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The case for public tax information.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Estebonrober, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    Even if I was giving what everyone thought was fair, I would still change churches. And let them know why I did.
     
  2. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    In Germany this is ofc "regulated" in a uniform way:
    When I was a kid my mother was the volunteer treasurer of the local (Protestant) church council (forevery protestant church you see in NL there was a separate church council).
    She had no access to incomes, but when bit by bit in the late 60ies ordinary people started buying cars in NL, she noted that almost every time this happened that family drastically reduced their voluntarily yearly donation to the church.
    But about such things was never spoken in public, certainly not from the pulpit. But she, or the relevant elder of that family did discuss it in private with them.
    I had as little kid to walk around once a week with a offertory box along all church community members in our neighborhood on top (small coins mostly). I found it always surprising how litlle correlation there was between the money for the box and the apparent wealth when I peeped looking into the house when at the door opening.
     
  3. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    Despite having a bank two blocks from my house growing up, my parents used a bank 15 miles away. The bank tellers at the local bank in the small town were known to have loose lips.
     
    Old Hippy and Hygro like this.
  4. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    Still waiting for the OP to post his tax info here to prove his commitment to his cause. If he doesn't do it, it proves his argument is based on nothing more than Trump Derangement Syndrome. After all, I am a member of the public and have the right to demand such information according to OP and any excuse the OP gives for not doing it means he is denying me my right and must be doing so to cover up some type of criminal activity.


    The idea that the public should have access to any of my private information is absolutely outrageous. The average individual has precisely zero authority to access that information because they have no legitimate reason to access it. OP drones on and on about "crime" but that's a pretty weak argument. Even if we accept it as truth, OP is not a member of the relevant law enforcement agency, and thus has no right to have access to a private citizen's information.

    And it is private information. The only thing you, as an individual, have any right to know is that I paid my taxes to the government's satisfaction. And you know that since I have not been arrested for tax fraud, tax evasion, or any other tax related crime. Any other tax information should only be accessible to me and the government. And no, OP, the people are not the government.
     
  5. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    What if there was a privacy threshold above which things must be declared that only 8-12% of the population would come close to crossing, and their primary residence is always private?
     
  6. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Warlord

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    https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw2016/content/section-6/PDF/2016NCVRW_6_FinancialCrime-508.pdf

    Economic and financial crimes cost American individuals and businesses billions of dollars every year. Various forms of fraud—including mortgage, health care, mass marketing, and securities and commodities fraud—can generate massive losses to individual and corporate victims. Researchers widely believe that financial crime is underreported, and these crimes can be difficult to investigate and prosecute. Successfully prosecuted fraud cases, however, can result in billions of dollars in criminal restitution, fines, and civil settlements, as well as millions of dollars in seizures and civil restitution.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/s...track-to-reach-1-billion-milestone-2018-11-20

    “We see dark money flowing into this process from both liberal and conservative sources, and in 2020 we will be reaching this milestone where $1 billion will have been spent by dark-money groups since Citizens United,” said Michael Beckel, manager of research, investigations and policy analysis at Issue One.

    http://fortune.com/2016/04/29/tax-evasion-cost/

    According to new estimates issued Thursday by the Internal Revenue Service, tax evasion is a pretty lucrative business, costing the federal government on average $458 billion per year between 2008 through 2010. That’s a slight increase from the previous estimate, issued in 2006, of $450 billion. The feds call that dollar figure the “tax gap” and say the rise is the result of better measurement rather than Americans engaging in more tax evasion.

    https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/average-american-underpaid-7500/

    Have you ever had the sneaking suspicion that you could be making more than what you’re earning at your current job? According to new salary data from Glassdoor, you might be right. Using information gathered by the Know Your Worth™ personalized salary estimator, Glassdoor discovered that the average U.S. employee could be earning $7,528, or 13.3 percent, more per year than his or her current annual base salary.*



    I can make the case that hidden tax information costs the US almost 1Trillion dollars per year. That is one trillion. So yea Its a big deal, like the biggest deal in regards to funding shortfalls. It has also completely bastardized our politics since in relative terms our politicians are so cheap to buy compared to our top ten percent's income levels.

    It wasn't private information in the past it need not be in the future. It remedies a whole set of problems. There are ways to address SSN and address information.
     
  7. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    You have yet to provide any proof that exposing it to the common people will result in additional discovery without any harm. I have no problem exposing it to authorized people for investigation and I don't believe anyone else here has voiced any opposition to that.
     
  8. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Public tax information isn't going to do anything to stop the majority of this crime.
     
  9. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    Most of the tax fraud that regular people can see are the little guys (unreported tips, working 'under the table'), so there is already a suspicion even without seeing the tax return. If you get a detailed return, maybe a few more of small cheating (selling a car for a few thousand but putting on the title it was sold for $500 to avoid paying much in sales tax.... or a business not reporting some of their cash sales-but I don't think the IRS forms are this detailed...)

    The high-dollar white collar crimes (and small businesses not reporting some of their cash sales) will be difficult to spot, especially so if just looking at 'Income', taxes paid/owed. The average person can't tell if someone earning $80,000/year is living like someone earning $120,000/year (not to mention a millionaire stealing more millions).

    So you may catch the guy who reports no income, yet does live rather comfortably, but you won't catch the guy who is not reporting several millions of what he makes. Not unless you are that person's accountant, but if that's the case it should already be obvious to you what is going on.
     
  10. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    The person with no income may have inherited millions years before. That won't be obvious looking at a single annual return.
     
  11. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    I was thinking more of the guy who's working under the table. You know he's working, but then look at his tax return and see no income. But true, inheritance, lottery winnings, etc. are only shown in the tax year they got them. I can imagine somoene seeing a guy 'work' and later it turns out the guy was doing volunteer work/helping someone out and really was not getting paid.
     
  12. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    I would be more worried about the neighbor who has a grudge. We already have many occasion where they report them to the police for ridiculous offenses. I see no reason to give then the ability to report them to the IRS.
     
  13. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Warlord

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    I mean if you're committing tax fraud, someone should report that. And if they are reporting fraud where there is none to settle vendettas, then they should be held accountable. I go back to what I said earlier - pandering to immature people is not a solid basis for public policy. And I'll also re-iterate that I'm not arguing against privacy, just arguing against pandering to immature people.
     
  14. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    They already can report people to the IRS if they just want to make stuff up-and probably often dismissed if there isn't much evidence to back up the accusation. With seeing the tax return, there is more of a basis to actually find something that is more worthy of reporting. But most often people won't be motivated to look into someone else's return unless they have a beef with them ("There has to be SOMETHING in here that is worthy of further inspection").
    But if they aren't supposed to report someone without having absolute proof (like an actual admission-"I cheat on my taxes"), that can be done without seeing their tax returns.
     
  15. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    You're probably right, but I just don't see much good making them available. I see more possible bad. So privacy is of more importance until someone can prove the net positives. It would have to be overwhelming for me to change my mind.
     
  16. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    No, they shouldn't. This is something Tim actually changed my mind on. I remember a while back being in a discussion with him in which he basically argued that private citizens should not be doing law enforcement's job for them. Since that discussion I have come to agree with that line of thinking. If I witness, or otherwise have knowledge of, someone committing a non-violent crime I'm not reporting anything to the authorities and you shouldn't either. It's none of your business. Let the authorities figure it out for themselves.
     
  17. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Warlord

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    Reporting a crime is not the same as doing the police's job for them.
     
  18. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy We'll dig up the road!

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    'Non-violent' crimes is a pretty large category. If I see someone stealing my neighbor's stuff, and though it didn't include the breaking of a window (the door was unlocked), I'm reporting it.
     
  19. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Warlord

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    As the OP I think its prudent to point out that this is an idea and I am certainly open to its critique. I'm not certain if you all have convinced me that its a bad idea, but you have certainly demonstrated it's natural unpopularity. So with that duly noted, any ideas to fix some of these problems. Inequality, lack of knowledge of salaries, massive scale tax fraud and money laundering (think trillions globally), and other finance and monetary policy issues that capitalism and its lovely cousin shadow capitalism produce.
     
  20. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    The lack of knowledge of salaries, I could give a rat's ass about. But for all the other, I'll agree that they are a problem and unfortunately most of the fixes require considerable money to resolve. And getting politicians hyped up enough to actually designate the money to fix them. The budget for the IRS should be expanded, not contracted like it currently is.
     

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