Sunday, May 11, 2008

Idiot Moron Libtards at Crooks and Liars will believe anything 
And apparently, so does the editorial staff of the Colorado Springs Gazette:

By: Nicole Belle on Saturday, May 10th, 2008 at 5:30 PM - PDT
C&Ler “Z” sent this link to a letter to the editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Many soldiers missing out on Bush’s stimulus checks

In August 2006 the 10th Mountain Division, 2nd BCT, 1-89 Cavalry was sent to Iraq for 12 months. In April 2007, the troops were told the Army was adding three additional months to their time in country.

In November 2007 the troopers of 1-89 arrived back in New York from their tour. They are now being told by the IRS, via the IRS Web site, that they haven’t earned enough money to qualify for the economic stimulus check.

Only problem with that one: It's a lie, Nicole.

From the IRS's Web page:

For federal tax purposes, the U.S. Armed Forces includes officers and enlisted personnel in all regular and reserve units controlled by the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Coast Guard and National Guard are also included, but not the U.S. Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross.

Normally, combat pay is not counted as income and is not taxable. For the purposes of receiving an economic stimulus payment, however, military personnel serving in combat zones have the option of including their nontaxable combat pay on their 2007 or 2008 income tax returns if it helps their eligibility for the 2008 economic stimulus payments.

To receive the stimulus payment this year, combat zone personnel or their spouses must file a 2007 income tax return by Oct. 15. Otherwise, they can claim the economic stimulus payment on next year’s income tax return.

Military personnel who normally would not file an income tax return because their 2007 income is not taxable can file a simple Form 1040A with the IRS if they want to receive the economic stimulus payment. They should report their nontaxable combat pay on Line 40b of the Form 1040A to show at least $3,000 in qualifying income. The Department of Defense lists the amount of excluded combat pay, along with the designation, “Code Q,” in Box 12 of Forms W-2.

Liberal and stupid is no way to go through life, Nicole. Here's a hint: Don't believe letters to the editor. Especially about taxes.

Splash, out


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So servicemen have the option of including their combat pay in their income if it will qualify them for the stimulus grant - doesn't this mean they will have to pay income tax on otherwize tax-exempt income in order to get the stimulus? That doesn't sound like such a good deal.
The stimulus is a tax refund. It's not "free money from heaven." You have to be a taxpayer to qualify.
Servicemen ALREADY get the refund, by virtue of not having to pay taxes on income earned in a combat zone. The deal is just fine as it is. In fact, deployed servicemen and women get an even BETTER deal, since there's no withholding of income. So they get there stimulus money even sooner.

On top of that, they can take that income, and deposit up to 10,000 in an account guaranteeing 10% interest per year. It's a SCREAMING deal, especially in this environment of low interest rates, and every serviceman should take advantage of it. Even ones with significant consumer debt, if the terms of the Soldiers and Sailors' Act allow them to convert that debt to 6% (which is generally the case with mobilized reservists.)

Even better, those servicemen and women can take that tax free income, and put up to 5,000 each in a Roth IRA. Which grows and is withdrawn tax free. It's the best of both worlds - especially since most of them are in their 20s and early 30s. It's a HUGE tax break.

On top of that, as I've written here on this blog before, if you only have taxable income for a small part of the year, due to a deployment to a combat zone, your AGI is artificially low. Which means you can qualify for the Retirement Savings Credit, which is an additional benefit of up to 1,000 dollars, depending on the overall bracket and the dollars earned. (In practice, it will almost always be less than the 1,000, but it will be hundreds of dollars, in most cases, in any event, for anyone deployed in the first couple of months of the year (most of the 'surge' folks hit the ground in theater in February and March last year).

So overall, there are a number of positive tax benefits to service in a combat zone, even over and above the short term exclusion, for forward-thinking servicemen and women.

This is a nonstory.
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