New York Comptroller: nobody tracks whether the state’s corporate welfare tax incentives do any good. Tax Analysts’ Jennifer DePaul reports ($link):
It’s unclear whether the $1.3 billion in incentives and credits doled out annually by New York is creating jobs, a February 5 report by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli concluded.
The ESDC, which administers more than 50 economic development programs, provides little public information on taxpayer-funded investments in its initiatives, the report said.
“ESDC makes no public assessment of whether its disparate programs work effectively together, whether such initiatives have succeeded or failed at creating good jobs for New Yorkers, or whether its investments are reasonable in relation to jobs created and retained,” the report said.
Naturally the politicians disagree:
On February 5 Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) told reporters that he disagreed with the comptroller “fundamentally and on his concept of economic development” and said New York has lost its effectiveness to attract businesses over the past decade.
“We’ve come a long way in the past four years in terms of reversing that and bringing jobs back to New York,” Cuomo said. “To the extent that the comptroller thinks we should go back to the old way where we saw New York losing jobs, I couldn’t disagree more strongly.”
To politicians, the only job creation that matters is the kind that lets them hold issue press releases, hold press conferences, and cut ribbons.
For a brief shining moment in the Iowa’s Culver administration, the film tax credit fiasco made our politicians look at the Iowa’s tax credit programs. A panel of state officials issued a report finding no clear evidence that the tax credits do any good. So Iowa replaced them all and lowered individual and corporate tax rates with the savings.
Actually, no. They just continued enacting new credits. I can dream, though.
Link: The Comptroller Report.
The Journal of Taxation has a summary of this year’s IRS “Dirty Dozen” tax scams. Number 1 with a bullet are phone call scams from people saying they are IRS agents. Just remember, if the caller claims to be from the IRS, he (or she) isn’t, unless you have been in touch with a specific agent by mail already.
Puzzling over the tangible property regulations and the 3115 requirements? The ISU Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation wants to help solve the puzzles. They have scheduled a webinar on on the regs February 18. Roger McEowen and Paul Neiffer will host. Registration info available here.
Russ Fox celebrates 10 — the tenth anniversary of his excellent Taxable Talk. Congratulations, Russ!
William Perez, How Is Interest Income Taxed and Reported?
Annette Nellen discusses the new IRS Directory of preparers and Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). Another useless effort by the supposedly impoverished agency.
Leslie Book, Preparers and Due Diligence (Procedurally Taxing)
Kay Bell, Additions to the tax law name roll of [dis]honor? We at Roth & Company would like to claim rights to the name “Roth IRA,” but alas, we had nothing to do with it.
I see no value in hiring someone else to mow my lawn or shovel my snow.
The same principle holds true for people who choose to prepare their own taxes. If they know what they’re doing and they enjoy doing it, then I encourage people to do it themselves because they won’t see value in the work of a tax professional.
I see no value in hiring someone else to do my lawn and driveway either. That’s what the teen-ager is for.
Jim Maule, So Who Gets Taxed on the Super Bowl Truck?
Peter Reilly, Oil Rig Manager Does Not Qualify As Foreign Resident
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 641. Judicial Watch says it has received emails showing the IRS Office of Chief Counsel delayed the investigation into the Tea Party scandal.
The tax law is obese. So the supergenius behind Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, has floated the idea of taxing folks based on body weight. Arnold Kling is comments wisely: ” I know that many of my progressive friends would be disgusted by the obesity, but that does not make it a public policy problem.”
That’s right, not every problem is a tax problem. Or even the government’s problem.
David Henderson has more: Jonathan Gruber on Sin Taxes (Econlog)
Kyle Pomerleau, Worldwide Taxation is Very Rare (Tax Policy Blog):
At the beginning of the 20th century, 33 countries had a worldwide tax system. That number slowly dropped to 24 countries by the 1980s. By the 2000s, the number of countries switching to territorial systems accelerated, with more than 10 countries switching in 10 short years. Nearly all developed countries have moved to the superior territorial tax system. Today there are only 6 countries that tax corporations on their worldwide income. The President’s proposal would double-down on the U.S.’s current system and push the United States further out of line with the rest of the developed world.
The U.S. is even more of an outlier on worldwide taxation of individual income, with only Eritrea joining us in taxing citizens abroad.
Tracy Gordon, Go Team: Score 1 for Obama on Ending Tax Subsidies for College Sports (TaxVox).
Sebastian Johnson, State Rundown 2/5: State of the States (Tax Justice Blog).
Career Corner. Let’s Discuss: The Worst of Eating in the Audit Room (Marty, Going Concern)
Brian Gongol says “You’re not allowed to carry a bag of anthrax spores through a mall.” My bad. It won’t happen again.