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Surprise Surprising

April 17, 1988

The lead paragraphs of your April 3 article on "surprise" tax bills are a definite attention grabber ("A Surprise Plucking: Loss of Deductions, Shelter Benefits Begin to Take a Toll From Some Taxpayers").

Someone's tax jumping from $4,300 to $27,000 is shocking. However, what I find amazing is that on a net income of over $82,000 (estimated from the $27,000 tax bill, using my handy 1987 tax rate tables), which implies a gross income of near $100,000, that the taxpayer used as an example was truly surprised that the very well-publicized tax law changes of last year would affect him.

Perhaps he should fire his accountant for not warning him that all those nice tax shelters had been axed. The truly revolting thing is that he only payed $4,300 the year before, presumably upon a similar income base. That kind of gross underpayment of taxes is precisely what the reform bill was supposed to eliminate, and I'm glad it succeeded in at least one case. That taxpayer should keep in mind that, while the deductions went last year, the top rates drop dramatically this year, so this is as bad as it gets.

DARREL E. INGERS

Huntington Beach

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