Tax roundup, 8/8/2013: Des Moines, Number 1! And gee, a new tax form.

August 8th, 2013 by Joe Kristan
Flickr image courtesy DMPL Special Collections under Creative Commons license

Flickr image courtesy DMPL Special Collections under Creative Commons license

We’re number one! Forbes ranks Des Moines best for business (Des Moines Register):

Forbes said this year it rated the 200 largest metro areas on a dozen factors related to jobs, business and living costs, income growth, quality of life and education of the labor force. Des Moines was the only metro to rank in the top quartile for at least nine of the 12 metrics.

The Forbes piece is here.


Oh, Joy.  IRS Releases Draft Form 8960 For Computing New 3.8% Tax On Net Investment Income (Tony Nitti)  Also, Paul Neiffer, IRS Releases Draft Form For New Net Investment Income Tax:

In total, there are 33 lines that you must fill out in order to calculate the tax. If you normally prepare your own tax return and your gross income exceeds $250,000, we would highly recommend having a qualified tax advisor review or prepare this form.

It is a hideously complex tax.  Thanks, Obamacare!  More on it here.


Megan McArdle, How the Lone Star State Legalized Highway Robbery.  Civil asset forfeiture is a whimsical and corrupt means of funding government operations.  It should be outlawed, or limited to property owned by a convicted criminal.


Robert D. Flach has his Friday Buzz going a day early this week, and he’s on fire:

Regardless of whether or not the EITC actually does any good – it does not belong in the Tax Code!

I agree.  And I don’t think the good it does outweighs the harm, especially when up to 25% of it is issued improperly.

Peter Reilly, IRS To Collect Estate Tax From Beneficiary After More Than A Decade.   “The idea is that if you get assets directly as a result of someone’s death, you may be responsible for some of the estate tax.”

Jason Dinesen,  Life After DOMA: Living in a Non-Recognition State, Part 2  “How will couples in same-sex marriages file their state taxes if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage?”

Kay Bell, The tax rules on renting your vacation home

Me, Can suing be your “trade or business?”


Among other things. IRS failing in efforts to curb ID theft tax fraud   (CPA Practice Advisor)


Joseph Henchman, California’s (Not Unusual) Shrinking Sales Tax (Tax Policy Blog):

Why is this happening? Sales taxes were first created in the 1930s as an emergency measure, and they applied only to the purchase of goods because that’s what our economy was back then. Today, the vast majority of our economy is service-based: housing, health care, legal services, accounting services, haircuts, child care, and so forth. Sales taxes haven’t kept up, so their base declines as a share of the economy.

Cara Griffith, Fighting the Fight Against a Local Use Tax in Illinois (Tax Analys Blog):

The tax took effect on April 1 and was expected to raise about $13.8 million in revenue. The tax was designed to encourage county residents to purchase from local businesses. Many businesses in Cook County purchase goods outside the county to avoid the county’s already high sales tax rate.

But there are two problems with the tax: it treats Cook County-based businesses and individuals differently than those outside the county and the county doesn’t have the legal authority to impose the tax. Not surprisingly, a lawsuit quickly ensued.

Maybe they can talk to Des Moines about what happens when you impose an illegal tax.


Tracy Gordon, A New Look at State and Local Pension Liabilities (TaxVox)

Speaking of which,  We Are All Going to Pension Hell (Megan McArdle)

FBAR reports may be the least of his problems.  Edward Snowden Is Going to Need Some Expert Expat Tax Advice (Going Concern).



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