Taxing the Rich, and Missing the Point

    The hot tax news is that President Obama has proposed extending the so-called Bush tax cuts but only for the middle class, not for the people the President thinks are rich. (If he gets what he wants can we start calling them the Obama tax cuts?) Apparently...

    Free the Puppies, Tax a Millionaire

    When I was a progressively minded editorial writer, I was never opposed to higher income taxes. I come from a long line of Brunoris who knew neither terrible poverty nor great wealth. It was easy to shrug off attempts to tax people who were better off...

    AMT "Ifs and Buts": Considering Prospects for 2012 and Beyond

    By Suellen Wolfe, J.D., LL.M. * In 1986, Congress concluded that "that no taxpayer with substantial economic income [should be able to] avoid significant tax liability by using exclusions, deductions, and credits. Although these provisions may...

    Are You Ready for Taxmageddon?

    A combination of spending cuts and tax increases could bring the economy to its knees at the end of 2012. By our count, the economy must deal with nine significant fiscal events that will be automatically triggered by current law if Congress and the president...

    Pepper Hamilton LLP Tax Update: Carried Interest Fairness Act of 2012 Retains Capital Gain on Enterprise Value

    By Steven D. Bortnick and Timothy J. Leska , Attorneys, Pepper Hamilton LLP On February 14, 2012, Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) again introduced legislation (H.R. 4016) to tax income from carried interests at ordinary rates. Taxing Carried Interests...

    Busting Myths About Rich People's Taxes

    There are good reasons for the government to keep its hand out of the pockets of the wealthy. For example -- and this will be a shocker to most liberals out there -- it is a basic tenet of tax economics that an efficient system should eliminate all taxes...

    Pepper Hamilton LLP Tax Update: Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act Would Favor Foreign Fund Managers Over U.S. Managers

    By Steven D. Bortnick and Timothy J. Leska , Attorneys, Pepper Hamilton LLP In March 2009, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) introduced the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act (S. 506) (the 2009 Act) to "stop tax cheats" and target "off-shore tax abuses...

    A Time Bomb of a Tax Code

    There's a lot of serious news out there - tragedy, health care, a nuclear Iran. It seems the news of the day roars at us. But if you turn down the sound, you can hear it: tick, tick, tick. What is it, you say? It's the federal tax system,...

    Does America Need A Two-Page Tax Code?

    Emphatically, no. I just absolutely disagree with Fareed Zakaria on this , as I do with anyone who thinks that the measure of a tax system is the shortness of its tax code. We live in a complex and intricate world, in which transacting involves complex...

    Tax Reform Goals Differ for Corporate Coalitions

    When it comes to taxes, corporate America is divided into two parts. First, there are companies that pay full freight. Their effective tax rates are close to the statutory 35 percent rate. They tend to be low-tech and labor-intensive, and -- most of all...

    A Benchmark for Socialist Tax Rates

    You've heard it a thousand times. President Obama wants to continue the Bush-era tax cuts for households with taxable incomes under $250,000 a year, while allowing those cuts to expire for wealthier taxpayers. Were that to occur, the 33% bracket...

    Selling the Left on VAT

    Liberals don't like VAT because it is a regressive tax. They are factually correct. VAT is regressive. The VAT that Warren Buffet pays on a ham sandwich is exactly the same as what a poor person pays on an identical purchase. VAT is blind as to who...

    Obama's Corporate Minimum Tax

    President Obama has given us his framework for corporate tax reform . There's much talk about his proposed minimum tax on offshore profits. The framework is thin on details, but we're able to provide the following preview of how the tax might...

    A Grown-Up Conversation About Corporate Tax

    Nothing is more fun for liberals than to catch a big multinational abusing U.S. tax laws. Google, Cisco, General Electric, and Apple -- to name a few -- now have public relations problems because the press has put a spotlight on their use of offshore...

    Obama's Rate Cut: How Low Can You Go?

    President Obama's newly released 'framework' for corporate tax reform envisions a significant rate cut for U.S. firms. You can read the details at the President's Framework for Business Tax Reform . His basic idea is to lower the statutory...

    Eliminate Everybody's Loopholes Except Mine

    Until he talked about tax reform, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's spirited defense of administration policy was making a lot of sense. The scene was the venerable Senate Finance Committee hearing room the day after the release of President...

    How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Payroll Tax Cut

    I pretty much have always blamed our politicians for the dysfunctional, unreliable and incomprehensible tax system that we have. But maybe we just get the politicians we deserve. Our politicians in Washington have agreed to extend the so-called payroll...

    Exempting Groceries from Tax Is Feel Good Bad Policy

    My friends at Roth & Company - the preeminent CPA firm in Iowa - posted a chart on their Tax Update Blog showing which states tax groceries. Actually the chart is from the Tax Foundation. I was shocked to see how many states completely exempt groceries...

    Corporate Tax Reform Book

    I just finished reading my colleague Marty Sullivan's new book on corporate tax reform. It's called Corporate Tax Reform: Taxing Profits in the 21st Century and is a nonpartisan guide to what he calls the great debate on the subject. As many know...

    Buffing Up the Buffett Rule

    By David Windish, TaxAnalysts ® Contributing Editor Ah, the "Buffett Rule," the President's (and Warren Buffett's) answer to tax fairness. Let's just make sure that anyone with $1 million in income pays the same tax rate...

    Say Bye-Bye to Reform: Obama Becomes Clinton

    There has been no shortage of encouraging words about tax reform from the White House... ... Unfortunately, all words and no action. Despite these statements and others like them, there is really no commitment from the Obama administration for broad...

    Reagan Is Not the Answer

    I know everybody - at least most Republicans running for President - wants to be Ronald Reagan. But guess what? It isn't the 80s. A piece in yesterday's New York Times , entitled " Sunday Dialogue: Time for Tax Reform? " posed the following...

    The Brill Plan: Bold, Brilliant, and Second Best

    Alex Brill, an economist with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC, recently released a new tax reform plan. The stated objectives of his six-part plan are to lessen the harmful distortions of the current tax system while promoting economic...

    Bartlett's Not-So-Familiar Quotations

    [Bruce] Bartlett has published a new book, The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform -- Why We Need It and What It Will Take . It's not a book for tax professionals, who will find much of it elementary. Rather, Bartlett is aiming for the average voter...

    Small Business - Another Third Rail

    Small business accounts for much of this country's economy. OK. But it also accounts for much of this country's growing tax gap - the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid. A recent IRS report estimates that the tax gap now measures $450...