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主頁 > 理財文章 > 稅務專題 - 一般話題 > 奧斑馬稅法  

奧斑馬稅法

 

二零零八年的總統選戰已經達到了初步的認同。雖然還沒有正式確認,但是共和黨及民主黨的候選人將會分別是麥肯(McCain)及 奧斑馬(Obama) 是大眾的共識了。兩位候選人的政治主張及其他的競選承諾,可能還要有些時日才可以一窺全豹,不過在稅務方面,最近卻有了相當明朗的提示。

 

共和黨籍的麥肯先生在稅務方面主張保留現況,大致上申延布殊總統的稅務政策。既然是蕭規曹隨,維持不變,大家一定沒有什麼問題,一切了然。反過來民主黨的候選人奧斑馬在稅務上卻主張與布殊的政策背道而馳。當然世上沒有任何政策是絕對正確的。任何政策也會有需要保留的好處,也有應該修正的弊處。以筆者對美國稅法的認識及經驗,認為奧斑馬先生的主張最少有以下值得深究之處。

 

舊瓶新酒

 

奧斑馬先生的宣言中說布殊總統的稅改多年來只是富人得利,窮人不利。他會廢除現總統的稅改把最高利率提升,回到39.6%的水平。這麼一來,其他的稅率,稅階 (Tax Bracket) 也會回升到2001年以前的時代,不論貧富,一律將會付出比較現在更高,更多的所得稅。當然,他亦同時說只會打擊高入息家庭,對低收入的人士是不會有影響的。如果是真的話,這個入息界限將會定在何處呢? 現在的一般界限是每年收入在$200,000以上的家庭是属於高入息家庭。這些家庭的最高稅率已經是35%,相距39.6%只有增加了4.6%。據國稅局的紀錄,2005年時$200,000及以上收入的個人報表 (Individual Income Tax Return) 約共是全國報表的5%6%。以此百分率推算,由35%升到39.6%後,增加的稅收為數不大,絕對沒法應付奧斑馬先生提出的多項對低收入人士及貧窮家庭的優惠的國家支出。在國家收支平衡,國庫充實的時候。應該沒有什麼問題。但是美國連年赤字,國債高築,又怎可以陌上加斤呢? 如果真的履行競選宣言,增加低收入家庭稅務優惠及折扣的話,這個$200,000的所謂高收入門檻定會失守,肯定會下降到$120,000甚至更低一些。與一項原本只針對高入息人士的「另類最低稅」(AMT) 一樣,中等入息家庭也同樣受害。如此這般,舊瓶新酒。

 

似是而非

 

布殊總統把長期增值 (Long Term Capital Gain) 的最高稅率改為今天的15%。但是奧斑馬先生宣佈把這項稅率再度回復到從前的25%-28%。他認為只有富有人家才會享受到這些長期增值稅的好處,因為大多數的長期增值利潤是從股票,房地產等方面得到的,這是富人的玩意,中產家庭不會有很多這樣的利潤,得不到這項15%的低稅好處。可能奧斑馬先生沒有研究一下多年以來中產階層人士從就業的上市公司內獲取的公司股票及股票期權 (Stock Option) 所獲得的利潤,忘記了大部分中產家庭在買賣房子所賺到的長期升值了。這樣的主張表面看來是針對富人,打擊高入息人士,到頭來竟然使大部分中產階層蒙受損失。如果富人的投貲回報需要付出高額稅款的話,可能投資減少。受到減投的負面影響的當然是中等人士了,因為他們的工作及薪酬亦會在減投之下被企業相對削減。上市公司可能亦會減發股票期權 (Stock Option) 給他們的職工。另一方面,大部分中產家庭的房子增值所賺到的利潤亦需要付出更多的稅款。故此,奧斑馬先生的增加長期增值稅率只對富人加稅的說法,只不過是似是而非 而已 。

 

陳操勳會計師提供

原載其「明報」專欄 (6/23/2008)

 

另一位財務專家有以下分析﹕

 

Proposed changes in taxes after 2008 General election:

 

CAPITAL GAINS TAX

 

MCCAIN

0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

 

OBAMA

28% on profit from ALL home sales.

 

How does this affect you?

If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.

 

DIVIDEND TAX

 

MCCAIN 15% (no change).

OBAMA 39.6%.

 

How will this affect you?

If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama become president. The experts predict that higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.

 

INCOME TAX

 

MCCAIN (no changes)

Single making 30K - tax $4,500

Single making 50K - tax $12,500

Single making 75K - tax $18,750

Married making 60K- tax $9,000

Married making 75K - tax $18,750

Married making 125K - tax $31,250

 

OBAMA

(reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)

Single making 30K - tax $8,400

Single making 50K - tax $14,000

Single making 75K - tax $23,250

Married making 60K - tax $16,800

Married making 75K - tax $21,000

Married making 125K - tax $38,750

 

Under Obama your taxes will more than double!

How does this affect you? No explanation needed. This is pretty straightforward.

 

INHERITANCE TAX

 

MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax).

OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax.

 

How does this affect you? Many families have lost businesses, farms and ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will lose them to these taxes.

 

NEW TAXES BEING PROPOSED BY OBAMA

 

* New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet.

* New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already).

* New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity).

* New taxes on retirement accounts and last but not least...

* New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

 

Thank You

Robert D. Jenkins

Vice President - Investments

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Wachovia Securities, LLC

314-991-7812

800-999-4448 toll-free