Jeff Quinn

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May 1, 2014
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Revenooer Rants: Californians thing taxes are too high

So what else is new, right?

Seems the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) recently conducted a survey which discovered this surprising fact.

And, as good little Obama soldiers all, Californians seem to think that the solution to the problem is to simply tax wealthy folk and corporations more, rather than look for other ways to broaden the tax base.

The PPIC survey notes that although about half of Californians view the state and local tax system as fair, a record-high 60 percent of adults say they pay much more (30 percent) or somewhat more (30 percent) than they feel they should relative to state and local taxes. Some (35 percent) think they pay about the right amount, and 3 percent say they pay less than they should.

We guess that last 3 percent group won’t be candidates for relocation to Nevada any time soon.

And speaking of folks happy with their lot, we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry about the report in the Washington Times from a few weeks back, which noted government watchdog activity in pursuing cases against a couple of IRSers suspected of illegal political activity in support of Obama and other Dems.

The Times notes that in one case, the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates federal employees who conduct politics on government time, said it was “commonplace” in a Dallas IRS office for employees to have pro-Obama screensavers on their computers, and to have campaign-style buttons and stickers at their office.

And in another case, a worker at the IRS customer help line (believe it or not, they seem to think there actually is such a thing) urged taxpayers “to re-elect President Obama in 2012 by repeatedly reciting a chant based on the spelling of his last name.”

The federal Hatch Act prohibits most government employees from conducting politics on government time.

Meanwhile, the Revenooers just don’t seem to be receiving the budget allocations to which they have become accustomed, which is resulting in less audit activity — indeed, the lowest in many moons. The Associated Press recently reported that this year, IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s.

Last year, IRS audited less than 1 percent of all returns filed by individuals — the lowest rate since 2005. And this year, notes Chief Revenooer (IRS Commish) John Koskinen, “the numbers will go down.”

Only 0.9 percent of folks making less than $200,000 were audited last year. That is the lowest rate since the IRS began publishing the stat in 2006. On the other hand, 10.9 percent of folks making $1 million or more were audited — the lowest rate since 2010.

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER — This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He welcomes comments at jquinn@ashleyquinncpas.com.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated May 1, 2014 12:16PM Published May 1, 2014 12:16PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.