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April 29, 2016 - 10:44 AM EDT
The Only Thing Certain in Life Is Death —Taxes, Not So Much
by Joseph J. Thorndike
Since 1960, Congress has enacted 66 major tax laws. At more than one major law per year, that makes for a pretty good clip – and a lot of uncertainty.
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April 28, 2016 - 11:31 AM EDT
The Question of Apportionability Has No Easy Answer
by Cara Griffith
Few terms in state and local tax are more of a misnomer than “nonbusiness income.” It’s as if nonbusiness income would have no relationship to a business. In reality, though, nonbusiness income is part of a business’s total income; it is simply not apportionable income. Thankfully, many states and the Multistate Tax Compact now refer to business income as apportionable income and nonbusiness income as non-apportionable income. While that provides some clarity, the underlying definitions – and how states apply them – leave much to be desired.
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April 27, 2016 - 8:29 AM EDT
Regressive, Addictive, and Immoral -- What's Not to Like About Gambling?
by David Brunori
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government recently released a report on state revenue generated from gambling, which everyone should read. The use of gambling as a source of state revenue has proliferated over the past three decades. Only Hawaii and Utah don't use any form of gambling to pay for public services. The proliferation of gambling is shameful. Before I explain why, you should know that I don't care whether you gamble -- what you do with your money is your business. I don't care if you smoke, drink, get high, or bet the ponies. But despite my libertarian views on the subject, I don't think gambling is a sound way to pay for government services.
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April 19, 2016 - 12:58 PM EDT
Warren Is Right About Tax Returns
by Jeremy Scott
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., might be a polarizing figure, but she is correct about at least one issue: pre-filled tax returns. Warren introduced legislation April 14 that would require the IRS to fill out tax returns for taxpayers with relatively simple tax situations. This would, of course, deal a major blow to the so-called Free File Alliance, which is primarily led by Intuit (the maker of TurboTax), H&R Block, and Jackson Hewitt.
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April 12, 2016 - 1:27 PM EDT
Snitching on Your Friends’ Offshore Accounts Might Yield Only Enemies, Not Rewards
by Ajay Gupta
In amending the whistleblower statute and establishing a mandatory award in 2006, Congress evidently sought to provide greater incentives for whistleblowers by promising them more certain payments. But the statutory text does not seem to have anticipated FBAR penalties. That, combined with the subsequent delegation of administering the FBAR regime to the IRS, means that whistleblower awards largely continue to remain acts of administrative grace.
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April 7, 2016 - 12:07 PM EDT
No Deal for Former Tax Court Judge Kroupa – Blame Spiro Agnew?
by Stuart Gibson
Former Tax Court Judge Diane L. Kroupa and her husband were recently indicted in Minnesota on multiple tax charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax evasion, subscribing to false tax returns, and attempting to obstruct an IRS audit. According to the indictment, between 2004 and 2010 Kroupa and her husband deliberately concealed $1 million in taxable income, on which they failed to pay nearly $400,000 in income taxes.
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March 17, 2016 - 11:31 AM EDT
Beware the Slayer of Tax Reform Fantasy
by Robert Goulder
Bodacious fantasy was in ample supply on Capitol Hill earlier this month, at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on corporate tax reform. As important as tax reform is, we really don’t need further congressional hearings on it. Talk therapy won’t help. Everyone in Washington already knows what grown-up tax reform will look like. It looks like the Dave Camp bill.
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September 21, 2015 - 9:21 AM EDT
Donald Buffett?
by Martin A. Sullivan
Two outspoken billionaires at opposite ends of the political spectrum reach the same conclusion.
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July 24, 2015 - 10:12 AM EDT
Donald Trump Is Contagious!
by Christopher Bergin
I’ve predicted that it will take two years to start a serious discussion of reforming the tax laws and the agency that administers them. After watching Rand Paul’s latest video, I’ve pushed that back a decade.
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July 11, 2014 - 9:39 AM EDT
International Tax Trending
by Mindy Herzfeld
This week’s international tax highlights include Jean-Claude Juncker’s agenda for EU tax policy, changes in the IRS’ international administration, and continued assertiveness by the U.S. and other governments in pursuing tax evasion while BEPS goes into sleep mode.
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