Tagged With: taxes

What’s wrong with an interest-free loan to the government?

Every year, amid the discussion of taxes and rebates and the like, there is usually a talking point that goes like this: “Getting a rebate of any amount is a bad idea, because all you’re doing is giving the government an interest-free loan.” I’d like to unpack that, and see how that argument holds up.

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Is it possible to pay in advance exactly the amount of tax you owe?

Welcome back to tax season! It’s an interesting time that can seem extremely fraught to some, and a little exciting to others. For some: so much work to do. For others: big rebates! I’m fortunate to be young enough that I never needed to know the situation my parents knew: that of a dining room … Continue reading »

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Why everything is like a regressive tax

With all the talk on how to fund our government and the various projects we need to undertake, it’s made me think about that phrase “regressive tax”. As in, “there was no support for that initiative, because it was seen as a regressive tax on the poor.” For example, in the inexorable push to widen … Continue reading »

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What to do with the extra tax money in your new paycheck

I really tried to avoid talking about the tax plan, and couldn’t help myself. But that was more of a “feelings” piece, and less practical. This article is coming from the other, more practical side. In the U.S., our new tax plan has now gone into effect. We’re effectively “testing in production”, to borrow a phrase … Continue reading »

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Okay, okay, I’ll talk about the tax bill

I’ve been avoiding it. I haven’t wanted to talk about it. I wanted to bury my head under a pillow and forget about the whole thing. But, alas, it’s just too relevant to our work here. So I’m going to talk briefly about the new tax bill that was just passed by Congress. There are … Continue reading »

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Is there someone at the IRS who’s a math lover?

WARNING: This post contains math. I love math. You know this. I think math is one of our world’s ways of expressing beauty. To me, there are few things more pleasing to the eye than a elegant mathematical statement. (People tend to agree on this.) And so, if for no other reason than we all … Continue reading »

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Don’t fear moving to a new tax bracket

Do you know your tax bracket? I’d say a good number of people do. But do you know what happens when you jump up to a new tax bracket? I’d say a good number of people do not. Tax season is over (unless you pressed the IRS snooze alarm filed an extension), but as your … Continue reading »

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Why the home mortgage interest deduction isn’t as disappointing as I thought

Often when I play board games, I enjoy the process of losing as much as winning. That’s why I love it when people comment on my posts pushing back against my arguments. I don’t consider myself an infallible expert in anything. I’m learning as I go. And so when I’m wrong, I own up to … Continue reading »

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Just making sure: Mortgage interest isn’t a reason to hold on to a mortgage

WARNING: This post contains math. “When you have a mortgage, you get a tax deduction for all the mortgage interest you pay. So you shouldn’t pay down your mortgage early, because you’ll lose the tax deduction.” This is one of the most common reasons people say to not pay down your mortgage. But this is a … Continue reading »

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Why the home mortgage interest deduction is a disappointment

UPDATE: I originally made a math error below, and have corrected it. Apologies. UPDATE #2: I have another take on this. “Oh you’ve got a mortgage now!” goes Conventional Wisdom. “Now your taxes will be lower because you’ll be able to deduct your mortgage interest.” I admit that the idea is appealing. It’s not a reason … Continue reading »

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