Dribble it, Pass it, and Fill Out Your Bracket!
Some enthusiasts consider March the biggest time of the year for college sports. With the start of basketball tournament season comes the stats, players, teams, and of course, BRACKETS! Weeks before the tournament season arrives, bracket invitations start showing up in email inboxes, office pools and bracket debates are being conducted in break rooms, and rivalries reignite between you and your long lost Uncle Carl.
Along with buzzer beaters, video replays, and slam dunks, the process of college basketball is incredibly complex. This annual event is painted with tradition and ritual by students and fans, often times making the season’s relevance more important than the players. For these experts of enthusiasm, this is the most highly anticipated event in collegiate sports and preparations begin months in advance. Millions will tune in during these two epic weeks of the year and watch the wins, losses, or a Cinderella story to see who will be crowned the 2016 NCAA Champion. Perhaps the worst thing about all of the basketball greatness is that it only comes once a year!
Another annual bracket that may reignite similar frenzy is the tax bracket. What are federal tax income brackets anyway? The quick answer is federal income tax brackets show the percentage of tax to be paid based on taxable income. Annually, the IRS provides outlines of income tax rates on taxable income for single filers, married couples who file jointly or separately, or head of household. Taxable income is determined by gross income less deductions and credits. Under this progressive tax system, the higher the taxable income, the higher the tax rate.
The IRS updates annual tax tables and tax rate schedules each year to reflect inflation. In a similar fashion, college basketball rosters get updated annually after the draft to reflect the new recruits. Critics in both camps argue that these systems compromise the integrity of hard work and long term investment. With both tax and basketball tournament season firmly in front of us, now is a good time to take a look at the big picture and double check your bracket standings. The hoop is open, the net is hot, come on team, let’s take that shot!!
-By Susan Amsler
March 2, 2016
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