Tax Law

Recent Posts

Getting It Wrong: Energy Tax Policy
Posted on 25 Apr 2013 by TaxAnalysts®

by Clint Stretch Winston Churchill said that Americans can be counted on to do the right thing, after we have exhausted all other possibilities. He might have added that we usually start with the least direct and most complex approach. So it is with... Read More

Obama's Corporate Minimum Tax
Posted on 5 Mar 2012 by Robert Goulder

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... Read More

Fast Track to Nowhere
Posted on 6 May 2013 by Martin A. Sullivan

Although the formal expiration of the debt limit is May 19, the ability of the Treasury Department to juggle some internal accounts is likely to extend the effective deadline until late summer . Nothing is certain, but the real deadline is likely to crop... Read More

It's Time to Stop Talking About Tax Reform
Posted on 12 Jun 2013 by LexisNexis Communities Staff

Enough already: it's time to stop talking about tax reform. Not about necessary and useful changes to the tax code - by all means, let's talk about them. But let's do away with anodyne invocations of "tax reform" as a useful shorthand... Read More

Spam and Taxes
Posted on 2 Apr 2013 by David Cay Johnston

... On the surface, taxing [Internet] spam is a wonderful idea. Spam clogs the Internet, wastes our time just deleting it and continues because it makes money since you only need a few people so gullible or addled that they believe some Nigerian wants... Read More

Corporate Tax: Why Disclosure Is the Key to Reform
Posted on 31 Jan 2013 by Allison Christians

Two columns of interest emerged today [January 31, 2013] on the issue of corporate tax disclosure, plus another interesting public hearing in the UK, this time with the big four in the hot seat. Put all of this together and we can see very clearly the... Read More

Permanent Insanity
Posted on 10 Jan 2013 by Christopher Bergin

Things have been positively dizzy in Washington since the New Year - dizzy from all the spinning coming from Democrats and Republicans on how they saved us from the fiscal cliff. My personal favorite: we now have a permanent tax code. Even the great,... Read More

Wipe-Out - What Surfing and Our Tax System Have in Common
Posted on 25 Jan 2013 by Christopher Bergin

... Tax Analysts and Pepperdine School of Law held a symposium on federal income taxes... titled "Tax Advice for the Second Obama Administration," (you can watch the video here) but it could have been called "What's Wrong with Our Tax... Read More

The Rich Will Pay for Our Sins
Posted on 7 Dec 2012 by David Brunori

More and more Republicans in Congress are distancing themselves from their promise never to raise taxes. In fact, it's been "Throw Grover Under the Bus Week" in Washington. I am no fan of the pledge never to raise taxes. It's not... Read More

Taxing the Rich, and Missing the Point
Posted on 30 Jul 2012 by Christopher Bergin

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... Read More

A Century of Soaking the Rich
Posted on 21 Feb 2013 by Joseph J. Thorndike

... Americans will celebrate - or mourn - the 100th birthday of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution . On February 25, 1913, Secretary of State Philander Knox formally certified ratification, establishing once and for all that Congress had the to power... Read More

Simpson-Bowles Try Again
Posted on 19 Feb 2013 by TaxAnalysts®

by Jeremy Scott ... [T]he details of the Simpson-Bowles plan, originally released in December 2010, have gradually become distorted - so much so that even reform efforts supposedly inspired by the commission's report aren't all that similar... Read More

Unkind to Charity
Posted on 8 Apr 2013 by David Cay Johnston

There's a new whipping boy on Capitol Hill and it's not the bankers who brought down the economy, the fossil fuel companies that are heating up the planet, or the gun lobby that has figured out how to increase sales every time there's a mass... Read More

America May Be on the Wrong Track, But Is Paul Ryan's the Right One?
Posted on 18 Mar 2013 by Joseph J. Thorndike

... [S]adly for today's GOP, they have more than a few [bad ideas]. Take Paul Ryan's budget plan , for instance. ... Ryan runs into serious problems when he starts suggesting ways to make the tax code simpler. In particular, his emphasis... Read More

The IRS: It's Bad Enough
Posted on 13 Jun 2013 by Christopher Bergin

... Over the years there have been high-ranking IRS officials who conveniently forgot that they were public servants who were supposed to serve, you know, the public. And there have been high-ranking tax administrators who have had trouble with the balance... Read More

  • Blog Post: The Payroll Tax Deal Will Get Done

    ... My not-so-bold prediction over the last couple of weeks has been that the temporary payroll tax cut will be extended, and, on time. Why? Because there is too much danger for the politicians on all sides - Democrats in Congress, Republicans in Congress and the President - if they don't get it...
  • Blog Post: New Research Weakens Case for Small Business Tax Relief

    ... Economists John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin, and Javier Miranda... observe that... [y]oung firms are likely to grow much more rapidly than mature firms. However, young firms are also much more likely to go out of business than mature firms. Overall, young firms' job creation and destruction are far...
  • Blog Post: Paying Your Fair Share

    A common refrain from liberals is that the wealthy do not pay their fair share of taxes . Such charges usually devolve into a debate over how much the one percent does, did, and should pay. The debate over how progressive the income should be has raged since its inception. Blum and Kalven concluded ...
  • Blog Post: Start-Ups, Not Small Businesses, Are Key to Job Creation

    In an October 23, 2011, op-ed in The New York Times , Jared Bernstein neatly laid out some earthshaking facts. The former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden summarized recent research that says small business is not the engine of job creation that politicians and the press repeatedly claim...
  • Blog Post: And the Winner of the Dumbest Tax Policy Initiative of the 21st Century Is...

    By Sheldon H. Laskin, Adjunct Professor, University of Baltimore Graduate Tax Program As Jon Stewart would say, I'm calling it right now. Recently, a relative got a letter from the Treasury advising her that she might be the owner of fully matured US savings bonds and that federal income tax...
  • Blog Post: When Should Small Businesses Get a Tax Break?

    If you listen to the politicians, you might think all would be right with the world if we just had more small businesses. There would be more innovation. More jobs. More entrepreneurship. More growth. If you sign on to this worldview -- as most of the public is inclined to do -- it naturally follows...
  • Blog Post: 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 billion a year, and it says that small business...
  • Blog Post: 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 (or at least the average politically engaged voter...
  • Blog Post: 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 growth. These are worthy goals. Brill adds that...
  • Blog Post: 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 question: should capital gains and dividends...
  • Blog Post: 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-based tax reform. The administration's lack...
  • Blog Post: 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, Marty is one of the most influential thinkers...
  • Blog Post: 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 tax cut. So, now they are running around getting...
  • Blog Post: 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 Obama's fiscal 2013 budget... ... As it is...
  • Blog Post: 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 rate from 35% to 28%. He's vague on the details...
  • Blog Post: 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 tax havens. The tax dodging is disgraceful. The worst...
  • Blog Post: 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 operate. The minimum tax would take the form of...
  • Blog Post: 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 is doing the consuming. Such blindness is a virtue...
  • Blog Post: 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 would increase to 36%, and the 35% bracket (currently...
  • Blog Post: 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 -- they have most of their profits in the United...
  • Blog Post: 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 relationships involving the allocation of risks...
  • Blog Post: 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, and it's set to explode. And if it does, there...
  • Blog Post: 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 that rob the U.S. Treasury."[1] Although most...
  • Blog Post: 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 on capital income. That translates into big tax...
  • Blog Post: 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 take no action. Together these events create...