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JR8
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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Sun, 31 Jan 2016 5:25 am

The writer is an established UK pensioner investor and financial writer of some repute. Sometimes his impressions and opinions simply cut through the daily chaff. As with this opening para to his latest comment :)
----
'The great fun of investing is that we always seem to be entering unknown territory. We hated inflation, rising oil prices, high unemployment and economic collapse but we got used to them. Now, it seems, what we can’t cope with is nil inflation, collapsing oil prices, rising employment and economic growth.'...
http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/14 ... t-rbs.aspx
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Re: Quotes

Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 02 Feb 2016 2:01 am

For all my friends, do not be deceived by this illusion called "upmanship". Shooo, shoo, "ranking" out you go.


"At first sight, joy seems to be connected with being different. When you receive a compliment or win an award, you experience the joy of not being the same as others. You are faster, smarter, more beautiful, and it is that difference that brings you joy. But such joy is very temporary. True joy is hidden where we are the same as other people: fragile and mortal. It is the joy of belonging to the human race. It is the joy of being with others as a friend, a companion, a fellow traveler." ~ Henri Nouwen

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Sun, 07 Feb 2016 6:01 am

‘It is disgusting to notice the increase in the quantity of coffee used by my subjects, and the amount of money that goes out of the country as a consequence. Everybody is using coffee; this must be prevented. His Majesty was brought up on beer, and so were both his ancestors and officers. Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer, and the King does not believe that coffee-drinking soldiers can be relied upon to endure hardships in case of another war.’ –
Frederick the Great, 1777

“He was a wise man who invented beer.”
Plato

[Good enough for me ;;]
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Re: Quotes

Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 07 Feb 2016 10:19 am

So true. I will take beer over coffee, which not only breaks me out but leaves an after taste in my mouth.

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Sun, 14 Feb 2016 5:53 pm

'Since George H.W. Bush left office in 1993 America has been ruled by a spin-obsessed sex addict, a dangerous halfwit and a clever incompetent. They all bore the imprimatur of their respective party machines. For much of America, Barack Obama is the last straw. He is the creator of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. If one of them becomes president – and I wouldn’t rule it out – and the world doesn’t like it, they know whom to blame.'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... Trump.html
'How seven years of Obama created Trump'
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Re: Quotes

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 15 Feb 2016 4:13 am

^^^^^^^
A severe mis-characterization of Obama and his presidency. His arguments are dead, based upon the foundation alone.

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Sat, 05 Mar 2016 5:46 pm

“All revolutions are impossible until they become inevitable".

Trotsky
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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Wed, 06 Apr 2016 5:48 am

'Tax avoidance is an expression of basic British freedoms. You may not like the principles set out by Lord Tomlin in the Inland Revenue’s case against the Duke of Westminster, but they are as fundamental as Magna Carta, and a good deal more useful to most of us (my italics):

"Every man is entitled, if he can, to arrange his affairs so that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be. If he succeeds in ordering them so as to serve that result, then, however unappreciative the Commissioners of Inland Revenue or his fellow taxpayers may be of his ingenuity, he cannot be compelled to pay an increased tax."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04 ... -freedoms/
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Re: Quotes

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 06 Apr 2016 10:08 am

JR8, reading your quote jogged my memory because I always attributed that thought (not the actual text) to an American of note in the early 1930's as well (I used to be a tax accountant in Washington DC before resigning at 29 to do what I wanted to do). A little research to refresh my memory brought up the the originator of the thought.

Even before Lord Tomlin, in the US, Supreme Court Judge, Learned Hand stated...

"Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes." ~Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934)

Lord Tomlin made his statement two years later (IRC v Duke of Westminster [ 1936 ] AC1 (HL)).

65 words vrs 41 words. Neat. You Brits, in paraphrasing Learned Hand's statement, made it even more bombastic by increasing the word court by 50% and saying essentially the same thing. :mrgreen:

Also by Learned Hand several years later....
Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.
Commissioner v. Newman, 159 F2d 848 (1947)

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Wed, 06 Apr 2016 4:15 pm

Case-law evolves (jurisdiction by jurisdiction) so I'm not sure it's simple to identify if there was one single originator of erm... a legal/moral position that fits inside statute law. If it were a matter of ethics, perhaps it all goes back to the philosophers of ancient Greece?
It's like early cartography, one map-maker incorporated a new idea or discovery, and others around the world often shortly later came to adopt it too [example: The early belief that California was an island. That was so widely accepted, it was taken as a given fact. Must have been an interesting time in the global cartography industry world when someone finally declared that CA wasn't an island after all :)]

re: Taxes and that principle
It might be ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_v._Helvering 1935
or
'Hand stated in 1947 that "there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible".[211] He was referring to reporting of individual income through corporate tax forms for legitimate business reasons. In tax decisions, as in all statutory cases, Hand studied the intent of the original legislation. His opinions became a valuable guide to tax administrators.'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_Hand

So... dunno. But I've been doing my tax return this week (as will have many other Brits) so the wires back home are a-buzz re: chat on the ethics of tax avoidance (legal) vs evasion (illegal). Compounded further this week by the wiki expose of that Panama law firm...
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Quotes

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 06 Apr 2016 5:51 pm

Mine went off via snail mail (US tax return) and online (FinCEN). on the 28th (mail) and the 26th (FinCEN). Sure get tired of it sometimes, but it's better than paying somebody $2500USD to do it.

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Wed, 06 Apr 2016 6:19 pm

I aggregate the base data as early as I can after the final week of the tax year (UK=this past week), that's when records and memories are freshest. Payment isn't (usually) until end Jan, so 31-Jan-17 for the tax year ended this week. But I know if I leave the underlying collation that long it gets X times more of a PITA to pull together.

It also means I've plenty of time to go off and investigate any new or changed allowances/deductions and so on, so when I hit the button and file I know it's going to be right. Plus I've plenty of time to shuffle finances around to meet the payments. This kind of 'no last minute rush, no last minute uncertainty or surprises' approach works for me.

I agree re: paying an accountant. a) You've got to provide them all the base data anyway, and that's perhaps 75% of the work. b) When they provide a draft return then you have to check it and perhaps amend it... and again the ratio between your work and their presentation of it shrinks. So unless one has extremely complex tax affairs I'm not persuaded an accountant is worth using [IME]. Even more so these days when you can buy desktop applications* that are updated annually, and contain all the forms, with notes/tips/links to the IR on each box, plus the ability to file electronically... couldn't be simpler.


* The one I use for the UK is called 'TaxCalc'. Costs around GBP25 depending on how broad your return is. I've used it for about 5 years now, and it makes life *sooooo* much simpler. Plus I can take the cost as a deduction hehehe... //No connection beyond being a v happy customer.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Quotes

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 06 Apr 2016 9:57 pm

Well, as a former Tax Preparer and eventually the former District Director for H&R B in Washington DC from 1968 Till end of 1977. I've had my share of dealing with the IRS and have been to well over 800 audits of clients of HRB during that time span. I am finding it harder to keep up nowadays with the changes but it usually just entails me refreshing and taking in the changes that pertain to rental/farm/overseas employment and the other normal investment BS. Makes for a comic book sized return but as the changes rarely encompass all aspects of the IR Code in a given year, it's not too bad (and having a good ground in general in taxation in the US albeit a long, long time ago.) I usually have all the data before the end of February, but I don't file until April out of spite.

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Wed, 06 Apr 2016 11:17 pm

Yep, totally agree, no point paying (those gouging b*$tards) earlier than necessary. So I complete my return, sit on it for a week or two (as now) ponder if it's genuinely completely finalised. File it. Then set up the required online payments at my bank for about 3 working days prior to the payment cut-off. Slot the future payments into my accounts spreadsheets in Excel so I've plenty of advance notice to ensure the funds are there, and it's all done for another year.

I remember my two US returns (both Fed and State) as being the size of small phone books... it was pretty mad considering my affairs were really very simple [job+minor savings+apartment back home rented out].
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Quotes

Postby JR8 » Wed, 06 Apr 2016 11:20 pm

Given your experience... why do you think the IRS/IR etc make it so very complex and painful for the average taxpayer to file directly? I mean this is why I pay for a tax-prep app, to make it simple. Why can't the IRS/IR provide such an interface? It's almost like they make it so complicated to help support the accounting industry...
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard


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