1. This week, we’re reviewing some of the most common federal income tax deductions for individuals. Many of them could perhaps be classified as family-based deductions, or enacted deductions that target those who might have children or other types of family obligations to fulfill. Is there an underlying theme or purpose to most of these deductions? If so, what is it? Do the deductions that Congress has enacted advance this purpose? Is this something that Congress should be doing at all? Provide an example of two such deductions, and supplement your argument with outside resources discussing the pros, cons, and impacts of these deductions.
2. For most of us, work is work. We put in the same amount of effort whether we work as employees for a company or we are self-employed. (That point is arguable, of course, but just agree with me for the sake of argument). While the work itself may be created equal, however, the tax consequences arising from them are not. Self-employed individuals may be entitled to a greater range of deductions, but they also might very well be responsible for paying additional taxes. Furthermore, we know employees can receive a lot of valuable perks from their employers, and that these perks present specific tax consequences as well. In light of this news, it makes sense to start with the fundamental question: How do we tell whether someone is an employee or whether he or she is self-employed for purposes of the Code?
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