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Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Monday, May 28, 2001
Avoiding State Taxes

This is nothing new. For as long as I have been in the tax business, there have been people who arrange their lives in such a way as to avoid state income taxes. The most common way to avoid most state tax is to establish one's tax home in a state that doesn't have an income tax.

Nevada and Washington State are popular for people who work in California. Texas is popular for high income people here in Arkansas. Former President George H.W. Bush has for decades pretended that Texas is his tax home in order to legally avoid state income taxes. Florida is a popular tax home for high income earners, such as several professional golfers and Rush Limbaugh.

If you are planning to use this strategy, it is important to work with a good tax planner who can help structure things properly. Even with a tax home in a tax free state, that doesn't mean all income is exempt from state taxes. Personal service income earned inside a taxable state is subject to that state's income tax. Rental & capital gain income from property inside a taxable state is subject to its income tax.

While many people consider such maneuvers to be sneaky and unpatriotic, that is a personal decision. I have always called it the "hassle factor." Everyone has a certain dollar amount that makes the hassle involved with reducing or eliminating taxes worthwhile. This article shows that many newly rich Silicon Valley individuals have exceeded their hassle threshold and are establishing tax homes in Nevada.

Monday, May 21, 2001
Dan Rather Admits Clinton Worship

I have long realized that the big media networks are active propagandists for the Democrats. While they usually deny any such bias, Dan Rather was uncharacteristically candid last week when he told Bill O'Reilly that Bill Clinton is an honest person. Anybody who thinks that any of the Clintons is an honest person is either as big a liar as they are or is a total imbecile. Neither of these is a sign of a reliable news source. There have been several articles about Rather's quote. Here's a good one from the hard working folks at National Review Online, a site I am enjoying more every day.

I don't mean to single out Dan Rather, because his co-horts (Jennings, Brokaw, et al) are of the exact same mindset; but Dan is so flagrant in his hatred for Republicans that there is a special website devoted to this: RatherBiased.com.

Wednesday, May 09, 2001
Mixed Emotions

This story is bound to raise a dilemma as to how you react. On one hand, it has to disgust you that our tax dollars are being wasted by IRS employees using their time & resources to goof off and surf at sex sites. On the other hand, if they're preoccupied, that's less time for them to hassle us. Interesting discussion thread on this article at Lucianne.com, which is where I first encountered this story today.

Wednesday, May 02, 2001
Harrison Is Proud of Its Racism

When we relocated here to the Ozarks eight years ago, we were surprised to have been assigned a Harrison mailing address because our ranch is actually in a different county than Harrison. However, because of our extremely remote location, we are lucky to receive any mail service at all, so we accept it.

After moving here, we quickly became aware of Harrison's reputation for harboring racist groups. We heard constant bragging about the active Ku Klux Klan groups and the lynchings that have happened in Harrison. We heard from several sources that local military bases don't assign non-white personnel because of the risk to their safety from the Harrison community.

Whenever possible, we try to identify ourselves as living in Osage because whenever I travel to other parts of Arkansas and I'm introduced as being from Harrison, someone asks if I'm with the Klukkers.

While some people in the area try to make the case that this is part of Harrison's past, today's online Harrison Daily Times tells a completely different story. In this article, they actually take pride in the number of racist groups that are located in Harrison, even giving tips on using their websites. Amazing.

No More White Male Millionaires

Last year, I described my experience with the anti white male discrimination in the selection of contestants for the Regis Philbin Millionaire show.

Here's a more explicit description of the discrimination taking place at both Millionaire and Jeopardy.


Tuesday, May 01, 2001
Tax Stats

Here's a good summary of the income taxes paid by the various income levels.

Thanks to Neal Boortz for this lead.

Picking A Corporate Tax Year

Federal ID Number -

As most of know, to Big Brother, we are just a number. For individuals, our Social Security Number (SSN) is our lifetime identification and we can't do much of anything without it. For corporations and other businesses, a similar number is necessary, a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). It has the same number of digfits (9) as a SSN and should be used for such things as opening bank accounts.

You can find almost any federal tax form on the IRS web site. However, to speed up the process, I have started posting some of the most frequently used forms on my site. If you have a new corporation or other new business (except for a Schedule C Sole Proprietorship), you can access a PDF version, including instructions & IRS addresses here.


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