Tax Filing Trauma: Roundup of Rants, Insights and Critiques
So, anyone else still feeling exhausted, stressed and/or traumatized from tax filing last month? For those of you still reeling and wanting to vent about the American tax code, here are some of our favorite tax rants, critiques, and insights from around the web.
The Real Reason Our Tax Code is Broken
Wired insightfully explains the behavioral psychology of why taxes suck. The article points out that while closing loopholes and lowering the overall tax rate would make everyone’s lives easier, no one will ever actually agree to that. The reason? “Americans throw a fit when anyone tries to close their favorite loopholes.” Meanwhile, things like the mortgage interest deduction and the vast array of retirement products keep people from making rational economic decisions.
Why Taxes Are Bad for Your Health
We all know that taxes cause stress and stress causes health problems. Looking closely at this correlation, The LA Times explains why tax day may be hazardous to your health. The article cites a study that shows a 6% increase in fatal traffic accidents on April 15.
Most of Your Taxes go to Health Care and National Defense.
Bankrate.com looks at exactly where your tax dollars are spent by testing the online tax calculator on whitehouse.gov. On a tax payment of $25,000, almost $6,873 or 27% goes to health care. However, this isn’t because of the Affordable Care Act: this segment of taxes is being spent on programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program as well as food safety and disease control. Meanwhile, about 24% of tax dollars are spent on national defense.
Your Tax Rate May Be Higher than Walmart’s.
Time cites a report by Citizens for Tax Justice that shows that large Fortune 500 companies pay an average tax rate of 19.4%. Low rates like these are possible because of Double Irish tax elimination strategies and tax exemptions granted to multinational corporations.