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Gamers: Ethics & Religion Discussion of ethics and religion and what place they have around the gaming table. The point of this forum is to give space to all the ethical stuff that is or is not relevant that gamers insist on talking about anyway. Also much discussion of real-world issues including religion and politics. THIS FORUM IS NOT FOR THE THIN-SKINNED! You have been warned.

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  #11  
Old 12-06-2017, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Archaelos View Post
Anyone surprised neither Windbag nor DA understand taxation?

Anyone?

No?
*Raises hand*
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2017, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Windhaven View Post
Income tax, estate taxes etc are taxes taken when you/we get money. That is, when it changes ownership.
And, as asked, on what grounds besides convenience of the government is that proper grounds for taxation?
When you get a paycheck, the government can claim it contributed to your getting that check, and thus deserves part of the money. This is a rather dubious claim since the government routinely "overprices" its "services", which often have a negative effect on my income. [The government charges income tax on illegal drug income, which means the government wants to be paid for putting someone out of business.] But there is at least the possibility of the government deserving some of your money.
But with things like inheritance taxes, there is no presumption society is better off. A's money is now B's. Same money either way. In fact, there is a presumption that society is better off if A were still alive and kept the money.
Your paycheck, by contrast, is proof society is better off. You think you are, or you would quit the job, and your boss thinks he is or he would lay you off. Since neither of you do, the presumption is quite strong that society is better off [and thus the government has a possible claim to have earned some of that.]
No such possible claim exists for inheritance, gift,... taxes. If we assume you got a very large paycheck, and just put the money under the mattress, you would have paid taxes on every dime of it. No presumed benefit to society exists, and thus no claim by the government.

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They tax you when you sell that stock, and they tax you when you sell the real estate, but while you hold them they can appreciate in value without limit, and you don't get taxed on that appreciation.
But again, this is a rule based on convenience, not any moral principle. The sales price is definite. Appreciation is only an estimate which has major chance to be wrong. Everybody has motive to "revise" the estimate, and there are future refunds or taxes to consider. The government does use such estimates in various cases when it is to its advantage, so even the rule is wrong.

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In DA's bad example, he suggests that his stock broker gets taxed when he "gives" said broker money to invest. Flatly wrong. The broker pays tax on the fees earned for handling the investments, but not for the money you entrust to their care.
Since I never used the word "stock" or "broker" in this thread, there is some strawmaning going on. Possibly the misunderstanding is missing that I was talking about how double taxation is merely a legal gimmick. If you go into partnership with somebody and split the profits, any social benefit is the same whether you are partners or not. And that means the government share is the same. If each partner get a $1000 share of the profits, or one gets a salary of $1000 [thus reducing profit by $1000] and the others gets all the $1000 profit, the taxes should be the same. If we assume a 20% tax, each partner ends with $1000 and pays $200.
But now if we say "taxed every time it changes hands", the partnership gets $2000 and is taxed $400 with $800 going to each partner, who now must pay $160 more on their "income", and they end with $640. [If one was on salary, that would be $800 to the salaried $560 to the government, and $640 to the other partner.]
Now, how do we justify these different figures? We have the same business, getting the same "services" from government. So why should the government get a different amount of money? [And of course, we do have clear double taxation. Reality is of course more complex. We might have a lower partnership tax rate and a lower tax on deferred income, and ... which might even end with the government getting less than $400, but now society loses because tax experts have to be hired to figure out the tax, the ways to get the lower rate, and to lobby for a better deal. So society is a clear loser.]
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2017, 08:18 PM
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Let me get this straight: You're asking for a moral principle for taxation?

Why? I know I could argue your irrelevant side track, but the fact is it's an irrelevant side track.

The question isn't whether taxes are morally right or wrong. That only comes up with the moral outrage over a double tax, and there isn't such a thing. At least not in the case of estate tax.

Consider this case: You have a job and get a paycheck. You pay taxes on that money.

You buy a pizza using some of what's left. The pizza parlor owner gets that money, and has to pay taxes on that income.

Is that double taxation? Two different people paying taxes on their income, related only by the commonality of economic flow.

Now consider the next case: You have a job and get apaycheck. You pay taxes on that money.

You die and leave what's left to your brother, who owns a pizza parlor. taxes get paid on that.

Is that double taxation? Two different people paying taxes on their income, related only by blood, and the commonality of economic flow.

The illusion of double taxation come up when we can see both tax bills. But the taxes happen whether we see it happen or not.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2017, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Windhaven View Post
You're asking for a moral principle for taxation?
Why?
Because we routinely use moral principles in deciding how to tax. Such principles can be dubious, but they are just about always present. Only being taxed when money changes hands is a moral principle you want to use here. Why is it a valid one?

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Originally Posted by Windhaven View Post
The question isn't whether taxes are morally right or wrong. That only comes up with the moral outrage over a double tax, and there isn't such a thing. At least not in the case of estate tax.

Consider this case: You have a job and get a paycheck. You pay taxes on that money.

You buy a pizza using some of what's left. The pizza parlor owner gets that money, and has to pay taxes on that income.
The owner has to pay tax on his profit, not his receipts. Possibly that is zero. more usually, that is a much smaller sum than his receipts. However, what we have is new wealth created by the transaction. Society is richer by how much more I value the pizza than the price [say $10]. Government can make a claim to have caused some of that increase in wealth and thus to have [dubious] claim to some of that new wealth. [How much added wealth there is is very hard to measure, but we can be sure there is some.]

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Originally Posted by Windhaven View Post
Is that double taxation? Two different people paying taxes on their income, related only by the commonality of economic flow.
And the income was some figure above $10.

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Originally Posted by Windhaven View Post
Now consider the next case: You have a job and get apaycheck. You pay taxes on that money.

You die and leave what's left to your brother, who owns a pizza parlor. taxes get paid on that.
But now there is no claim that society is better off. Indeed, the presumption is that it is worse off. There is no new wealth for government to make a claim to have caused. there is still the same $10.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windhaven View Post
Is that double taxation? Two different people paying taxes on their income, related only by blood, and the commonality of economic flow.
And their income is the same $10, counted twice. So yes, there is double taxation.
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2017, 03:56 AM
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You managed to make noise without making sense, and as usual avoid really answering the question.

Functionally, the two cases are the same. Each party pays taxes on their income (defined as profit after expenses.) The heir has no real expenses associated with the money, so the amount is larger, but that a difference only in scale, not in principle.

The "yes" answer, by the way, can't be called "Double Taxation", because that money neither began with you, nor ended with the pizza place. Your employer got the money from customers or clients, and taxes were paid on that. The customers and clients got the money from someone else, and taxes were paid then as well. The pizza parlor is going to pay its owner, workers and vendors, and they'll be taxed. That money will in turn be spent and somebody will pay taxes on that as well. No traceable beginning, and no end in sight.

The chain is as endless as the turn of the economy. "Double Taxation" is either a gross understatement, or a complete fiction.

At no point in that cycle did anyone pay twice for the money they gained. The next tax gets paid by the next owner of the money, hence my argument that there is no double taxation.

But however you care to view it, what makes our tiny window into the economy any worse than any and every other turn of the money? Because it's you, and you're somehow "Special"?

Or is it simply because you can see both times the taxes are paid?
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  #16  
Old 12-10-2017, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Windhaven View Post
Functionally, the two cases are the same. Each party pays taxes on their income (defined as profit after expenses.)
Speaking of a lot of words with no real sense...

Quote:
At no point in that cycle did anyone pay twice for the money they gained. The next tax gets paid by the next owner of the money, hence my argument that there is no double taxation.
You, uh, actually have zero idea how taxation works, huh?
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:26 PM
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Again I'll ask, what part of what I wrote is wrong?
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  #18  
Old 12-10-2017, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Windhaven View Post
Again I'll ask, what part of what I wrote is wrong?
I thought I was fairly explicit.

Quote:
Functionally, the two cases are the same. Each party pays taxes on their income (defined as profit after expenses.)
This isn't how income is defined.

Quote:
The next tax gets paid by the next owner of the money, hence my argument that there is no double taxation.
Again, nope. Not even a remotely accurate picture of taxation in market exchange.
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Old 12-10-2017, 02:58 PM
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Okay, so my definition of "Income" was casual. I included inheritance, which isn't "income" in the legal sense, and failed to detail all possible deductions. Big deal.

Are you saying that there's someone out there who pays income and/or estate tax twice on the same money?

Paint me a picture. Tell me how that happens.
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  #20  
Old 12-10-2017, 03:30 PM
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Okay, so my definition of "Income" was casual. I included inheritance, which isn't "income" in the legal sense, and failed to detail all possible deductions. Big deal.
It wasn't just "casual"; it was wrong. Period. You're conflating business and personal taxation in a way that is sloppy, unhelpful, misinformed, and misguided. When in a policy discussion, you could at least try to be in the ballpark of correct definitions.

You aren't, and your defense is "big deal".

Quote:
Are you saying that there's someone out there who pays income and/or estate tax twice on the same money?
Your definitions are so sloppy as to render this a meaningless question.

Just as a note for those watching: Windhaven's wrongness in no way validates DA.
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