Eliminating cash will not only allow taxation of your savings through negative interest rates, as I noted recently. It will also allow the government to keep track of every single thing you buy. You think that sounds paranoid? I suggest you think about it not in the context of what you do, but in the context of what others do that is legal, but not favored in polite society. Just how much power do you want to give banks and their regulators to control what you can and can’t do with your money? There’s a thoughtful post on the subject that I recommend if you are interested, at the Simple Justice blog.
A PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS – FORM 1040 FOR 2018 IS DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT
Brian Larson, CPA, reminded me today that income tax time will bring some significant changes. For starters, Form 1040 for 2018 has changed dramatically. It looks very different compared to the way it has looked for decades.
What’s more, Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ will no longer be used. You have to file 1040. The good news is that 1040 is much shorter. The bad news is that if you couldn’t use 1040A or EZ in the past, the shorter 1040 isn’t going to be much help, because all the stuff they took off of 1040 is now on one of the six (!) schedules that go with it.
The new schedules are numbered, 1 through 6. I guess Schedules A, B, C, and D, which have also been around for as long as I can remember, are gone.
If you want to find out more, there’s a page on the IRS web site with a condensed explanation of the new 1040 and schedules, with links to the forms.
To be more specific, if you build a tiny house that’s on wheels and has a trailer hitch (in other words, it’s a trailer), then you had better make sure that it is secured, so thieves can’t just hitch it up to their vehicle and haul it away. Seems pretty self-evident to me.
Of course, if your tiny house is parked on land that you own, the obvious solution is to make it so that it’s no longer mobile, by taking the wheels off. With old-fashioned mobile homes, you would take the wheels off, then tie it down to anchors that are permanently set in the ground. That’s called an “affixed” mobile home.
If your tiny house is on land that someone else owns (with their permission of course) you may not want to anchor it to the ground or take the wheels off, but there are other ways you can make sure it stays put.
I REALLY WANT ONE, BUT…
Lincoln is bringing back suicide doors on the Continental!
Unfortunately, it’s only for a limited edition (only 80 cars) and it’s not even being done at the factory. An outside upfitter is doing the work.
Still, I can hope that they will bring them back for good, even though my spouse says I’m nowhere near old enough to own a Lincoln.
A tangible personal property list is a list you can make to go with your will, if it’s provided for in the will, to specify who is to receive items of your tangible personal property. Read all about it in my Estate Planning Law Report for December, now posted in the publications section at my firm’s web site, deconcinimcdonald.com.
Tangible personal property does not include currency. It also doesn’t include real estate, since that is real property, not personal property.
That reminds me of my favorite bit of dialogue in A Charlie Brown Christmas (which I watch every year, and watched again on Friday):
Lucy: “I never get what I really want [for Christmas].”
Charlie Brown: “What is it that you really want?”
Lucy: “Real estate.”
I CAN SMELL IT ALREADY
A firelog that smells like Kentucky Fried Chicken? I want one, if it really smells like KFC.
A BIG REASON WHY ELIMINATING CASH IS A BAD IDEA IS ACTUALLY A REASON WHY PROPONENTS THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA
A few choice quotes from the Cato Institute report that I linked to last week:
“Proponents maintain that future macroeconomic stability requires that central banks have the ability to impose negative interest rates, not only on bank reserves, but on the public’s money holdings as well, and this can be accomplished only by preventing the public from hoarding cash.”
“[N]egative interest rates… would essentially entail a comprehensive tax on money holdings.”
“Negative interest rates in a cashless economy end up giving an unelected regulatory body discretionary power to tax money.”
I’m sold, aren’t you? The Cato Institute, fortunately, is not.
I have written in the past about tax-advantaged savings vehicles, and commented that there should be more opportunity for, and fewer limitations on, tax-advantaged savings.
It looks like the idea of a Universal Savings Account (USA), a tax-advantaged savings vehicle that would not be limited to a particular purpose, is gaining traction, albeit slowly.
Eventually, I would like to see USAs that would be available to any taxpayer, and could be used for any purpose, the only limit being the amount that could be deposited in any given year.
INTRODUCTION OF RIDE-HAILING BY WAYMO MAY NOT BE A BIG STEP, BUT IT IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Although it won’t be available to everyone yet, and they will still have human monitors on board, the announcement that Waymo will begin offering ride-hailing next month is definitely a step toward the ultimate, and now plainly in view, goal: driverless cars that can be hailed any time you need a ride.
As the man said, faster, please.
In my opinion, the reasons for eliminating cash are nowhere near good enough to justify the obvious pitfalls, and I’m not alone.
Unfortunately, however, I have the feeling that eliminating cash is one of those bad ideas that’s going to hang around, like universal basic income.
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.