Tax Roundup, 3/1/2013: Apocalypse, Day 1. Also: Iowa “flat tax” advances.

March 1st, 2013 by Joe Kristan
Post-sequester commuting.

Post-sequester commuting.

So the sequester takes effect.  That made my commute like “Mad Max,” where I threaded my car between craters on shattered, lawless roadways before picking up the office Friday bagels, ignoring les miserables begging for a bagel crumb outside the door.

Well, OK, it was like my usual Friday commute, but with snow.  But we will keep our eyes open for the chaos we know is right around the corner!


Iowa Senate advances limited property tax bill.  The Sioux City Journal reports:

Senate Study Bill 1136, which passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee on a 9-6 party-line vote, would enable all businesses to be taxed at a lower rate on the first $324,000 of their assessed property value. Commercial property values above that threshold would be taxed at the current 100 percent rate.

$324,ooo isn’t really that much property for a business, even at Iowa property values.  The Governor proposes to reduce the taxable value to 80% of the value for all commercial property over four years.


House GOP advances “flat tax” idea (Radio Iowa). The Iowa House Ways and Means Committee sent HF 3 t0 the House floor yesterday.  The bill would enact an optional income tax of 4.5% of adjusted gross income; taxpayers could elect to file under the HF 3 system or Iowa’s current system.

I don’t see this as a serious effort to pass a bill, given the flaws in using AGI as a tax base that I have pointed out.  It has next to no chance of approval in the Iowa Senate, controlled by Democrats.  At best it’s an attempt to keep much-needed income tax reform alive at a time when the Governor seems only interested in property taxes.  Maybe next time they’ll get serious and pursue The Tax Update Quick and Dirty Iowa Tax Reform Plan.


Russ Fox, Important Court Ruling for Entities Owned by Californians Located Outside of California.  A California owner shouldn’t by itself make your corporation taxable there.

TaxProf,  Dow Chemical Loses $1 Billion Tax Shelter Case

Brian Mahany,  Dow Chemical Suffers Billion Dollar Tax Shelter Loss – Accounting Malpractice

Jack Townsend,  Mr. Cummings’ Defense of Aggressive Tax Shelter Professionals

Kyle Pomerleau and William McBride,  Another Misleading Analysis of Income Inequality (with Pictures!) (Tax Policy Blog).  They call out David Cay Johnston.

Martin Sullivan, A Moral Obligation to Aggressively Lobby (



Signs of sequester apocalypse:


TaxProf,  The Impact of Sequestration on the IRS

Kay Bell, Despite sequestration, IRS plans to continue filing season as planned, start accepting more updated forms next week

TaxGrrrl, IRS Won’t Delay Tax Season For Sequestration

Howard Gleckman, The Sequester is Not Too Big, It is Too Stupid

Patrick Temple-West,  Obama sees leverage in tax fight, and more

Paul Neiffer, Farmers Should Be Able to File Tax Returns by Monday

The Saratogian, Rapper Ja Rule in New York City jail on tax evasion charges; scheduled for July release

Huffington Post: Matthew Bender, Detroit Tax Preparer, Charged with Fraud For Preparing False Returns Really, since Lexis-Nexis pulled the plug, it’s been all downhill for him.

Going Concern, Let the sequester blamestorming begin!



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