From the Department of We're All In It Together...

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From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#1  Postby Beatsong » Mar 26, 2014 5:37 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/201 ... -threshold

and commentary:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... ets-end-it

Times are hard, you know. Only relentless dedication to austerity will get us out of this mess of Labour's making. That's why it's important for the government to be giving away tax revenue to the wealthiest 3%, particularly when they didn't do anything to earn it.

Loved this little piece of dishonesty:

"Inheritance tax should only be paid for by the rich. It shouldn't be paid for by people who have worked hard and saved, and bought a family house in, say, Peacehaven [a town near Brighton].


Except it isn't paid by the people who "worked hard and saved" for that house. Those people are dead, so they can't pay anything. It's paid by their offspring who did fuck all for it other than happening to be born out of the right vagina.

I've lived in Britain for 25 years but stuff like this just makes me think someone has abducted me to an alien planet, it's just so utterly brain dead. Someone remind me again why so many ordinary people (ie, those not in the 1%, or even the 3%) vote tory? I mean, is there some mass infant lobotomy program I haven't been told about?
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#2  Postby Sendraks » Mar 26, 2014 5:41 pm

I can't help but agree. I wonder how much it would change people's attitudes if they knew their relatives would be leaving them "nothing" when they die, because it would all revert to the state.

There are a lot of theiving oiks out there with a disturbing sense of entitlement towards their relatives possessions.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#3  Postby laklak » Mar 26, 2014 7:12 pm

Inheritance tax should be abolished. Why should the state get what I worked for and already paid income tax on? Sure, tax the interest or any capital gains profits, but otherwise it's mine to do with what I want. Honestly, if the U.S. ever did that I would take it ALL out in cash and burn it in the back yard, throw the tenants out, bulldoze the properties and salt the land.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#4  Postby Emmeline » Mar 26, 2014 7:30 pm

I don't agree with inheritance tax at all. People already pay tax on their earnings/income & that's enough. I've always thought it was outrageous for the state to take a slice of people's money after they die. If I were wealthy (I'm not) I'd be doing everything possible to put my money where the government couldn't get it.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#5  Postby Agrippina » Mar 26, 2014 7:31 pm

They already tax the hell out of us, why should we pay tax on the money we've saved from our already taxed income.

I'm a little pissed with our lot too. They've decided that medical insurance (medical aid in this country) is no longer deductible before your income is taxed. In the past, your contribution to your medical scheme was deducted from your gross income, then you were taxed on the net amount. Now they've changed that because they want people to pay into the government health scheme so that they can improve it for people who don't have private insurance. Fine. I can understand that for young people. But what about people who've been paying into the scheme for 50 years without claiming anything near the full amount they've put in every year, and only had two or possibly, three, major charges for surgery? Why should we drop our private insurance in favour of a scheme that will force us to go to government hospitals for treatment, never see the same doctor twice, have to accept that if it's not life-threatening, you don't need the treatment, and if you do have an emergency, be made to wait in long queues to get attention.

Instead of paying millions of rands of taxpayers' money for the president to have alterations to his house, why couldn't that money have gone into funding the government health scheme.

Anyway, my rant. So now, big bloody deal, they reduce the income tax, but tax the gross amount, rather than the net, so this month, our net income was substantially reduced, and we won't be able to claim back the tax on extra money we spend on our medical needs, which are fairly considerable, over and above the insured benefits. Damn robber barons need to be kicked out and replaced with people who live in the real world, and not the world of underground tunnels built into a president's house so he can walk between his different wives' houses with out getting wet in the rain. :nono: :nono: :nono:

I'm going to make sure that the kids, when they sell this house, after we've pegged, know to make sure they don't ask a price that will cause them to have to pay tax on the proceeds of the sale. Thieves and liars, that's what politicians are!

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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#6  Postby laklak » Mar 26, 2014 7:39 pm

Spot on Emme and Aggie. I'm not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but there are those up in D.C. that might consider me so. As it is now my estate won't be subject to inheritance tax, the total worth is less than the maximum untaxed limit, but they could change the limit at any moment, or the property market could come back to previous levels. Then they'd take 40% of it. Not going to happen, I'll find a way even if it means cashing in all my chips and moving the money to various offshore accounts.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#7  Postby Agrippina » Mar 26, 2014 7:45 pm

That's what bothers me. I think it's ridiculous that retired people are made to pay tax anyway. They should set the limits higher for retirement income, so that the uber-wealthy pay tax, but schmucks like us, who saved and went without during our working years to provide for ourselves in retirement, so that we wouldn't be dependent on the government for a pension, or medical, wouldn't be penalised for doing this. If I complained, they'd tell me that there are pensioners surviving on their government pension which is less than a tenth of our net income. Still, we pay the same prices for services and goods that everyone else does and when prices go up, we have less money to spend. Damn excrement!

If my DH passes on first, I'll have to transfer this house into my name, meaning that I'll have to pay transfer duty a second time on the same house. Ridiculous. We thought of putting it in both our names, but they still make you move it to the surviving spouse's name even if you do that. Argh! I shouldn't rant about this stuff just before I go to bed.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#8  Postby Sendraks » Mar 26, 2014 7:48 pm

laklak wrote:Why should the state get what I worked for and already paid income tax on?

Why should anybody else get it after you're dead?

You're not the one being taxed, your relatives are, for stuff they didn't earn.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#9  Postby laklak » Mar 26, 2014 7:49 pm

I don't know enough about South African law, Aggie, but can't you do some sort of family trust thingy? My parents did that and it make it much easier for Mom when Dad passed, and much easier on my sister and me when she did.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#10  Postby laklak » Mar 26, 2014 7:50 pm

Sendraks wrote:
laklak wrote:Why should the state get what I worked for and already paid income tax on?

Why should anybody else get it after you're dead?

You're not the one being taxed, your relatives are, for stuff they didn't earn.


No, my relatives aren't taxed, my estate is taxed. They're not liable for any taxes on anything.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#11  Postby Sendraks » Mar 26, 2014 8:01 pm

laklak wrote:No, my relatives aren't taxed, my estate is taxed. They're not liable for any taxes on anything.


Fine your estate is taxed. As you're dead at this point, it is hardly an issue.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#12  Postby Beatsong » Mar 26, 2014 8:04 pm

Interested to see such polarised opinions about this, as it's something I must admit I see in very black and white terms.

laklak wrote:Inheritance tax should be abolished. Why should the state get what I worked for and already paid income tax on?


Why shouldn't they? Why should anybody else get it?

The usual justification for peoples' right to private property is that they have worked for it and deserve to keep the fruits of their labour. In fact you play into exactly that above ("why should the state get what I WORKED FOR...").

But your kids didn't work for that wealth, did they? So what the fuck gives them any more right to it than anyone else? When you stop to consider reality for a moment - ie the reality that society is structured so that people's success and wealth is massively determined by what family they are born into - then why should we continue to maintain a respect for individual property rights based upon accident of birth, when those rights massively skew the actual opportunites of individuals to prosper economically? It doesn't make any sense.

By taking your wealth when you die in inheritence tax, the state can invest it in education, healthcare, etc. etc that can serve all citizens equally, and allow all young people a reasonable chance to do well based on their own efforts. If your justification for the wealth in the first place is, as you said, the fact that you WORKED FOR IT, then that is the most logical thing to do with that wealth after you die: open it up to whoever is most willing to work for it.

Honestly, if the U.S. ever did that I would take it ALL out in cash and burn it in the back yard, throw the tenants out, bulldoze the properties and salt the land.


Is there no inheritance tax at all in the US?

Emmeline wrote:I don't agree with inheritance tax at all. People already pay tax on their earnings/income & that's enough. I've always thought it was outrageous for the state to take a slice of people's money after they die. If I were wealthy (I'm not) I'd be doing everything possible to put my money where the government couldn't get it.


I'm used to attitudes like lak's as the expression of a peculiarly American libertarianism. But how can you, as a Brit, not see or care about the connection between inheritance of wealth and the deep class-based, structural inequalities in our society? Inheritance tax is currently paid by 3% of estates. Do you seriously think that at that level, they're all the estates of heart-warming rags-to-riches heroes who managed to managed to beat the odds to leave a nice fortune for their kids? (And that those kids then, for some reason, deserve a start in life several orders of magnitude better than everyone else).

This is not about hard working people providing a reasonable start for their kids. It's about ensuring that a tiny minority of families born into the privilege of not having to work at all, are able to stay that way.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#13  Postby Beatsong » Mar 26, 2014 8:13 pm

Agrippina wrote:They already tax the hell out of us, why should we pay tax on the money we've saved from our already taxed income.


Once more: this is the great lie about inheritence tax.

YOU don't pay the tax on money YOU'VE saved. Your children pay it on money they did fuck all for.

You may argue that that's good or bad; right or wrong. But can we drop the lie please? Inheritance tax is not some kind of double tax ON WHAT PEOPLE HAVE EARNED. The person who did the work, who "earned" the money is a fucking corpse and can't possibly react any differently to whatever you choose to do with the wealth that they USED TO enjoy.

It's a tax on entirely unearned wealth accruing to people who happened to come out of a particular birth canal. As such, it must be a far superior way to maintain a functioning state while respecting the importance of reward FOR LABOUR, than income tax. If gathering a certain amount in inheritance tax allows income taxes to be lower, that has to be a better way of allowing people to achieve the level of wealth their own labour actually deserves.
Last edited by Beatsong on Mar 26, 2014 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#14  Postby laklak » Mar 26, 2014 8:14 pm

@Sendraks - It may not be an issue when I'm dead but it certainly is while living. I made money, I paid tax on it, when I die it goes to my estate. My estate continues to exist after my death and is considered, legally, an extension of me. Anyone I owe money to can get it from the estate, any taxes I owe are taken from it, it can be sued, it can be represented by legal counsel, it is in effect a legal person.

If you decide to give someone a gift, say a car, or a couple of thousand quid, or even a movie ticket or a sausage roll, should the state be able to simply confiscate it? The person you're giving it to didn't work for it, after all, and you're giving it away so it cant mean anything to you, so why shouldn't it go towards "The Greater Good"?

@Beatsong - Same question to you. Why should a posthumous gift be treated any differently than one made while living? There is inheritance tax in the U.S., but at the moment the first 5 million or thereabouts is exempt. After that it's 40%.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#15  Postby Beatsong » Mar 26, 2014 8:21 pm

laklak wrote:
Sendraks wrote:
laklak wrote:Why should the state get what I worked for and already paid income tax on?

Why should anybody else get it after you're dead?

You're not the one being taxed, your relatives are, for stuff they didn't earn.


No, my relatives aren't taxed, my estate is taxed. They're not liable for any taxes on anything.


Actually it seems you're right:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inheritance_tax

An inheritance tax or estate tax is a levy paid by a person who inherits money or property or a tax on the estate (money and property) of a person who has died.[1] In international tax law, there is a distinction between an estate tax and an inheritance tax: an estate tax is assessed on the assets of the deceased, while an inheritance tax is assessed on the legacies received by the beneficiaries of the estate. However, this distinction is not always respected in the language of tax laws. For example, the "inheritance tax" in the United Kingdom is a tax on the assets of the deceased, and is therefore, strictly speaking, an estate tax. For historical reasons, the term death duty is still used colloquially (though not legally) in the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth nations to refer to the estate tax.


Scrolling down, it would appear the USA has estate tax, not inheritance tax. And the UK CALLS IT inheritance tax, but it actually functions as an estate tax too.

Not sure that makes any difference in reality though. You're still a corpse, and your kids still didn't work for it.

EDIT: Actually more complicated than that in the USA as there are sometimes actual inheritance taxes (ie, paid by the beneficiary) at the state level.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#16  Postby Ironclad » Mar 26, 2014 8:28 pm

Tax on pensions puzzles me too. You have to pay a percentage of the money you placed into a pension scheme, money that has already been subject to taxation.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#17  Postby monkeyboy » Mar 26, 2014 8:30 pm

Sendraks wrote:
laklak wrote:Why should the state get what I worked for and already paid income tax on?

Why should anybody else get it after you're dead?


Just what would you have happen to my stuff when I die then? Burn my house to the ground with all my stuff in it? Give it all to the government?
That's just incentive to blow the lot and arrive in the mortuary flat out broke.

You're not the one being taxed, your relatives are, for stuff they didn't earn.


Ahem, excuse me. I've already been taxed once for all my stuff. I see no reason that simply because I want my kids to have what I fucking well paid for and was taxed on, they can't receive it without paying more tax for the same stuff.

What next, a fucking birthday present tax?
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#18  Postby monkeyboy » Mar 26, 2014 8:47 pm

Beatsong wrote:
Agrippina wrote:They already tax the hell out of us, why should we pay tax on the money we've saved from our already taxed income.


Once more: this is the great lie about inheritence tax.

YOU don't pay the tax on money YOU'VE saved. Your children pay it on money they did fuck all for.


Does the money get taxed more than once? Yes it does. Will what's left of it be taxed again as whoever gets it spends it? Yes it will.

I could drink like a fish, smoke like a chimney and go on as many holidays as I can fit in. I could blow it all on hookers and drugs and arrive at the final accountant's office flat broke and nobody cares. But if I choose to save some of my money to give my kids a hand in life, just as I did when I fed them, clothed them, taught them to read and write, saved for their college fund etc suddenly when I die that's wrong? Fuck that shit!!
You may argue that that's good or bad; right or wrong. But can we drop the lie please? Inheritance tax is not some kind of double tax ON WHAT PEOPLE HAVE EARNED. The person who did the work, who "earned" the money is a fucking corpse and can't possibly react any differently to whatever you choose to do with the wealth that they USED TO enjoy.


It isn't a lie, it's a tax on being sensible with your money and wanting to help your kids out when you die. It is money that has been taxed already as it was accrued

It's a tax on entirely unearned wealth accruing to people who happened to come out of a particular birth canal. As such, it must be a far superior way to maintain a functioning state while respecting the importance of reward FOR LABOUR, than income tax. If gathering a certain amount in inheritance tax allows income taxes to be lower, that has to be a better way of allowing people to achieve the level of wealth their own labour actually deserves.

And it's my money/property. Do explain what incentive there is for me to save my money or own my house etc come the end of my days if it's just going back into the communal pot. I may as well just piss it up the wall because I'm fucked if I'm giving it to the government.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#19  Postby laklak » Mar 26, 2014 8:58 pm

Pretty much my take on it, monkeyboy. If I can't give it to my kids then I'll just take them both on an extended vacation around the world till the money runs out, then latch on to the government tit in my declining years.
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Re: From the Department of We're All In It Together...

#20  Postby Emmeline » Mar 26, 2014 9:14 pm

Beatsong wrote:
Emmeline wrote:I don't agree with inheritance tax at all. People already pay tax on their earnings/income & that's enough. I've always thought it was outrageous for the state to take a slice of people's money after they die. If I were wealthy (I'm not) I'd be doing everything possible to put my money where the government couldn't get it.


I'm used to attitudes like lak's as the expression of a peculiarly American libertarianism. But how can you, as a Brit, not see or care about the connection between inheritance of wealth and the deep class-based, structural inequalities in our society? Inheritance tax is currently paid by 3% of estates. Do you seriously think that at that level, they're all the estates of heart-warming rags-to-riches heroes who managed to managed to beat the odds to leave a nice fortune for their kids? (And that those kids then, for some reason, deserve a start in life several orders of magnitude better than everyone else).

This is not about hard working people providing a reasonable start for their kids. It's about ensuring that a tiny minority of families born into the privilege of not having to work at all, are able to stay that way.


The threshold for inheritance tax is £325,000 so there will be plenty of people leaving under a £million, split between their children and/or grandchildren. These aren't people "born into the privilege of not having to work at all" and "able to stay that way".

For the very small minority leaving a fortune well so what? It's their money not the government's money so they should be able to leave it entirely as they wish. I know that it perpetuates privilege but if I were rich, I'd want to pass that on to my family (not the government) so I can't in all honesty begrudge others from doing the same.
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