Category: Taxes

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Congress gives America a special Christmas present: higher taxes

You’ve got to hand it to these people– Congress really knows how to bring out the holiday cheer. They have some sort of pathological need to pass the most absurd legislation at the VERY END OF THE YEAR giving people very little time to react. Two years ago, for example, they passed comprehensive

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Yesterday I learned about yet another incredible tax incentive

Yesterday, I was looking at commercial properties for an Opportunity Zone investment… and one project in particular is really attractive. The building itself is inexpensive– only a couple of million dollars to buy it and a few more to renovate. Frankly, for a large spacious office building in one of the best neighborhoods

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The easiest (and safest) return on investment you’ll ever achieve

In 1993, William Kurt Hauser, a San Francisco investment analyst, presented his results from an incredibly interesting study. Hauser had analyzed tax revenues in the United States over time and came to the conclusion that tax revenue as a percentage of GDP had remained around a narrow band of 19% since 1946. That

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Even Elizabeth Warren is maximizing her tax deductions

On September 11, 1791, sixteen men disguised themselves as women and waited patiently in a forest outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the local tax collector. The tax collector’s name was Robert Johnson. And he was tasked with collecting the new Whiskey Tax that had recently been signed into law. This was -very- early

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Here’s why the wealthiest city in America is screwed

Last month, Chicago hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin spent $238 million on a condo in New York City. It was the most expensive home ever sold in the US (but only one piece of Griffin’s massive, luxury real estate portfolio). Good for Ken… he’s incredibly wealthy and can spend his money however he

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Own a business? Consider this approach to slash your tax bill

By the middle of the 11th century in the town of Coventry, England, the local townspeople had spent years under the oppressive regime of their ruler, Leofric of Mercia. Leofric taxed his people heavily… which was commonplace in the Middle Ages. Feudal barons were extremely creative in taxing trade and commerce, demanding egregious

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The state of New Jersey just signed its own death warrant

You would think New Jersey would have learned its lesson… Two years ago, New Jersey’s richest resident – hedge fund billionaire David Tepper – decided to move himself and his business to Miami Beach. Tepper, who personally earned more than $6 billion from 2012-2015, was tired of paying New Jersey’s top income-tax rate

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There is no ‘patriotic duty’ to pay more tax

In 1873 during the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, the government abolished its income tax. Aside from a single episode in 1894, there would be no income tax in the United States of America for nearly 40 years. It was during this period that the United States emerged as the largest, most powerful

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Meet the Italian government’s Orwellian new automated tax snitch

By the end of the 3rd century AD, the finances of ancient Rome were in terminal crisis. Years and years of debasing the currency had resulted in severe hyperinflation– a period of Roman history known as the Crisis of the Third Century (from AD 235 through AD 284). During the time of Julius

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Record number of Americans want MORE government in their lives

[Editor’s Note: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, we thought it would be appropriate to republish some of our most popular articles from 2017. Today’s was originally published on April 24] In a poll conducted a few days ago by NBC News / Wall Street Journal, a record 57%

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The best tax incentive in the world

In a move almost destined to prove that laws and policies have absolutely zero meaning, the European Union released a list of “tax havens” last week… with a massive, giant, highly conspicuous omission. The blacklist contains the names of the usual suspects– Panama, United Arab Emirates, etc., along with a few additions like

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Taxes: here’s what’s going to stay the SAME

On October 3, 1913, US President Woodrow Wilson signed the Underwood-Simmons Act into law, creating what would become the first modern US income tax. The legislation (at least, the income tax portion) was only 16 pages and imposed a base tax rate of just 1%. The highest tax rate was set at 7%–

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Where there’s [almost] “blood in the streets” in America today…

In the spring of 1871 after a miserable defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, Paris plunged into a major crisis as local citizens revolted against the government. Financial markets went berserk as a result, and the prices of French government bonds plummeted. There’s an old story that an heir to a large fortune came

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Here’s what happened when they raised taxes 2,000+ years ago

In 353 BC, as violent class warfare broke out across ancient Greece, one wealthy Athenian lamented in his journal, When I was a boy, wealth was regarded as a thing so…admirable that almost everyone affected to own more property than he actually possessed. Now a man has to be ready to defend himself

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How to cut your taxes no matter what your situation

On the plane ride back to Chile last night, I was sitting next to a particularly chatty woman who wanted to know my whole life story and what I was doing in Mexico. I played along and explained to her that I had been on a cruise for the past week speaking at

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You can’t rely on Social Security. Do this instead

In the late in the 5th century BC, the government of ancient Rome came up with a new idea that has lasted for thousands of years. I’m not talking about their roads, republican form of government, or water sanitation. Their bold idea was to start paying retirement benefits to Roman soldiers. This was

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How I made an extra 15% by buying this stock on a foreign exchange

September 2, 2015 Vienna, Austria Recently I wrote to you explaining why I’d just purchased shares of Royal Dutch Shell. Shell is a giant in the oil industry that’s been in businesses for more than a century. And while I almost never buy stocks, they were practically giving this one away. When I

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I believe we have a moral obligation to starve the beast.

On August 5, 1861, facing rapidly deteriorating economic conditions and a horrible defeat at Bull Run, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1861 into law. It was the first time in US history that the federal government would charge an income tax on its citizens. But Lincoln felt that it was

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US government was more forgiving of the Nazis than its own citizens

April 14, 2015 Santiago, Chile 70 years ago, the United States of America had just emerged from World War II as the most dominant superpower in the world. At that point America’s economy was the only one left standing. And the US government had essentially dictated terms in establishing a new global financial

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Puerto Rico Act 20 & 22: Guide & Personal Experience

Puerto Rico Tax Incentives:Ultimate Guide & My Personal Experience With Act 20 & Act 22 AUTHOR LAST UPDATED When I wake up and see the ocean in front of me, I have to pinch myself.  Here I am, living in a beautiful place that’s part of the United States… yet I pay ZERO

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Steve Jobs held billions of dollars offshore. Was he ‘unpatriotic’ ?

February 24, 2015 Singapore At the end of September 2011, just days before his passing, the company that Steve Jobs founded had a $25 billion cash hoard. Nearly half of this was stashed overseas. What’s more, Apple was running billions in profit through multiple Irish subsidiaries, neither of which were taxable by the

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Surreal: IRS apologizes for seizing bank accounts

February 12, 2015 Puerto Varas, Chile Twenty-seven years ago at the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans, George H. W. Bush accepted his party’s nomination to run for President of the United States. (This was when he announced Dan Quayle as his running mate, to which Senator John McCain later remarked “I

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How you can avoid dying as property of the state

January 30, 2015 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile The Japanese are known for being great savers and for prioritizing family ties. So it’s particularly important for them to make sure that their savings get passed along to their children. It’s part of human nature to want to pass along our knowledge and our wealth

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Say goodbye to the nation state, this is how the new system will look

December 9, 2014 Santiago, Chile In the moment after the musicians finished their last song, the silence was broken by the faint tune of someone singing “Mu isamaa on minu arm”. The singers on stage quickly looked at each other nervously, but seeing strength in each other’s eyes they began to join in.

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This guy’s got some serious tax problems

November 26, 2014 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile I can’t say I’ve known too many guys in my life named ‘Boris’ who were shy about standing up for themselves. The name itself means ‘wolf’ in an extinct Turkic language. And if the current mayor of London Boris Johnson is going go to toe to

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April15

Americans: This is how free you really are.

April 15, 2014 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile Among all the great stories and conversations passed down from the ages, probably my favorite is one from the ancient historian Lucius Cassius Dio about Roman emperor Caracalla. Caracalla ruled in the second century AD, and he was notorious for bankrupting the Roman treasury and waging

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