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Calling All Taxes

Disposable income just isn’t what it used to be.  Americans would be shocked if they were able to magically account for all of the taxes they pay AFTER they are taxed on their income. One of higher taxes you probably didn’t know you were paying is what’s buried on your cell phone bill.

An interactive chart found on CNN’s Money site (click here for a state-by-state viewing) shows the percentage and variance nationwide. In Pennsylvania, our 20% cell phone tax is nearly triple the 7.7% paid in Oregon, but still less than the 24.5% incurred by our friends in Nebraska.

About 10 years ago while performing an audit on an elderly family member, I was appalled to find that he (unknowingly) was still paying quarterly rent on his landline phone. His cost to rent the $10 phone amounted to $1600 over that period. How does this happen? Be honest – when was the last time you looked at ANY utility bill and questioned the taxes, researched them for a better understanding and thought, “Where is all my (after tax) money going from these additional taxes I’m paying?”

They say “Talk is cheap”. Really now?

Mark Schuster, Partner

July 16, 2013

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