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Out of the Blue

Well, "happy" tax day here in the States, where everyone has until midnight to ensure their papers are in order. This normally takes place quite infamously on April 15th, but the 15th falling on a Saturday pushes the deadline out a few days. For the most part nobody looks forward to this, but if the quote usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin about the inevitability of death and taxes is true, then it beats the alternative.

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23 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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23. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 19, 2017, 11:47 Mr. Tact
 
*ugh* Just heard a "news" story on the radio talking about "how complicated" our taxes are. Yes, overall the tax code is complicated. But the only people who have complicated taxes are people who don't mind spending some money to hire someone to do their taxes.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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22. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 22:47 eRe4s3r
 
Quboid wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 17:16:
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 17:02:
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 16:17:
That's just one of my pet peeves having listened to this conversation in offices all my life. Way too many people seem to think that you can earn "too much", end up paying more in taxes and "take home less"... it's just mathematically impossible for that to happen. They think that if you earn $20001 then every penny you earned gets taxes at the higher rate and that's not how it works.
You are right, many people don't understand this. The language used around the tax brackets is often incorrect and helps with the confusion.

I'm pretty sure German tax works the same way. The UK is the same, and it's also frequently misunderstood. There are some complexities but no one is given a pay rise that lowers their take-home.

In Germany that is very real thing if you are below €52k a year (42% max tax) it's called "cold progression" and a simple wage increase through inflation/currency devaluation or even if you are normally employed, your local union contract pushing for a 3% wage increase can push you into higher tax brackets which can mean you real earned income falls even though you got (in theory) a raise. The reason is your health insurance and social security payments INCREASE as well. And this is a real thing, it earns the state a few dozen billions every year!

And my health insurance, you guessed it, is basing it's monthly payments on my last reported TAXED income. Which can fuck me over very hard indeed (we are talking the difference between 300€ a month or 1000€, and yeah, I am not joking) just in case you ever thought health care is "free" in Germany.

I wouldn't trade freelancer life anytime soon, least not for another few years, but when I am 35 I honestly consider throwing the towel. At some point I will have get any normal wage job just to even get a pension. Because you guessed it, freelancers also got no state pension aside from basic social protection (which I actually would have to work 30 years to even get ABOVE of)

The joke is the tax is actually really fair, the problem is it's only fair with 1 year delay, and if my tax return doesn't come in-time the health insurance rate spike can actually bring me in serious financial problems. So I really do have to balance my income, that wasn't a joke.

This comment was edited on Apr 18, 2017, 22:59.
 
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21. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 19:50 Beamer
 
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 16:17:
Do tax brackets work differently in Germany? Or does it just mess you up because you are filing for the year in advance?

In the US, moving between tax brackets only affects the income inside that bracket.
Ex: 3 tier tax system, 10% @ $10k, 20% @ $20k, 30% @ 30k
ONLY $0-$10k gets taxed at 10%
ONLY $10k-$20k gets taxed at 20%
ONLY $20k-$30k gets taxed at 30%

That's just one of my pet peeves having listened to this conversation in offices all my life. Way too many people seem to think that you can earn "too much", end up paying more in taxes and "take home less"... it's just mathematically impossible for that to happen. They think that if you earn $20001 then every penny you earned gets taxes at the higher rate and that's not how it works.

Marginal tax rate, and no, I've found that no one that didn't take some form of tax course in school understands this, which drives anyone that has insane.
 
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20. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 17:16 Quboid
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 17:02:
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 16:17:
That's just one of my pet peeves having listened to this conversation in offices all my life. Way too many people seem to think that you can earn "too much", end up paying more in taxes and "take home less"... it's just mathematically impossible for that to happen. They think that if you earn $20001 then every penny you earned gets taxes at the higher rate and that's not how it works.
You are right, many people don't understand this. The language used around the tax brackets is often incorrect and helps with the confusion.

I'm pretty sure German tax works the same way. The UK is the same, and it's also frequently misunderstood. There are some complexities but no one is given a pay rise that lowers their take-home.
 
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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
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19. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 17:02 Mr. Tact
 
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 16:17:
That's just one of my pet peeves having listened to this conversation in offices all my life. Way too many people seem to think that you can earn "too much", end up paying more in taxes and "take home less"... it's just mathematically impossible for that to happen. They think that if you earn $20001 then every penny you earned gets taxes at the higher rate and that's not how it works.
You are right, many people don't understand this. The language used around the tax brackets is often incorrect and helps with the confusion.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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18. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 16:18 Orogogus
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 15:53:
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 13:19:
eRe4s3r wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 12:40:
Are taxes so simple you can do them yourself in the US?
For a vast majority, yes. And even if your situation is a little more complicated, something like Turbo Tax will walk you through everything for $120 ($60 for the software, $60 for the electronic filing).

An example of someone who might need professional assistance: A day trader with hundreds or thousands of trades. Or if you are self employed, the mixing of personal and business finances can get complicated.

Yeah, as Freelancer for me this stuff is complicated, and it's not so much I couldn't do it myself, the problem is that my tax is set for the next year based on my report for last year, so I have to employ "intelligent" book-keeping not to push me above certain tax brackets for the next year, where income isn't set in stone... I'd rather pay someone 160€ a year for this including always information what changes how and when so I don't get into trouble.

That seems more like a self-employment vs. wage slave thing than US specifically. Do most company employees in European countries get professional tax assistance?
 
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17. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 16:17 descender
 
Do tax brackets work differently in Germany? Or does it just mess you up because you are filing for the year in advance?

In the US, moving between tax brackets only affects the income inside that bracket.
Ex: 3 tier tax system, 10% @ $10k, 20% @ $20k, 30% @ 30k
ONLY $0-$10k gets taxed at 10%
ONLY $10k-$20k gets taxed at 20%
ONLY $20k-$30k gets taxed at 30%

That's just one of my pet peeves having listened to this conversation in offices all my life. Way too many people seem to think that you can earn "too much", end up paying more in taxes and "take home less"... it's just mathematically impossible for that to happen. They think that if you earn $20001 then every penny you earned gets taxes at the higher rate and that's not how it works.

This comment was edited on Apr 18, 2017, 16:37.
 
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16. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 15:53 eRe4s3r
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 13:19:
eRe4s3r wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 12:40:
Are taxes so simple you can do them yourself in the US?
For a vast majority, yes. And even if your situation is a little more complicated, something like Turbo Tax will walk you through everything for $120 ($60 for the software, $60 for the electronic filing).

An example of someone who might need professional assistance: A day trader with hundreds or thousands of trades. Or if you are self employed, the mixing of personal and business finances can get complicated.

Yeah, as Freelancer for me this stuff is complicated, and it's not so much I couldn't do it myself, the problem is that my tax is set for the next year based on my report for last year, so I have to employ "intelligent" book-keeping not to push me above certain tax brackets for the next year, where income isn't set in stone... I'd rather pay someone 160€ a year for this including always information what changes how and when so I don't get into trouble.
 
Avatar 54727
 
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15. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 15:40 Bundy
 
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 15:20:
Hah, well... every one of his comics is a bit of a stretch :p


lol fair enough.
 
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14. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 15:20 descender
 
Hah, well... every one of his comics is a bit of a stretch :p

 
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13. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 15:03 Bundy
 
descender wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 14:51:
You know you write a good comic when there is an entire website dedicated to deciphering your madness.

http://www.explainxkcd.com/

Hawaii and Alaska don't observe DST, so he is saying they are the only "honest" ones because other states would have a 23 and a 25 hour day every year. Those 2 states are still wrong in certain years when leap seconds are added.

I had to check it too, I was quite confused.

Oh because 2 days a year? Geez, that's a bit of a stretch. There's lots of places that don't observe DST. It's mostly a North American/European thing. Most of Asia, Oceania and countries near the equator don't.
 
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12. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 14:51 descender
 
You know you write a good comic when there is an entire website dedicated to deciphering your madness.

http://www.explainxkcd.com/

Hawaii and Alaska Arizona don't observe DST, so he is saying they are the only "honest" ones because other states would have a 23 and a 25 hour day every year. Those 2 states are still wrong in certain years when leap seconds are added.

I had to check it too, I was quite confused.

edit: listed the wrong state

This comment was edited on Apr 18, 2017, 15:19.
 
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11. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 14:45 Bundy
 
Orogogus wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 14:36:
A Martian day is 24h 40m long. So 7/11, known for being open 24/7, is closed for 40 minutes on Mars.

Oh I know that, I meant the hidden text, sorry.

EDIT: It says, "Really the only honest 24 hr stores are in places like Arizona and Hawaii." Pretty sure a day is 24 hours long everywhere on earth. That's how sphere's work.
 
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10. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 14:36 Orogogus
 
A Martian day is 24h 40m long. So 7/11, known for being open 24/7, is closed for 40 minutes on Mars.  
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9. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 14:34 Bundy
 
I totally don't follow that xkcd.  
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8. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 13:55 descender
 
Lode Runner!!@%!#^

I played the shit out of that game as a kid on an Atari XE.
 
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7. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 13:38 Retired
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 13:19:
eRe4s3r wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 12:40:
Are taxes so simple you can do them yourself in the US?
For a vast majority, yes. And even if your situation is a little more complicated, something like Turbo Tax will walk you through everything for $120 ($60 for the software, $60 for the electronic filing).

An example of someone who might need professional assistance: A day trader with hundreds or thousands of trades. Or if you are self employed, the mixing of personal and business finances can get complicated.

Yea. I had them done a couple years in a row to get a baseline. The following years nothing changed, so I do them myself. House, wife, kid, cars. Not much to worry about. Year over year not much change.
 
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6. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 13:19 Mr. Tact
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Apr 18, 2017, 12:40:
Are taxes so simple you can do them yourself in the US?
For a vast majority, yes. And even if your situation is a little more complicated, something like Turbo Tax will walk you through everything for $120 ($60 for the software, $60 for the electronic filing).

An example of someone who might need professional assistance: A day trader with hundreds or thousands of trades. Or if you are self employed, the mixing of personal and business finances can get complicated.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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5. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 12:40 eRe4s3r
 
Are taxes so simple you can do them yourself in the US? I mean in Germany, I think I would have lost about 2000€ a year if I had not had professional help. Once my professional help even saved me from a HUGE mistake the tax did and that I would have overlooked as I had no idea what the consequences of it were...

My point is, when you have professional help, there isn't really any incentive of "missing taxes" I get money back, always. So I pay too much taxes, always. I have literally never any incentive to drag this out. Taxes are slow enough as it is ~.~
 
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4. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 18, 2017, 12:37 Kxmode
 
There's no R.I.P. today, so perhaps death isn't so certain.  
Avatar 18786
 
William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 4: CHORUS: And now, dear viewers, shall our play go to \ A Planet stark and drear for our next scene. \ Imagine sand and rocks within thy view. \ Prepare thy souls - we fly to Tatooine!
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