Guest Author - Kate Woods
By this time everyone with access to any media source knows about the current economic conditions. Highly debated tax restructuring has been at the forefront of the news daily for quite some time now and will surely continue to be front and center for some time into the future. Daily statistics are spouted by media sources that put their own spin on them. What is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009? What are the facts and what is fiction?
Perhaps referring to the highlights of the tax legislation and trying to understand how you are personally touched by the changes is each person’s best option to intelligently digest tax facts and tax changes. Wouldn’t that be a logical thing to do before picking up a sign to picket or holding a rally to show their outrage against taxes? NO ONE LIKES TAXES - but if you are one of those on the down side of the economic turn, taxes provide unemployment to feed your family, medical attention, and a sometimes the will to keep going. Many people who are now without jobs were gainfully employed for a very long time before they became unemployed and they paid taxes at that time. Perhaps the taxes they paid then are providing their unemployment checks now. Perhaps at that time they were also outraged at paying taxes and tax increases. Perhaps they were in the higher income bracket that everyone thinks should not have to bear the burden of any tax increases. Perhaps next month or next year the very people who will receive tax increases will be the unhappy recipient of an unwanted, unexpected job loss and have to draw unemployment from a fund that they themselves were outraged that they had to pay into when they thought they were untouchably employed. As people spew their outrage perhaps they need to realize that there is no immunity from an economic downturn. Many people who are outraged turn to quotes to make their points as they point their fingers. Perhaps they might have forgotten this one – “there but for the grace of God go I.”
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is a valiant effort on the part of our government representatives in Congress to make changes that will help the economy rebound. Will it work? No one has a crystal ball so know one really knows. We must hope that it will work. It is quite extensive and has provisions that effect both individuals and business. In the weeks ahead I will be reviewing some of these provisions. While many people approach taxes with an attitude of “ignorance is bliss”, that sometimes makes them miss out on opportunities that may have been of benefit to them. While some benefits do not require any action on the part of individuals to receive them, others may need action to not miss out on a benefit.
In the weeks and months ahead, read and learn, be pro-active about your own financial and tax planning. Arm yourself with facts and don’t believe spin and hype. Work with others not against them. Try to find every opportunity to move forward instead of looking backwards. Take the stance that optimism can and will defeat pessimism if you keep the faith that any on given day it could be the first day of the rest of a better life for all of us!
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