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Your Take: Do Tax Shelters, Dodges, and Rolls Anger You?

I’m a big fan of Bloomberg Businessweek, especially their iPad app where you can download your subscription and take it anywhere, and recently they had a really interesting special report called How to Pay No Taxes [3] – very good reading. It held a lot of insights into how the wealthy are able to avoid taxes in entirely legal, and very clever, ways. They’re all strategies that make sense when you’re moving millions of dollars around because the costs of paying accountants, lawyers, and the like are likely in the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. It makes less sense if you’re just moving several thousand around.

As I read the article, I was about to get annoyed at all the sheltering and dodging until I realized it’s just part of the game. Our tax structure has gotten so complicated, it’s basically a game. Consider this – the United States has one of the highest corporate income tax rates at 35%. Yet, after all the loopholes and credits and other tax breaks, corporations, in aggregate, pay about average. The difference is that certain industries pay a lot less and others pay more.

It’s like playing a game and finding out that one of the other players has discovered the optimal strategy before you do. They’re beating your pants off because they’re smarter than you. Can you really get that upset because they figured it out? I suppose you can get upset at anything but the reality is that you have to change the rules… right?

Check out the list of 11 moves and tell me what you feel!

(Photo: aidanmorgan [4])