on Unsplash The federal estate tax has always been politically divisive. Opponents, usually Republicans, argue it essentially is double taxation on a deceased person's wealth. They cite instances where families lose property that's been held for generations when they must pay estate tax. The GOP goal is to eliminate the estate tax. Supporters, typically Democrats, say the estate tax only applies to a very small group of ultra-wealthy families. They want to expand the amount subject to the levy. Collecting more from those estates, they argue, would help fund programs for middle- and lower-income taxpayers. At... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024 The New Year's Day 2024 Powerball drawing was life-changing for the yet-to-be identified person who bought the lone winning ticket in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Congrats to the winner of the $842.4 million jackpot, which has a one-time cash payment value of $425.2 million. And better luck next time for the rest of us! Picking lucky numbers from a lottery game dispenser. Benjamin Franklin wasn't wrong, but he did live in pre-national lottery times. Today, joining death and taxes as life's constants is Americans' love of gambling. One of the most popular betting options... Read more →


Harvard University, pictured here in Richard Rummell's 1906 watercolor landscape, would pay the most if a Massachusetts tax bill tied to students who get in based on family connections is enacted. (Image Courtesy of Arader Galleries via Wikipedia Commons) Following the Supreme Court's ruling that effectively ends affirmative action in college admissions, a proposal by two Massachusetts state lawmakers is getting a lot of attention. Their bill would tax rich colleges in the Bay State, including Harvard, whose policies were the basis of the high court decision, and put the money into a trust to fund community colleges is getting... Read more →


If you were rich, what would you buy with all your money? (Photo by Leon Kohle on Unsplash) During the 1992 presidential election, then-candidate Bill Clinton's mantra was "It's the economy, stupid." It worked. Clinton was elected and served two terms. Now a group of wealthy individuals worldwide are hoping a tweaking of Clinton strategist James Carville's iconic phrase will help them convince governments to increase taxes on the rich and simultaneously raise the minimum wage. "It's the inequality, stupid," say those who are part of the nonprofit Patriotic Millionaires. The group points to the astounding escalation of economic inequality... Read more →


The United States avoided defaulting on its debt, thanks to last-minute deal reached by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and grudgingly agreed to earlier this month by Congress. Park of the package was a $21.4 billion cut to money the Internal Revenue Service was supposed to use for tax enforcement. The agreement called for an immediate $1.4 billion reduction, plus the loss of $20 billion over the next two years, most of that coming from the nearly $80 billion in extra funding the IRS was given as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Critics of the hit... Read more →


After legislative and court fights, Washington State's capital gains tax took effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The Evergreen State's 7 percent tax applies to the sale of stocks, bonds, and other financial assets exceeding $250,000. And its collection, with the tax's first payments due this past April, has been a boon for the state's treasury. Initial estimates predicted the capital gains tax might provide Washington State around $248 million in this fiscal year, which ends on July 1. The actual amount the state has collected as of May 9 was more than three times that: $849 million. Education boost: Washington... Read more →


A view from the left field upper deck of the Milwaukee Brewers' ballpark, back when what is now American Family (AmFam) Field was known as Miller Park. (Photo by Brewersfan1061 via Wikipedia Commons) We're six weeks into the Major League Baseball season and my two favorite teams are giving me plenty of reasons to cheer and rant. But ain't that the way with all sports? At least my teams, the Orioles and Astros, are settled in Baltimore and Houston. I feel for the Oakland fans, where the few still going to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum are watching their underperforming A's run... Read more →


The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service today released an extensive plan on how the tax agency will spend the nearly $80 billion in added funds it received in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRAct). New IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, in the introduction to the 150-page Strategic Operating Plan, said the plan is structured to achieve the following five objectives — Dramatically improve services to help taxpayers meet their obligations and receive the tax incentives for which they are eligible. Quickly resolve taxpayer issues when they arise. Focus expanded enforcement on taxpayers with complex tax filings and high-dollar noncompliance to address... Read more →


White House Budget video screenshot. Full video is available at Facebook and Twitter. The Biden Administration released its fiscal year 2024 budget today (March 9, 2023). Thanks to previews from President Joe Biden, there are no surprises as far as taxes. "I want to make it clear I'm going raise some taxes," Biden to told a group in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who gathered Feb. 28 to hear about healthcare. "Many of you are billionaires out there. You're going to stop paying at 3 percent. Not a joke." The president's promise was put in writing today with the issuance by the... Read more →