Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Best Of All Possible Worlds. Again.

Shorter Megan McArdle: Regulations are bad, except when they're good. Once started, regulations can't be decreased so we should decrease them. We should have fewer regulations, except when we should have more. They should help people, but not too much.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

...because two journalists with freelance income and deductions are not really qualified to prepare their own taxes, even with the help of TurboTax.

Which journalists could McBargle be referring to?

Anonymous said...

Her extensive experience in the world of finance and economics should give her better insight into the reality that is our tax code. Fat chance that.

Kathy said...

Back in 1997 we had to pay something like $20-thousand dollars up front because of some stock options we'd been given by Husband's company (it wiped out our savings & checking account). I didn't and still don't understand why since it was 3 years before we profited in any way from selling the stock. BUT! Every year we get some of that $20K taken off our taxes ... or something.

HR Block does our taxes, even tho we're a single-earner family with nothing fancy going on financially (we used the stock sale to pay off our mortgage).

Maybe Megan could explain this to me?

Downpuppy said...

It's rather encouraging that Block can handle ISOs, separate basis & AMT credits.

Tell me you still file an 8801 & tis a perfect morning!

Kathy said...

I will ask my husband. He explained to me (slowly & carefully for the xxxxth time) that we paid taxes in advance. Why? I don't know. Easy enough for the Gov to take their cut when we sold the shares, don't you think? Which they did. And why are we now getting some of it back, in such an odd way? Is this a tax loophole-thingy for rich folk that we stumbled upon?

The HR Block tax preparers we've worked with are very smart indeed. Often professional accountants who are moonlighting at Tax Time, or retirees also accountants. Usually friendly and chatty and helpful. I asked one about Block's "loans" of tax rebates (very high fees) and after looking furtively about he told me in a low voice that he always urged his clients NOT to take the "advance". Our experiences with them have been good. It helps that we (especially husband) read the documents through carefully and spot minor errors. Too many people assume 'expert' means 'perfect'.