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Author Topic: Has anyone reported bitcoin capital gains or losses on their taxes?  (Read 11794 times)
notme
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November 04, 2011, 07:28:41 AM
 #81

I've usually heard this proposed along with a pre-bate check on goods up to the poverty line, so basic necessities.  Then we are only taxed on the extra we consume.

I've usually heard any kind of pre-bate check is considered to be an unfair social safety net that would work better in the free market.

I'm not actually picking a fight, but I have literally never heard a big-R Republican, big-L Libertarian, or even little-l libertarian support basic subsistence/healthcare provided by the state to any degree.

That being said, it's not a terrible idea. But it still doesn't get at the one big problem non-libertarians and libertarians will always be embittered over, and where this discussion is eventually heading: if you have more money than someone else, do you deserve it?

No no no.... Not a probate on expenses.... Just on the sales taxes for those expenses.  Same as we have now in the US.  You don't pay taxes if you are below the poverty line.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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November 04, 2011, 07:30:37 AM
 #82

And you deserve it if you earned it.  If daddy (or mommy) gave it to you, then it depends on the individual.  Rich brats cause a lot of problems.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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November 04, 2011, 04:02:08 PM
 #83

No no no.... Not a probate on expenses.... Just on the sales taxes for those expenses.  Same as we have now in the US.  You don't pay taxes if you are below the poverty line.

Ah, gotcha. Also not a terrible idea, but it's largely unpopular with American conservatives, who believe everyone should pay something in taxes.

I was talking about fixed percentage income taxes,  but we can talk about sales taxes, too.

At what point do you set the "poverty line"? I know how it's set here in the US. So you tax someone who spends 89% of their income on food, rent and health, but not someone who spends 90%?

The issue is around fairness. Graduated fairness based on what you need to survive.

And you deserve it if you earned it.  If daddy (or mommy) gave it to you, then it depends on the individual.  Rich brats cause a lot of problems.

What if you earned it by siphoning CPU cycles using embedded javascript code? What if you were exploiting child labor in China (where it's legal), and your customers didn't know? In short, does it matter how you earned it to deserve it? Who decides and enforces that?


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November 04, 2011, 04:23:24 PM
 #84

No no no.... Not a probate on expenses.... Just on the sales taxes for those expenses.  Same as we have now in the US.  You don't pay taxes if you are below the poverty line.

Ah, gotcha. Also not a terrible idea, but it's largely unpopular with American conservatives, who believe everyone should pay something in taxes.

I was talking about fixed percentage income taxes,  but we can talk about sales taxes, too.

At what point do you set the "poverty line"? I know how it's set here in the US. So you tax someone who spends 89% of their income on food, rent and health, but not someone who spends 90%?

The issue is around fairness. Graduated fairness based on what you need to survive.

And you deserve it if you earned it.  If daddy (or mommy) gave it to you, then it depends on the individual.  Rich brats cause a lot of problems.

What if you earned it by siphoning CPU cycles using embedded javascript code? What if you were exploiting child labor in China (where it's legal), and your customers didn't know? In short, does it matter how you earned it to deserve it? Who decides and enforces that?



I'm not sure what you're getting at with 89 vs 90%.  I'm saying everybody gets a prebate at the same level, regardless of income.  Yes, there are situations where people earn money unfairly, but I don't see that as something the government should be responsibile for policing.  (police-ing... Policing looks weird to me, so I want to be clear).  That should be left to social forces.  The problem with governments saying they will take care of things is they don't, yet everyone quits worrying about it because it's supposed to be taken care of.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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November 04, 2011, 06:49:58 PM
 #85

I'm not sure what you're getting at with 89 vs 90%. 

Oh, I was saying that someone just under the poverty line (90%) gets a full prebate on their "flat-distributed" % tax. Someone just over it (89%) get's absolutely no benefit. This is my argument for graduated taxes.

Yes, there are situations where people earn money unfairly, but I don't see that as something the government should be responsibile for policing.

So, in essence: rule of law rests in your own hands. John Doe finds it an offense to his sensibilities when his daughter downloads internet porn, and so he crushes her head in with a baseball bat for her impropriety. Acceptable?

It's an extension of "John Q doesn't like Coca-Cola paying nothing for 5-year-olds in china to bottle, so he decides to not buy Coca-Cola anymore."

More realistic: what happens when Eric Prince decides he'd like an island and doesn't want the natives with it, in this no-law land of yours?

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November 04, 2011, 07:20:08 PM
 #86

I'm not sure what you're getting at with 89 vs 90%. 

Oh, I was saying that someone just under the poverty line (90%) gets a full prebate on their "flat-distributed" % tax. Someone just over it (89%) get's absolutely no benefit. This is my argument for graduated taxes.


In most EU countries, one does not pay taxes at the first XX euros his/hers yearly income, than he pays some low tax at the next YY EUR, and than higher percentage for next ZZ euros he earned (if he earned that much) and so on until some large percentage that is usually set for all income over 100K EUR for example.

So it is gradual for everyone. And if, say, the no tax limit is set at 15K EUR, there is not much difference for guy earning 16K euros and 15K euros per year.  The first one would pay maybe 10% of one thousand euros while the second won't pay any taxes.
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November 04, 2011, 09:48:17 PM
 #87

I'm not sure what you're getting at with 89 vs 90%. 

Oh, I was saying that someone just under the poverty line (90%) gets a full prebate on their "flat-distributed" % tax. Someone just over it (89%) get's absolutely no benefit. This is my argument for graduated taxes.

Yes, there are situations where people earn money unfairly, but I don't see that as something the government should be responsibile for policing.

So, in essence: rule of law rests in your own hands. John Doe finds it an offense to his sensibilities when his daughter downloads internet porn, and so he crushes her head in with a baseball bat for her impropriety. Acceptable?

It's an extension of "John Q doesn't like Coca-Cola paying nothing for 5-year-olds in china to bottle, so he decides to not buy Coca-Cola anymore."

More realistic: what happens when Eric Prince decides he'd like an island and doesn't want the natives with it, in this no-law land of yours?

That's not acceptable, and the father should be put in jail.  Police should stop violent crimes.  I didn't say no laws.  I feel information should be widely available and the markets should decide what is acceptable.  Governments should prevent violent crimes within their boarders and defend their citizens from foreign invasion.  Little else is acceptable to me.  Luckily, I haven't yet had to deal with the dilemma of paying to support the monstrosity we have allowed to form.  I haven't yet made enough, and avoiding that dilemma is what has kept me complacent.

Trust me, I understand how nasty things can get, but I firmly believe that the only way to fight that is awareness: spreading information.  We are more capable than ever of sharing information all over the globe.  Big governments don't aid in awareness; they restrict the flow of information.

And just to be clear, the sales tax with a pre-bate is not how it is actually done in the US, or anywhere as far as I know.  We have progressive taxes very similar to Europe, and no national sales tax at all.  Most states have a small sales tax (4-6%) and a few have exemptions for things like food and clothes.  I think Alaska is the only state where citizens get checks, and that's because the oil is state owned.  Oh how different WV would be if coal/gas companies had to pay more than a few thousand dollars a month to destroy a mountain range.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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November 04, 2011, 10:27:02 PM
 #88

In most EU countries, one does not pay taxes at the first XX euros his/hers yearly income, than he pays some low tax at the next YY EUR, and than higher percentage for next ZZ euros he earned (if he earned that much) and so on until some large percentage that is usually set for all income over 100K EUR for example.

So it is gradual for everyone. And if, say, the no tax limit is set at 15K EUR, there is not much difference for guy earning 16K euros and 15K euros per year.  The first one would pay maybe 10% of one thousand euros while the second won't pay any taxes.

I like this a lot. But I don't think it's popular with libertarian movements.

I feel information should be widely available and the markets should decide what is acceptable.  Governments should prevent violent crimes within their boarders and defend their citizens from foreign invasion.  Little else is acceptable to me. 

Trust me, I understand how nasty things can get, but I firmly believe that the only way to fight that is awareness: spreading information.

I think you misunderstand the power that market share has on freedom of information. One of the first things to go in unregulated markets is necessary information to the consumer. Take a 5 second look at big media. There were Nobel Prizes in Economics awarded on this topic.

In addition, my point was that control over someone's financial life (the way unregulated banking, retail, and massive corporations maintain with discretion over pensions, loans, and property they own) can destroy lives as thoroughly as violence. This is why we have federal regulations regarding finance, and those regulations need to be funded.

Oh how different WV would be if coal/gas companies had to pay more than a few thousand dollars a month to destroy a mountain range.

I can't imagine a single captain of industry ever advocating higher taxes on business.

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November 04, 2011, 11:50:59 PM
 #89

As long as we don't lose our freedom to publish, the Internet ensures anyone can make themselves heard if they really try.  If the media fails to deliver the information, more people will turn to independent reporting.  It's quickly becoming very difficult to hide, an you can't stop independent publishing (at least in the US) without violating the first amendment.

And governments should protect individuals from violent corporations as well as violent people.  As I've said, that's where I draw the line.  Stand up for any individual (person or corporation, since our council of numbskulls likes to treat them as the same) who is having their rights or property forcibly encroached upon.

I was comparing the natural resource situation to Alaska.  Since the state owns the oil, they pay people to drill it, sell it and use/distribute the proceeds.  Here in WV, the companies pay small monthly fees to remove the top of the mountain the get the coal.  The companies then own the coal and sell it for huge profits.  The largest mining company has had as many "sludge pool" failures as they have pools.  These toxic lakes break open an flow in to the water supply, and wipe out houses.  The removed vegetation leads to mudslides an flooding.

Those who have had property destroyed have simply been told there was unanticipated rain and they won't be compensated because the insuance company call it an "act of god".  I know how people can walk on others.  We have ahitloads of regulation that can't be understood without the help of the oligarchy of lawyers, yet we are failing miserably in actually protectih people and their property.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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November 05, 2011, 01:03:45 AM
 #90

As long as we don't lose our freedom to publish, the Internet ensures anyone can make themselves heard if they really try.  If the media fails to deliver the information, more people will turn to independent reporting.  It's quickly becoming very difficult to hide, an you can't stop independent publishing (at least in the US) without violating the first amendment.

You've obviously never heard of anything related to the measures in front of Congress to hamstring net neutrality in favor of gatekeepers working the "free market."

I know how people can walk on others.  We have ahitloads of regulation that can't be understood without the help of the oligarchy of lawyers, yet we are failing miserably in actually protectih people and their property.

And yet those regulations, working or no, are the only thing standing between you and toxic mountain sludge. You expect the companies to handle this for you as they currently do everything they can to skirt regulations and responsibility for the damage they're doing right now?

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November 05, 2011, 03:15:25 AM
 #91

As long as we don't lose our freedom to publish, the Internet ensures anyone can make themselves heard if they really try.  If the media fails to deliver the information, more people will turn to independent reporting.  It's quickly becoming very difficult to hide, an you can't stop independent publishing (at least in the US) without violating the first amendment.

You've obviously never heard of anything related to the measures in front of Congress to hamstring net neutrality in favor of gatekeepers working the "free market."

I know how people can walk on others.  We have ahitloads of regulation that can't be understood without the help of the oligarchy of lawyers, yet we are failing miserably in actually protectih people and their property.

And yet those regulations, working or no, are the only thing standing between you and toxic mountain sludge. You expect the companies to handle this for you as they currently do everything they can to skirt regulations and responsibility for the damage they're doing right now?

The regulations do more to keep competitors out than they keep the big guys in line.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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November 05, 2011, 11:14:18 PM
 #92


My problem with flat taxes is the boilerplate: a 9% income tax on someone who spends 80% of their income on basic housing and food is a big freaking deal. a 9% tax on someone who spends 1% of their income on basic housing and food is meaningless. This is problematic.

Good point. A flat tax would be the most "fair" by ratio relative to income, but not according to an individual's share of the whole. And it is problematic in the long-term; the poor (and middle classes) perpetually struggle harder to survive and the wealthy lose their social support structure which is composed of the former.

I've usually heard this proposed along with a pre-bate check on goods up to the poverty line, so basic necessities.  Then we are only taxed on the extra we consume.

Yes, basically the American Fair Tax proposal.

At what point do you set the "poverty line"? I know how it's set here in the US. So you tax someone who spends 89% of their income on food, rent and health, but not someone who spends 90%?

I've never looked into how the poverty level is determined; I'd guess it's determined on a statistically-derived basis - can you provide an explanation or link?

What if you earned it by siphoning CPU cycles using embedded javascript code? What if you were exploiting child labor in China (where it's legal), and your customers didn't know? In short, does it matter how you earned it to deserve it? Who decides and enforces that?

Exactly. That's the core issue that I'm concerned about: the management. As it stands, management has control over both creation of the rules and enforcement. Human fallibility as the wildcard has historically led to abuse of that situation for individual or oligarchic gain. Bitcoin has the potential to function as more than just money, offering a means to temper less-than-reasonable human traits...

Oh, I was saying that someone just under the poverty line (90%) gets a full prebate on their "flat-distributed" % tax. Someone just over it (89%) get's absolutely no benefit. This is my argument for graduated taxes.

Instead of graduated taxation, what about graduated support up to a minimum threshold? This is effectively negative income tax, a key element of which is elimination of minimum wage laws. Note that it would exacerbate existing problems if introduced in conjunction with current welfare programs. A possible solution could be citizen election to participate in only one system or the other, or a mandatory shift over time using the same binary method.

Note this criticism:

Quote
"... workers would decrease labor supply (employment) by two to four weeks per year because of the guarantee of income equal to the poverty level."

It should be pointed out that, despite workers essentially taking an extra 2-4 weeks of vacation per year, they're still part of the work force. In addition, the extra time off provides the chance for people to relax and recuperate - health benefits have been noted from periodic vacationing. Those willing to sustain themselves at that minimum level are free to do so while an incentive to work is still maintained. Any interested in exceeding that baseline are just as free to do so.

Meanwhile, the reporting responsibility can fall to businesses alone. It could be left up to the individual to request the government supplement, possibly through the respective employer(s). Policing ~30 million businesses in the US is much more reasonable and effective than an order of magnitude above that number in individual citizens, not counting illegal immigrants (which is an entirely different issue).

The benefits to elimination of minimum wage laws are multiple: for one, businesses gain the flexibility to pay free market rates; those businesses are also free to hire as many employees as realistically needed without minimum wage associated legislation-induced fiscal distortions, creating more jobs; employees still receive a baseline income.

There are some who will still slip through the cracks, but the opportunity will be readily present in a more robust system - at least until the robot invasion takes all the menial jobs.

In addition, my point was that control over someone's financial life (the way unregulated banking, retail, and massive corporations maintain with discretion over pensions, loans, and property they own) can destroy lives as thoroughly as violence. This is why we have federal regulations regarding finance, and those regulations need to be funded.

Again, the issue here is management; an unbiased, purely objective regulator experiencing no benefit from illegitimate actions would keep the existing system working - but humans are still part of it. So is another layer of regulation to make sure the regulators are doing their jobs really necessary? Wouldn't it make more sense to change the system's structure to support effective regulation rather than add another layer of the same?
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November 06, 2011, 01:30:06 AM
 #93

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What if you were exploiting child labor in China (where it's legal)

I think you mean India/Vietnam it carries the death penalty here  Wink It does occasionally occur but mainly way out in the boonies and is fairly regularly cracked down on.


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November 06, 2011, 07:44:34 AM
 #94

Again, the issue here is management; an unbiased, purely objective regulator experiencing no benefit from illegitimate actions would keep the existing system working - but humans are still part of it. So is another layer of regulation to make sure the regulators are doing their jobs really necessary? Wouldn't it make more sense to change the system's structure to support effective regulation rather than add another layer of the same?

I don't think the issue is management. It's about incentive. Private firms fall under the same problems of human management that public ones do, because of their human fallibility, by your characterization. The question is what is the driver of decision-making that is most responsive to actual human misery? "The bottom line" surely perpetuates this misery when the interests of the meek do not align with the interests of the rich. Any representation, however broken, is better than none.

In the US, specifically, the private sector worries about public opinion if it affects profits. That happens when people are both 1) wise to the problem, and 2) manage to find a way to undermine profits for their personal needs (which is very, very difficult to do). The public sector worries about public opinion when people simply show up on their door, physically. The representative system, however broken, requires positive public opinion to function. The unrepresentative "free market" only requires ignorant buyers, and they spend enormous amounts to make sure that ignorance abounds.

Don't get me wrong. Bureaucracy sucks, hard. But you can protest bad bureaucratic decisions and see large-scale policy change and protection. When you successfully boycott business, all you get is "less bad."

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November 07, 2011, 01:59:51 AM
 #95

I don't think the issue is management. It's about incentive. Private firms fall under the same problems of human management that public ones do, because of their human fallibility, by your characterization. The question is what is the driver of decision-making that is most responsive to actual human misery? "The bottom line" surely perpetuates this misery when the interests of the meek do not align with the interests of the rich. Any representation, however broken, is better than none.

In the US, specifically, the private sector worries about public opinion if it affects profits. That happens when people are both 1) wise to the problem, and 2) manage to find a way to undermine profits for their personal needs (which is very, very difficult to do). The public sector worries about public opinion when people simply show up on their door, physically. The representative system, however broken, requires positive public opinion to function. The unrepresentative "free market" only requires ignorant buyers, and they spend enormous amounts to make sure that ignorance abounds.

Again, good points. We seem to be talking about the same thing, just from different angles: I view management as ignoring public opinion because the incentive that drives its motive is coming from an unintended source, primarily corporations and related organizations (especially financial firms) with enough influence to affect the human fallibility in management positions (i.e. buying/lobbying politicians).

If a population is dis- and misinformed, or even actively deluding itself, a "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" situation can arise. This was exactly what happened with America's transition from Bush to Obama. How many Occupy Wall Street protesters realize just how dependent the world's economies are on major financial institutions and the consequences that would result if they actually did fail? At this point, the consequences would likely cause a lot of deaths in the developed world.

A free market naturally promotes a meritocracy (it also demands self-responsibility) with full representation based on transfer of wealth ("voting with your dollars"), otherwise corporate profits wouldn't mean anything. No centrally-managed representation necessary; it's currently the closest thing to a direct democracy in existence. Government has acted as a single point of failure: while regulation used to protect against predatory actions, the regulated and regulators are now effectively the same; the result is that regulation harms those it used to protect and protects those it was meant to guide.

Direct democracy certainly wouldn't have been a workable system without a highly connected society and an equally pervasive economic structure. I think the supporting infrastructure has been viable for over 20 years, but existing access, social awareness and perspectives simply haven't developed until recently. Even the potential of a meritocracy can be confusing or intimidating for some people. Free markets aren't perfect, as there will always be facets that can be taken advantage of, but the flexibility and freedom offered are far more than arises from central management - especially as it ages.

Don't get me wrong. Bureaucracy sucks, hard. But you can protest bad bureaucratic decisions and see large-scale policy change and protection. When you successfully boycott business, all you get is "less bad."

I agree to a large extent. Two points to touch on: success can be defined quite a few ways, and certain forms of protest are more effective than others.

The only thing that sustains a government is its power base - the population. I don't know of any bankers or politicians who build railways or design water treatment plants (or ever have; pols coming from real work environments have become rare). If the people are working and maintain the nation, the government can function. Once insulated from the population, but still reaping the benefit of support, it is free to go against public opinion.

A similar situation arises with corporations; vendor lock-in can be highly detrimental to clients as the company can then force a direction. If the business is boycotted, it may make concessions to a "less bad" point, but unless it rearranges its structural behavior it is almost guaranteed to fail. Profit is generally a much more rapid indication of decision validity than any feedback in politics, which can more readily be distorted or misguided. In any case, when support erodes, governments and businesses must either adapt or die.

The difference between the kind of success in protesting that leads to more of the same versus real change is use of alternatives which make the offending institutions irrelevant. In the Bank Transfer Day article, it was pointed out that ~400,000 people withdrawing their assets from major banks would start to cause a real issue. You can bet Bank of America would have to change (if it can) or lose relevance as a financial firm (if gov't bailouts didn't occur). That's the kind of protesting that would also force genuine change in government. It's already happening with persistently elevated unemployment levels (and associated expiration of benefits), but I think the tipping point is still a ways off.

I can see the potential for instituting change by sheer force of direct protest, but it will still be quite a while before there are enough Ron Pauls in American government to shift the tide. In effect, that form of protest is like a frontal siege on a fortress - even with persistently overwhelming numbers, heavy losses will be incurred. Wouldn't it be faster and less destructive to starve the ivory tower inhabitants out?
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November 08, 2011, 08:08:26 AM
 #96

Again, good points. We seem to be talking about the same thing, just from different angles: I view management as ignoring public opinion because the incentive that drives its motive is coming from an unintended source, primarily corporations and related organizations (especially financial firms) with enough influence to affect the human fallibility in management positions (i.e. buying/lobbying politicians).

How many Occupy Wall Street protesters realize just how dependent the world's economies are on major financial institutions and the consequences that would result if they actually did fail?


Government has acted as a single point of failure: while regulation used to protect against predatory actions, the regulated and regulators are now effectively the same; the result is that regulation harms those it used to protect and protects those it was meant to guide.

All of these statements are reasonable, but you're right that we're passing each other on the important bits; a premise is left unsaid: money is the problem with government. It's big business with it's ability to buy government that assists the removal of public opinion as a pressure point for politicians.

We're talking about sources of power. If that source is financial, it is very very easily transformed into violence and manipulation. A simple case in point: can you imagine the U.S. government using military police with assault rifles to intimidate, harass, and loot the public without serious backlash, and the media not have a shitstorm? No. How about when a private corporation does this? Oh wait. Guess who's still the biggest private military contractor in the U.S.? Guess why? Because they  spent millions on public relations to hide their dirty side. When you're faced with dwindling profits, the first response is not "How do I improve my product?" It's "How do I improve my image?" If the answer is lie, cheat and steal, that is what is done. If your life is in the public eye, like politicians, you get less leeway.

There are a lot of holes in my argument. But this takes the cake: Why do you think that the first time you heard about Herman Cain's repeated sexual harassment problems was when he's running for president? Because public opinion matters when you represent people.

Don't get me wrong. Business does many, many things better than government. Allocation of scarce normal goods, merit-based advancement, responsiveness to customers, and competition are often valuable results from free-market operations when they aren't tainted by market power. But business is not in the business of preventing poverty,  supporting healthcare that's good for the population, embracing competition, and protecting human rights. These cost money to enforce.

Wouldn't you rather have that money under the scrutiny of people that can make changes just by opening their mouths, instead of mobilizing full-on consumer-changing behavior? I would.

Please give me your money, because I am a shameless libertarian elite who deserves your money more than you do: 9Hkao8U82WWDp6SQGn4k7ad9gT1LWeL5s3
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