Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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April 3, 2012

Letters to the editor - Wednesday, April 4, 2012

State revenue dept. makes tax change

What would you think if a Department of Revenue decided it didn’t receive the taxes it expected the previous year, and therefore just decided to change the rules for that year? And by the way, you don’t need to file an amended return, just include the additional amount with this year’s taxes.

I’ll bet some of you think, “That’s outrageous, illegal, unconstitutional or perhaps all three and could never happen. I’ve already paid last year’s taxes.”

But that’s precisely what the state of Indiana did for 2010, and I am simply amazed there hasn’t been widespread condemnation. I have yet to hear a peep out of either state Rep. Mike Karickhoff or state Sen. Jim Buck explaining why that was done. Surely it couldn’t have slipped by them, could it?

On a federal return, there are many deductions from income, such as educator expenses, IRA charitable distributions, the tuition and fees deduction, etc. Indiana has decided that if you use any of those, you must add those back to your income for Indiana tax purposes. There are 30 “add-backs” for 2011, and 14 of those also apply, belatedly, to last year’s return.

But in my opinion, perhaps the most ridiculous add-back of all is “discharge of debt of your principal residence.” Simply put, if you had a foreclosure on your home, and some of your debt was canceled, the federal government generally doesn’t count that as income, but Indiana does, and it is called add-back No. 117.

Does any of this make sense to you? Does anybody care?

Bill Dague, Kokomo

Web helps parents monitor kid movies

A great and fast way for parents to find out if a movie is appropriate for their child is to look it up online. One very reliable website is kidsinmind.com, which is a website that focuses on rating a given movie in three categories: language/profanity, blood/gore and sex/nudity.

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