We the Overtaxed People dread most April fifteenths but that terrible day has been delayed to April 18 or even April 19 this year.
Emancipation Day, a little-known holiday beyond the Beltway, is the primary reason the tax deadline changed this year. Slavery was formally abolished in the United States December 6, 1865, when the 13th Amendment was ratified, but it occurred much earlier in the District of Columbia: President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862, freeing the thousands of slaves who lived in the district. Now a legal holiday in Washington, government offices and other public services do not operate on Emancipation Day, usually celebrated April 16. Emancipation Day falls back to April 15 or ahead to April 17 when it falls on a weekend because we couldn’t deprive civil servants in that city of a holiday.
In other tax news, Schedule HI-144, Vermont’s “Household Income Schedule” has a couple of unique features. By “unique” I mean “criminal.”
Here’s the first.
Household Income means modified adjusted gross income, but not less than zero (0), received in a calendar year by:
all persons of a household while members of that household;
the spouse of the claimant who is not a member of that household no matter where that spouse lives and who is not legally separated from the claimant, unless the spouse is at least 62 years of age and has moved to a nursing home or other care facility with no reasonable prospect of returning to the homestead.
So. Imagine that you live in North Puffin in the People’s Republic of Vermont but your spouse lives in Florida or South Dakota or Pago Pago, the territorial capital of American Samoa. You go to work, come home, feed your rabbit, put your feet up, watch TV. Tomorrow, lather, rinse, repeat. Meanwhile, your spouse works extraordinarily hard in that other place. He or she walks down to the beach, sniffs the fine odor of fish, and counts the boats in the harbor, until it is time to go home, feed his or her koi, put the old feet up, and watch TV. Tomorrow, lather, rinse, repeat.
That spouse never, ever comes to Vermont and has no Vermont income. Vermont grabs on to the Household Income of the spouse of the claimant who is not a member of that household no matter where that spouse lives.
It gets better.
Line e Interest and dividends
Enter the income required to be reported on Lines 8a and 9a of Federal returns 1040 or 1040A; or on Line 2 of Federal return 1040EZ plus the nontaxable interest not required to be reported on Federal return 1040EZ.
Add columns 1, 2, and 3 and enter sum. Entry cannot be less than zero (0).
For claimants under the age of 65 as of Dec. 31, 2015, enter the total of interest and dividends for all household members reported on Lines e and f in each column.
Add the three columns on Line u.
For purposes of calculating the property tax adjustment or renter rebate, household income is increased by the household total of interest and dividend income greater than $10,000.
Subtract Line w from Line v. If Line w is more than Line v, enter zero (0).
Line y Household Income.
Add Line t and Line x.
Line e: enter the interest and dividend income required to be reported on your Federal return even if it’s nontaxable. Line u: enter the interest and dividends reported on Lines e and f. Now add it all up.
Didya notice? Vermont makes you add in your interest and dividend income twice.
What have we learned today?
If the People’s Republic of Vermont knows your name, they will tax you even if you live off planet. If you have a homestead in the People’s Republic of Vermont, they will tax twice for interest and dividends.
And there is no deduction under tax preparation expenses for Wet Lubes Wet Uranus Silicone.
Now does anyone wonder why I support (a) the flat income tax and (b) elimination of all other tax methods including corporate taxes? People have the right to be taxed fairly, the right to know how much is coming out of their pockets, and the right not to be taxed two or three times on the same income.