Thursday, November 20, 2014

What Exactly Is Reported on W2s?

W2 Forms provide the IRS with presumptive evidence that a person has earned wages as defined in title 26.  Title 26 defines "wages" in two places, section 3121 and section 3401.
26 UCS 3121 defines 26 terms:
  • (a) Wages
  • (b) Employment = by someone in US (see (e)), on a ship or plane, or for the US or someone in the US, a partnership, trust, or corp.
  • (c) Included and excluded service
  • (d) Employee
  • (e) State, United States, and citizen = DC, PR, Virg.Is.,Guam, & Am.Samoa
  • (f) American vessel and aircraft
  • (g) Agricultural labor
  • (h) American employer = The US or an instrumentality of it, a resident of the US (see (e)), a partnership 2/3 of whose partners are residents of the US (see (e)), a trust if all trustees are residents of the US (see(e)), or a corporation organized under the laws of the US, DC, PR, the Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Smoa.
  • (i) Computation of wages in certain cases
  • (j) Covered transportation service
  • (l) Agreements entered into by American employers with respect to foreign affiliates
  • (m) Service in the uniformed services
  • (n) Member of a uniformed service
  • (o) Crew leader
  • (p) Peace Corps volunteer service
  • (q) Tips included for both employee and employer taxes
  • (r) Election of coverage by religious orders
  • (s) Concurrent employment by two or more employers
  • (u) Application of hospital insurance tax to Federal, State, and local employment
  • (v) Treatment of certain deferred compensation and salary reduction arrangements
  • (w) Exemption of churches and qualified church-controlled organizations
  • (x) Applicable dollar threshold
  • (y) Service in the employ of international organizations by certain transferred Federal employees
  • (z) Treatment of certain foreign persons as American employers
26 USC 3401 also defines "wages" along with seven other terms:
  • (a) Wages
  • (b) Payroll period
  • (c) Employee
  • (d) Employer
  • (e) Number of withholding exemptions claimed
  • (f) Tips
  • (g) Crew leader rules to apply
  • (h) Differential wage payments to active duty members of the uniformed services
You are probably a natural person, and you probably think you owe income taxes because you earn money.  You think that the money you earn qualifies as income.  If you're wrong about that, then you don't owe income taxes, do you?  If you visit the links above, you can read through the definitions to make sure the following two statements are correct.

A natural person earns "3121 wages" (see 3121(a)) only if that natural person was remunerated for (see 3121(b)):
  1.  working in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa, or
  2. working on or in connection with certain ships or planes, or
  3. working for someone or something in District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa
A natural person earns "3401 wages" (see 3401(a)) only if that natural person belongs to the general class (see the end of the 6th sentence of the footnote in HELVERING v. MORGAN'S INC., 293 U.S. 121 (1934)) illustrated by the following list (see 3401(c)):
an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, DC (see 26 USC 7701(a)(10)), or any political subdivision thereof, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing, or an officer of a corporation.

Please let me know of any other definitions of "wages" to which a W2 form might refer, or any legal scholar who can find an error in this analysis.

Finally, if you are aware of W2 forms that might be incorrect under this analysis, bug someone about it who can fix it until they explain it better, and please let me know!  If they can't, then stop letting the government rob you.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tolerance and Privacy Squeezing Out Coercion

Tolerance - the thing that makes us feel it's ok to leave other people alone even when they are doing things we don't like, such as smoking, selling porn or pot or heroin, driving against a red light, carrying firearms around a mall to protect our fellow citizens, or camping in a park - is a wonderful tool for helping rid the world of coercion.
Privacy - the thing that prevents INTOLERANT people from knowing that we are doing things they don't like (see above) - is another wonderful tool for helping rid the world of coercion.
Together, these two character traits will slowly squeeze coercion out of human interactions. I'd like to field any disagreements, so air 'em if you got 'em. I also thrive on encouragement, so hit the LIKE if you want to help that way.
I heard a discussion about a new book by Carlos Morales, "Legally Kidnapped: The Case Against CPS" on "The School Sucks Podcast." I think children in abusive relationships are best helped by increasing the number of adults that interact with the abuser. The host (Brett Veinotte) and I came up with the same solution: "Would you like some help?" Let abusers know you're there. Deep down, nearly always, they know they're taking advantage of a child, and they will be better behaved knowing you're observing them. And, best of all, if the two of you do find a way that you can help, maybe the abuse will taper off and end. Human relationships, especially where one of the people involved is a voluntaryist, tend to make people into better people.