Insist on simplified tax code
In response to the letter from Georgia Kelley in the April 22 issue of the Index-Tribune ("Get corporations to pay fair share of taxes"), the Bank of America (BofA) took advantage of our federal income tax code to receive a $1.9 billion refund of its 2010 income taxes. Bank of America responded to an outraged public by saying that they received the refund as a result of a $5 billion-plus loss. That's what they told the public. Apparently, they told their shareholders that they made a $4 billion profit.
Under our very complex tax code, any business that loses money is entitled to a refund of a portion of the taxes paid. And that is how the BofA received a refund.
The question we should be asking is, how does a bank lose money? After all, people and businesses are depositing money in banks every day. I guess they didn't count the "bail-out" money - almost $100 billion - as income.
And, the U.S. tax code probably allows BofA to write off the losses on the risky mortgages they funded. Don't blame the bank, they didn't write the tax code. Blame our elected officials in Washington, and every state capitol. They write the codes. And, blame ourselves. We should insist that our legislators simplify the income tax code, or we should replace them with individuals who are willing to make the necessary changes.