Thursday, February 19, 2009


It's a crazy world. Tell your granddaughter about sleeping beauty and she asks if sleeping beauty had a trust. "Can she avoid death taxes?" she wants to know. And your grandson, he is no better. When you mention a like-kind exchange he knows you're not talking about some transformation, like Clark Kent into Superman. He wants to see the two properties.

Taxes pervade our lives. Income taxes have been with us since they were initiated to pay for the Civil War. Ever since then, they've been utilized for all kinds of wars and social situations. They aren't going away anytime soon. The basic structure has stayed consistent over time and no matter how often people, including the best of our statesmen, suggest a different tack to take with respect to taxation --- whether it's value-added taxes or some other scheme --- the fundamental foundation remains in place.
All income is taxable from whatever source derived. It is called gross income. The only way you get out of being taxed on income is if there is some legislative grace that has been enacted to do so. And I guess that is gross.

If you are in a trade or business --- or you think you are --- the part of the tax return that should interest you is Schedule C. You ought to become acquainted with it.

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