My Tax Plan If I Were President

Taxes laws are a mess. I have solutions to simplify taxes and lower rates. Using humor, I share tax tips for deductions for individuals and small businesses. I also address the politics behind such required changes. #wealthyaccountant #taxhumor #taxdeductions #taxtips #smallbusiness #funny #politics #presidentIf you’re reading this the day it’s published it means this is the due date for extensions for partnerships and corporations. If you work in a tax office and things are quiet you might want to consider another job. (This is an inside joke directed at a former employee who struck out on her own. If you need bookkeeping in Vegas I know a qualified person to handle that. Seriously.)

I thought today would be the perfect day for me to announce my candidacy for president with a few tax policies I’ll sign into law via executive order if elected. Some of you might be darn excited about this unwelcome event as you think I’m a Democrat. Other might be excited because they think I’m a Republican. The truth is I’m neither. I prefer to waffle between both side of the aisle or as the police call it: walking in a drunken stupor.

As much fun as I’m going to have writing this, I am also dead serious. What follows are tax policies I would like to see instituted. Some things will sound very liberal and some things will sound downright conservative. Basically, I should tick off just about everyone in the room with something.

Welcome to politics.




Ground Rules

Before we start I want to point out some things I plan as president are not completely tax related. For example, I will deal with the minimum wage, but connect it to tax policy. The same with welfare of every kind. Along the way I’ll fix the health care issues of the United States by default and solve trade issues and immigration policy in a way everyone will love until I’m elected. Then a third will love me and two-thirds will hate me until we approach the next election. Then the population polarizes and it ends up a dead heat until I’m assassinated re-elected.

Tax policy controls everything. Al Capone gets away with murder until they called in the Treasury Department. (It worked!) Welfare once required a trip to Social Services. Now it’s handled at the tax preparer’s office. Corporate welfare is even worse.

Trade disputes sometimes result in tariffs, an excellent way to tax your own people while convincing them it punishes the other country. (Don’t underestimate the ignorance of voters.) Once again important issues of national importance end up in a tax bill.

So, let’s get down to business. I’m confident I’ll win your vote.

Simple and Basic

With the exception of my own profession, everyone should love the basic framework of my tax plan. Republicans lowered tax rates to the lowest level since taxes were collected in this country. And I think they’re still too high!

For individuals and families: I propose to raise the standard deduction to $100,000 for joint returns; $75,000 for head of household returns; and $50,000 for single taxpayers. That means a married couple filing jointly can enjoy their first $100,000 of income tax free! (I know! It makes me giddy too.) Exemptions were eliminated with H.R. 1 and I don’t want to rock the boat so all you guys get is a huge standard deduction. In fact, itemizing is gone! If a hundred grand tax-free isn’t enough to stay solvent there isn’t a thing any politician can do to help you.

7 ways your taxes should be lowered. Tax humor might be funny, but also illustrates how taxes must be lowered. Find tax tips and deduction for individuals, the self-employed and small businesses. #wealthyaccountant #politics #president #taxplan #taxhumor #deductions #smallbusinessAs for tax brackets, people like the idea of a flat tax. I propose two brackets so my peers at least have an outside chance of staying in business: 20% and 50%. After the standard deduction, the next $400,000 is taxed at a flat 20%. All income above this level is nailed at a 50% rate with nary a deduction available to reduce the tax.

I hear the howls of protest, my tax obsessed readers. You think President Accountant will bankrupt the nation with such a plan. Au contraire. To pay for this simple tax plan all the welfare tax credits are nixed. The Earned Income Credit: gone. The Child Tax Credit: gone. Savers Credit: nope. Education credits: huh? No, no, and no. No more handouts on the tax return. Let’s turn the tax office back into a tax office and not an unpaid extension of the welfare department of the government.

Also, all income is taxed at the same rate. No more special rate for qualified dividends or long-term capital gains.

Poor people need not complain. The Earned Income Credit was designed to compensate low income workers with a kickback of their FICA taxes. In my tax plan every worker gets the first $20,000 FICA tax free. If you work you get an instant EIC on your paycheck.

HOWEVER. . .

Social Security taxes now are like the Medicare portion of FICA: paid all the way to the sky. And FICA applies to ALL income: dividends, interest, capital gains (long- and short-term) and more. A sports star gets a $20 million bonus. Good for everybody! A CEO of a public company enjoys a windfall of stock options? Good for everybody. The Social Security and Medicare financial problems are solved.

If you think about it (I have) the reduction in tax credits more than offsets the massive standard deduction increase. We may have to institute another round of tax cuts or risk paying off the national debt.

I see fear in the eyes of business owners. Don’t worry. I thought about you guys, too.




Business Taxes

This crazy new tax deduction for qualified business income is insane. All it does is increase complexity in the tax code, lining the pockets of tax professionals and attorneys practicing in tax law. In my plan the QBI is gone.

WAIT!

Don’t shoot! I propose a better solution. Businesses will enjoy their own standard deduction of $1 million. That’s right, my Republican friends, every small business owners will enjoy their first million tax-free on top of their generous standard deduction.

Big business is sweating right now, worried I’ll fill the Treasury at their expense. No way! As a gift for funding my political campaign you get the same $1 million standard deduction, plus a flat tax rate of 15%. You heard that right. The Republican plan of 21% is still waaaaay too high to compete internationally. We will start at 15% and reduce the rate 1% per year until it hits 12%.

Oh, don’t be sad, my liberal friends. To pay for this tax cut we will cut corporate welfare the way we did for individuals. If you think welfare to people is costing taxpayers, you haven’t added up how many handouts are lining the pockets of super-rich corporate executives. Those handouts will be eliminated completely.

To prevent small businesses and the big guys from gaming the system, all businesses controlled by a group only get one $1 million dollar business standard deduction only. In other words, you only get one million dollar deduction per investor. (And you guys thought I didn’t give this adequate thought.)

Tax System

The U.S. is one of only a few remaining nations taxing on a worldwide system. My plan brings us in line with the world by switching to a territorial tax system, where only profits from inside the U.S. are taxed. The tax rate for profits outside the U.S. is 0%, giving a major competitive advantage to American companies operating abroad, something they have to dance around now to compete with other nations. That alone could resolve half the trade deficit.

Americans working abroad would not be taxed unless they earned the money in the U.S. The Foreign Income Exclusion would be obsolete with President Accountant.

To prevent games, corporations could not shift profits outside the country. Strong measures will be in place to avoid such a practice with a 10,000% penalty for offenders. (You’re getting an awesome deal. Don’t get greedy!)

Foreign companies that want to sell in the U.S. would also pay U.S. taxes for their profits earned in the U.S. (Where ya gonna get a fairer deal than that?)




Trade Wars

This is just plain stupid. Tariffs are a tax on your own people! I would open the door to trade with all tariffs eliminated. If other countries don’t follow suit, fine. They can tax their own people more. All the better for our economy.

Looking for a fair tax plan? Then I know the perfect guy to vote for! Taxes are a mess is desperate need of organization. #wealthyaccountant #taxplan #tax #taxes #taxhumor #funny #deductions #creditsThe U.S. and its businesses whine endlessly about free markets. Well, trade wars and tariffs are the exact opposite. Compete or go broke. Under President Accountant we will allow markets to decide the winners and losers.

The one issue we have a right to complain about is the theft of intellectual property. (I’m pointing at you, China.) Our current president has a point on trade issues with China and a few other countries. Policies that strip intellectual property from U.S businesses will be dealt with harshly. If it is determined (China is the worst offender here) that theft has taken place, the government of the country where the offending company resides must compensate for losses and prevent such theft. If the government of said country can’t regulate their own people that country is barred from selling any goods or services in the U.S. until they govern responsibly. No more stealing our stuff and using it to sell against our own hard-working business owners.

The details are more than I can publish right now, but trust me. It’ll be great! The best trade plan this country has ever seen.

Health Care

It is repugnant that the wealthiest nation on the planet can’t provide basic medical care for all its people when other nations do just that. Therefore, I will sign an executive order my first day in office expanding Medicare to cover all U.S. citizens from Day 1 to Day End. No more Medical Premium mandate needed. If you want more than basic coverage; buy additional coverage. There is no additional deduction and businesses are not allowed to provide more health coverage to employees. Businesses are out of the health care business from now on (unless they are a medical business).

To pay for this basic benefit the Medicare portion of FICA will be increased 2%; half paid by the employee and half by the employer. All income, including dividends, capital gains and interest, will pay the additional FICA tax. And remember the FICA exemption above. Nobody gets hurt.

I hear my conservative friends complaining already. “We need to keep government out of our conversations with out doctor,” you say. I agree. Let’s keep your employer out of it, too. I for one am sick to death of telling my employees what kind of medical care they can get. Unless I’m a doctor or hospital, I’m out of the health care business and devoting all my time to my business, which is what I’m good at and the reason I started my business.




Minimum Wage

Is that grumbling I hear at the back of the room? No worries, my liberal friends. Under President Accountant the minimum wage will be abolished! You heard me right. Now holster your weapons.

The reason I’ll eliminate the minimum wage is because if we have a minimum wage to increase the number of jobs, then it stands to reason we must have a maximum wage to create more jobs. Don’t hear that argument too often, do you?

Eliminating the minimum wage will not put you at risk. Your favorite president will guarantee you see $15 per hour minimum on your paycheck each and every week. Rather than force companies to pay a minimum wage, there is a special tax for every hour any employee earn less than $15 an hour. That special tax is 20 times the amount your employee paid under $15 per hour.

I bet there will be no companies paying less the $15 an hour right quick.

Yes, businesses will be encouraged to automate with higher wages. But when has increased productivity been bad for a society? You get more for less. And with the new standard deduction and Medicare-for-all programs you will have a secure safety net.

There will be slightly fewer jobs, but they will pay better. Do I have your vote yet?

Under Cover

There is a lot to love by both sides of the aisle with my plans. Unless you are a tax professional you probably like my proposals.

It is unlikely I’ll actually be elected. Rumor has it a stark-raving mad crowd of accountants are approaching the Accountant farm as I write. With such a simple tax code with no loopholes, tax professionals are out of business. But then again, what did we produce? We manipulated a system created by man with no logical connection to reality. Very unproductive.

HUH!?

Was that gunfire?

 

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Keith Taxguy

14 Comments

  1. Justin on September 17, 2018 at 8:12 am

    I think I would support this. But you’ll need to more than President do get this done. You’ll need to be king for a day!

    • Keith Taxguy on September 17, 2018 at 9:02 am

      It’s good to be king, Justin. Even if for a day.

      While this post was in jest, I’m serious about many of the proposals. Some tweaking is needed, but I think it solves lots of problems. But, alas, I will not garner the votes needed to take office in 2021.

  2. JD@WealthNotRetirement on September 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Wow, Keith. (Pretty) good stuff here. I’m on board with everything except the minimum wage stuff.

    When I first saw the 50% above 500K I was like no way… and then I remembered I’m *already* paying almost 40% now. And everything else you said was golden. Really golden. I haven’t run the math (probably can’t), but I like the basics.

    One other note as a small business owner… I really like the first million idea. It’s one I’ve had for a number of years. Actually, I was only hoping for 250K. I struggled understanding taxes when I first started out many years ago, because the way taxes work with small business MADE NO LOGICAL SENSE. I was SO surprised the first time a CPA explained to me that “business money” gets taxed whether you spend it or not. Business is SO HARD when you first start out, I couldn’t understand why, if a business wanted to keep 100K or 200K “in the bank” for safety, WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE TAXED? This one still bothers me, but I made it far enough in my business it doesn’t affect me anymore.

    I wasn’t expecting so many NEW ideas from this post, but this was really good stuff.

  3. Armand on September 17, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    The creativity and logic expressed in this post exceeds the sum of all congressional efforts to really address these important issues over the last two years (excluding time wasted with lobbyists, etc.). Conservative Republicans used to be concerned with national debt, etc., but even they have lost their way or are no where to be found.

    Better build a landing strip on the farm for AirForce One in the event your campaign catches on.

  4. Bernard on September 17, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    I like your tax plan.

    Sadly, lobbying will make sure that you won’t stand a chance to be elected for any public office. I truly believe that there are powers in play that transcend individuals’ powers, Senators’ and the President’s included. No President could stop our war games entirely, or put the all-mighty pharma industry on notice. We have two parties (problem number 1 which could be solved by coalitions based on issues instead of party affiliation), that both do anything and everything that the other side hates. There is no middle ground, nothing that both sides like, and that will continue until the pot explodes, one day in the future, and We The People clean house in a really big way.

  5. Hard L Weinstock on September 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Re “Conservative Republicans used to be concerned with national debt, etc., but even they have lost their way or are no where to be found”, “conservatives” are “found” fighting daily on fiscal/debt issues: look up House Freedom Caucus & House Liberty Caucus. In the Senate, Cruz, Paul, a few others.

    What the election of President Trump exposed was that many “Republicans” were/are RINOs (blue in red clothing), big government crony politicians, as proven by the failure to repeal bobama@ameritech.com-care as promised for six years. Conservative Republicans used to be concerned with national debt, etc., but even they have lost their way or are no where to be found.”

    Hope you’ll join the fight to put the USG back into it’s Constitutional box by joining “The Convention of States Project”. The WA would raise his game by analyzing the impact of same – similar to the state/local tax issues of the TCJA but on a broader scale, e.g., Virginia governor proposes using savings to expand state government and nullifying benefits to tax payers. How ’bout it, WA? Later.

  6. Katy on September 18, 2018 at 9:02 am

    A few thoughts:
    1. Are those values going to be adjusted for inflation in any way? If by some miracle you got this into law then it would need to be able to stand with little change for decades.
    2. How would you plan to guide national behavior? Tax credits have often been used to encourage certain actions, what would your new plan for that be?

    • Keith Taxguy on September 19, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      I didn’t expand my plan (inflation adjustments) that far, Katy. It was more of a thought experiment. The only way to make my plan stand for decades is to pass a Constitutional Amendment. The bad news is it would only last for a brief moment as politicians with nothing else better to do started playing with perfection. As for Point 2: I don’t like the idea of using tax policy to manipulate behavior. Let people do what they want without so much government influence.

  7. Brian McMan on September 18, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Without a guarantee that governmental watchdogs will actually start doing their job there’s no way I’d vote for a guy whos plan is to tax the companies who pay less then $15 an hour. Reason being is that if there’s a will there’s a way, and the companies will find a way to hurt their remaining employees even further if you force companies to pay them.

  8. Jenn on September 18, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    When you start selling campaign shirts and bumper stickers with the slogan “end corporate welfare,” I’ll be the first to buy one of each. And I’ll order extras for Christmas. I’m an accountant and I agree wholeheartedly with just about everything in this post. Get employers out of the health care. Give small businesses a chance. Put us number-crunchers out of business so we can find something else to do. Like organizing our sock drawers by color. Bookkeeping. Helping businesses make money. That sort of thing. 😉

    • Keith Taxguy on September 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Thanks for the new business idea, Jenn! I will seriously consider a short run of t-shirts.

  9. The Money Commando on September 19, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I’m curious – have you done any “back of the envelope math” to determine how tax revenue would be affected by this proposal?

    • Keith Taxguy on September 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      Very light back of the envelope, Commando. I would have to make certain assumptions to keep the tax plan revenue neutral. What I do know is that over 75% of individuals would not have to file anymore and many large corporations would pay more because they pay almost nothing now. My calculations are about as accurate as those of Congress so I should be fine. The FICA exemption is most problematic.

  10. Kenneth on September 20, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Your plan, along with a concomitant reduction in military spending to $250 billion a year (just mind our own borders), plus no wall spending, should greatly strengthen the US because we will have close to a balanced budget, and in time, we will be running a surplus.

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