Compared to what? The TaxProf covers a spat between the Tax Policy Center and the Wall Street Journal. TPC says that Mitt Romney’s tax plan would require tax increases to the middle and lower classes. The Wall Street Journal argues that it doesn’t have to.
When almost half of taxpayers don’t pay income tax, and the top 1 percent of taxpayers paying more federal taxes than the bottom 90 percent, it wouldn’t be surprising if any given tax reform plan shifted some of the burden to lower incomes. But if spending isn’t cut by a lot in the next few years, that’s going to happen anyway. Why? Because the “rich” simply don’t have enough income to pay the bill.
While you can defer the tax increases for awhile by borrowing, eventually that will get cut off. Then you have to pay the bill. Taking even 100% of the income of “the rich” doesn’t cover the annual budget deficit — without starting to work down the $14 trillion national debt. The only way to pay that sort of bill is to dramatically increase taxes on everybody, like they do in Europe. The rich guy isn’t buying. So the question isn’t just whether Romney will increase taxes on the “non-rich.” It’s also whether he will do so less than the alternative.
So much for the “honor among thieves” thing. Gino Carlucci, an Arizona man, could have a tough time finding a joint venture partner. Mr. Carlucci was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison this week for charges, including tax charges, arising out of a scheme where he defrauded and double-crossed another fraudster. The Department of Justice press release tells this story:
According to the evidence presented at trial, Carlucci and his co-defendant, Wayne Mounts, stole large sums of money and assets from Joseph Flickinger, a tax return preparer in Ohio who had himself defrauded multiple clients of their life savings in a fraudulent investment scheme. Flickinger pleaded guilty to federal charges in a separate case and was sentenced to 70 months in prison. After defrauding Flickinger of the money, Carlucci and Mounts devised a scheme to have Flickinger arrested by federal officials, and then used the money for their own personal benefit.
I don’t suppose Mr. Carlucci remains on Mr. Flickinger’s Christmas card list.
In addition to money, Carlucci and Mounts defrauded Flickinger out of several high-end vehicles and a condo near Lake Erie, Ohio, which they quickly sold for $210,000. Carlucci had some of the funds transferred into bank accounts held in the name of his wife and father-in-law. Carlucci’s wife and Mounts withdrew more than $300,000 in cash over several months in increments of $10,000 or less so that they could avoid having the bank report their withdrawals to authorities. Carlucci and Mounts spent an additional $150,000 of the funds to buy a 43-foot luxury boat whose existence Carlucci concealed from the government for over two years.
Unfortunately the press release doesn’t tell us how Mr. Carlucci got caught. I suspect the cash withdrawals had something to do with it.
Peter Reilly, 13% Of What Mr. Romney ?
David Brunori, Shame on Companies Who Use the Tax Laws To Stifle Competition. When a state government develops a nicotine addiction, it goes out of its way to help its pushers.
Anthony Nitti, Wells Fargo Denied Deduction in District Court, Immediately Raises All ATM Fees to $17 to Make Up Difference* (but follow the asterisk)
TaxGrrrl, IRS Offers Tool to Help Students With Financial Aid. It automatically fills out part of the FAFSA form.
Leaving Saly. From Going Concern, “Same As Last Year” and Inept Senior Auditors Are Failures of the Audit Industry.
Credentials aren’t everything. Just ask the CPA/former IRS agent who had a bad day in Tax Court yesterday. Russ Fox has the scoop.