One of the reasons I love the 4th of July is the open display of defiance to overregulation by the use of illegal fireworks. You can drive through some areas of town and see ample evidence of civil disobedience, despite threats of heavy fines by local governments. Pushing back against overregulation and taxation is what caused us to become independent in the first place, and the use of illegal fireworks is just a small reminder of that spirit.

But earlier in the week our political class was very busy pushing their own agenda. At the Federal level a new tax law was signed on July 1 that increases penalties for late filing of tax returns and changes the fee structure for credit card payment of taxes. The threshold for mandatory electronic filing of 1099 forms by businesses has been lowered as well.

At the California level, our Governor signed a new law that will impose fines on people who do not maintain health coverage, copying the Obamacare mandate. Employers will now start reporting to the state who has health coverage and who does not. And California will now conform to the new tax act that denies tax free exchanges for everything except real estate, eliminates NOL carrybacks, and allows conformity for small businesses to the Federal rule for the cash method of accounting.

Mostly net losers for taxpayers across the board, with the exception of a sales tax exclusion for diapers and feminine hygiene products. Most of this stuff becomes effective on January 1, 2020.

So, while we were all out celebrating our independence from the British Crown and no taxation without representation, our duly elected representatives were busy working on that taxation part.

Read more tax articles from Paul’s tax blog