Today is election day. Vote if you think you know what you’re doing. But ask yourself: do you know, without looking it up, the names of both of your Senators, your congresscritter, your Governor, the President and Vice-President, and can you properly identify their political parties? Can you name the three branches of the Federal government? If not, you should ponder whether you really ought to be doing this.
Jared Walczak, Voters to Consider Tax Ballot Initiatives in Eighteen States Tomorrow. (Tax Policy Blog) That would be today now.
Election days are on Tuesdays, so you can catch a fresh Buzz from Robert D. Flach before you hold your nose and vote. His roundup today includes links to a story about tax initiatives up for a vote around the country, among other good stuff.
If there is a pretty compelling case that Tea Party Patriots Inc was intended from day 1 to be a political organization, rather than a social welfare organization, would that make any difference in how we view Lois Lerner?
No. “Tea Party Patriots Inc.” was one organization that appropriated the “Tea Party” name, but the Tea Party movement is not any one organization. It was (and is) an amorphous grassroots reaction to the percieved overreach of the Obama administration. Lois Lerner went after a range of groups with “Tea Party” and other words she associated with small government activism– like “constitution.” The IRS held up the applications of those groups, harassing them with improper and ridiculously intrusive questions. Meanwhile, the applications of “progressive” groups flew right on through.
The issue was never whether Tea Party Patriots Inc. abused tax-exempt status. The issue is whether the IRS discriminated against groups opposed to the Administration. The answer is clearly yes. If you only enforce laws against people you disagree with (and it’s clear she didn’t like the Tea Party), that’s abuse of power.
Jason Dinesen, Joe the Window Washer Gets a Reality Check:
For example, here are a few realities Joe will have to face:
In Iowa, if Joe cleans windows on commercial property, he has to collect sales tax.
He has to file an income tax return.
While not necessarily required, it would be good for Joe to talk to an insurance agent about having a business liability policy in case he accidentally damages a customer’s property.
It’s amazing how complicated washing windows can be.
Russ Fox, Math Is Hard (Tax Court Edition). When the judge tells you to keep it to 75 pages and you file an 88 page brief, you might as well not file one at all. It saves paper, and you get to the same place.
Michelle Feit, Failure to File Required International Information Return Suspends Statute of Limitations on Entire Return until the Information Return is Filed (Procedurally Taxing):
Thus, if a taxpayer is required to report on interests in, control over, transfers to, or distributions from foreign accounts, corporations, partnerships, entities or trusts (as provided for in the above-listed sections), the three-year statute of limitations will not start running until the taxpayer submits that foreign information report to the IRS.
And, since March 2010, the extended limitations period generally applies to the entire return applicable to that Taxpayer, not simply to the liabilities associated with the information that was not filed.
It’s not enough to get clobbered with a $10,000 penalty for not filing a return they won’t read. You keep the whole year open indefinitely too.
Jack Townsend, Raoul Weil Found Not Guilty. A high-profile Swiss bank prosecution fails.
Jeremy Scott, Is the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility in Decline? (Tax Analysts Blog) “Hawkins’s legacy as OPR chief might end up being defined more for the IRS’s overreach and what she didn’t accomplish than the numerous things she has.”
Mr. Scott’s post does have an error, or at least a badly-worded sentence. He says:
Many small return preparers thought the rules were too onerous, and they particularly objected to the continuing education requirements for a preparer tax identification number. Some of them coalesced into a group known as the Institute for Justice, which filed a lawsuit against the finalized preparer regulations in 2012.
While the Institute for Justice did help the preparers, the implication that it was formed by preparers is incorrect. IJ is a public-interest law firm with a libertarian bent that was around before the preparer case. It continues to do righteous work on behalf of victims of asset forfeiture (including the Arnolds Park IRS victim) and in battles against regulations that protect existing busiensses from competition. I support it with my donations, and you can too.
Martin Sullivan, Immigration Reform in 2015? We Could Use the Money (Tax Analysts Blog). I don’t think this issue is really about the tax revenue, but if it is, it would be more direct to just sell admission.
This will sure attract outside investment. Argentina accuses Procter & Gamble of tax fraud, says suspends operations
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 544
Revecca Wilkins, New Filing This Week Reveals Apple Continues to Divert Profits to Tax Havens (Tax Justice Blog). In other news, heavy things fall to the floor if you let go of them.
News from the Profession. Deloitte, Please Stop Trying to Be the Walmart of Professional Services (Adrienne Gonzalez, Caleb Newquist, Going Concern). I’m not even sure what that would mean. Retired partners offering a friendly greeting at the door?
The best and the brightest. Police: Man Arrested For Kicking Heinz Field Barriers, Trying To Bribe Officers (CBS Pittsburgh):
A man was arrested after injuring a woman by kicking a steel barrier at Heinz Field Sunday evening.
According to police, 29-year-old Stephen Sapp was intoxicated at the time of the incident.
According to the criminal complaint, Sapp stated, “Listen, I know how this works. How much money will it take to make this go away and to let me go home today?”
The officers informed Sapp that he could not attempt to bribe them, but Sapp continued.
“Look, I am an IRS agent and I can help you in other ways if you let me go home and make this go away.”
Was an IRS agent, anyway. (via Instapundit)