KEEP SPREADING THE WORD THAT THE PHONE CALLS ASKING FOR PERSONAL INFORMATION (OR CLAIMING THE IRS IS SUING YOU OR SENDING THE POLICE TO ARREST YOU) ARE FRAUDULENT
In my newsletter last month I wrote about two kinds of fraudulent telephone calls that are being made in large quantities these days: the call from someone saying that your grandchild is in trouble, and the one saying that the IRS is suing you and/or sending the police to arrest you.
Coyote, of Coyote Blog, wrote recently that he suddenly started receiving calls saying that the IRS is suing him. He concluded that the calls were fraudulent, and wrote about it to inform his readers. I’m glad the word is spreading, because as I said when I wrote about it, spreading the word that these calls are fraudulent is probably the best way to protect people who are vulnerable to them.
Coyote mentions in his post that the calls were coming from two particular domestic telephone numbers. Making those phone numbers known is probably not going to help very much, unfortunately. I have read that the scammers are not even in the United States, and that they are using machines that make it look like the calls are coming from domestic telephone numbers. Those numbers are not real numbers.
I haven’t had time yet to read this site that says it is dedicated to “remaking government into simple frameworks that allow people to take charge again,” but it looks like it could present some valuable information. I hope it does. I also hope it gets some attention. As my longtime readers know, I have been saying for years that ever-expanding complexity in law is a problem, and not just concerning the income tax.
I found it rather surprising that the Associated Press would report on this case because the subject is probably not that interesting to most people. Of course, it’s interesting to me, because it relates to what I do.
Anyway, the AP reports that a New Jersey woman was unsuccessful in her bid to have her father’s will invalidated under that state’s anti-discrimination law on the ground that his decision to disinherit her was motivated by religious bias. The specific claim was that her father disinherited her because she married a Jewish man. The court said the father’s motive didn’t matter because it is clear that the anti-discrimination law doesn’t apply to a will.
If the courts are going to start trying to discern the motives behind what people put in their wills, and start invalidating wills that are the product of what the courts conclude are the wrong motives, I don’t think the freedom to dispose of one’s property as one chooses is going to last very long.
I can’t help asking: what makes people think they are entitled to an inheritance?
At least one commentator, writing in Forbes, has pointed out the fundamental failing of “universal basic income” that I identified when I wrote about it several months ago. That commentator phrases it a little more nicely than I did, but the idea is the same. Once the proponents of this bad idea figure out that it won’t produce equal outcomes, they will want to fix that inequality by giving more to some people. When that happens, as the commentator in Forbes rightly concludes, the idea will fail.
If that’s not enough to convince you that this is a bad idea, consider the cost: according to the Forbes article, even after subtracting current welfare spending, universal basic income would increase federal spending by 50%.
ADJUNCT PROFESSOR CLAIMS BUSINESS EXPENSE DEDUCTION FOR INTERNET, SATELLITE TV, OTHER SIMILAR STUFF; TAX COURT SAYS “NICE TRY”
The professor claimed that as a professor, increasing his general knowledge was a requirement of his business. The tax court didn’t buy it. I don’t think it needs a whole lot more explanation. Details here.
Here’s more about how bad the situation is in Venezuela. Why isn’t that situation getting more attention in American news?
A friend of mine is from Venezuela. I used to ask him about the situation there. I don’t ask him about it anymore. The situation there is very bad.
It can’t happen here? Maybe not, but I remember some people in this country expressing admiration for the Venezuelan president. That was before the inevitable economic collapse there, of course.
NOW IT’S NOT JUST AIR CONDITIONING THAT WE SHOULD DO WITHOUT, SOME PEOPLE ARE QUESTIONING WHETHER THE USE OF FIRE IS A NET BENEFIT
I recently revisited the discussion (I won’t dignify it by calling it a debate) of whether the use of air conditioning should be limited, for the common good. Now we are treated to a discussion of whether or not the use of fire has been a net benefit to humanity. Ace administers an appropriate skewering to this lame notion.
There has been no news at all about the Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2016 since it was announced, with some fanfare, right around tax day. I predict that it will go nowhere. Why? Not because the tax preparation industry is fighting tooth and nail to stop it (although they could be for all I know), but because it’s a bad idea.
The announcement was pure political grandstanding, casting the tax preparation industry as a villain standing in the way of help from the benevolent government. But the real villain is the government. The government is responsible for the mess that is the Internal Revenue Code, and the resulting morass encountered by tax return filers every April.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.