Iowa Watchdog reports Iowa to give Microsoft millions in exchange for 86 jobs:
The West Des Moines City Council on March 24 approved asking the IEDA to award Project Alluvion $18 million in sales tax rebates, the maximum amount possible under the IEDA’s High Quality Jobs Program.
Neither the city nor the IEDA questioned why Microsoft, which had $24.5 billion in revenue and $8 billion in profits in the most recent fiscal quarter, needed taxpayers’ support to build its data center.
By the time the new data center opens for business, Microsoft will have received from the state and the city more than $418,000 for each of the 86 jobs it says it will create.
There’s a good argument that businesses shouldn’t have to pay sales taxes on their purchases. There’s no good argument that only businesses who know how to pull strings in city hall and at the statehouses should be able to avoid sales tax on their inputs. Yet that’s what Iowa’s “economic development” policy is all about: special deals for special friends. The rest of you suckers without lobbyists and pull, pay up!
Tax Justice Blog, State News Quick Hits: Tax Breaks for Expensive Artwork and Apple Inc.
Beginning with the 2014 crop year, producers whose average adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $900,000 are not eligible to receive payments or benefits from most programs administered by FSA and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Previous AGI provisions distinguishing between farm and non-farm AGI are no longer utilized. Average AGI for crop year 2014, for example, will be based on a producer’s AGI from 2010, 2011 and 2012.
This is an incentive for business owners receiving substantial farm subsidies to use C corporations, which don’t increase AGI, at least not immediately. But C corporations do increase the effective tax rate on business income for most people who have enough AGI to worry about this problem. It would be a lot easier to get rid of the subsidies and let farmers just grow what the market demands.
Yesterday was the national commemoration of The Tax Foundation’s Tax Freedom Day. Not surprisingly, it’s later than last year.
Tax Freedom Day is “the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for year.” It varies by state. Iowa’s day was April 13. Connecticut and New Jersey will be the last states to finish paying their tax bill, on May 9.
Jeremy Scott, The Misleading Debate About the Corporate Income Tax (Tax Analysts Blog):
Congress must consider passthroughs when discussing business tax reform. You can’t complain about high U.S. corporate tax rates or declining corporate tax revenues without looking at how the shift to passthrough entities is affecting the U.S. tax system. Passthrough reform is just as critical as corporate reform, even if it doesn’t receive nearly as much attention in congressional speeches or front-page news stories.
It won’t happen until the inane quest to hammer “the rich” is decisively rejected in tax policy debates – because with pass-throughs, taxing “the rich” means taxing away employment. Yet the same high-tax redistribution schemes have led to disaster over and over are enjoying a new vogue among people who just can’t stand other people having more money.
Jack Townsend, GE Ducks Any Penalty for Its (BS) Tax Shelter — For Now
Brian Mahany, Is the IRS Whistleblower Program a Failure?
Steven Rosenthal, A Flash Tax for the Flash Boys (TaxVox). Never mind that high-frequency traders make for more efficient markets and lower transaction costs for other traders. We need to screw up the capital markets even more.
Annette Nellen, Tax Day – April 15, 2014 – It Can Be Easier. It sure could be.
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 348
William Perez, Obamas, Bidens Release 2013 Tax Returns. I still say they should have had to prepare them by themselves in a live webcast — as should all congresscritters.
Russ Fox, If You Can’t Get the Refund, Why Not File Some Liens? After all, it is a foolish and futile gesture, so go for it!
Peter Reilly, Court Approves Tax Sale Of New Mexico Property For Less Than 1% Of Its Value. Peter sheds light on the sleazy practice of what amounts to stealing property to pay petty amounts of tax.
Jason Dinesen, On Schedule C’s and Setting Rates. If your 1040 is really a business return, you can’t expect to pay the same as a 1040A filer. In many ways Schedule C’s are harder, because they rarely have a balance sheet to provide a reality check.
Robert D. Flach’s Buzz is Back! Welcome back, Robert!
Jana Luttenegger, Are You Curious How Your Tax Dollars Were Spent? (Davis Brown Tax Law Blog)
News you can use. Timely Filing a Tax Court Petition from Prison (Carl Smith, Procedurally Taxing)
Breaking! Millennials Don’t Like Grunt Work, Says Millennial Grunt (Going Concern). Hey Millennials, the rest of us aren’t so crazy about it either. That’s why they have to pay us to do it.