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The effective rate is a little lower because ...

Yes. But try explaining all that to a client. So they understand it. There are accountants (probably lots of them) out there that don't really grasp this.

And for planning purposes, it's really not important. For preparation, they're vitally important. But then again, the forms walk you through the details if you like doing things by hand, or software will do the detail calculations for you with no problem.

Besides, bypassing that bit of complexity will result in the person putting slightly more money aside for taxes, which - as long as it's not grossly overdone - is usually a good thing.

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