Posts Tagged ‘John Boehner’

Tax Roundup, 12/21/2012: Plan B breaks, Tiger tamed.

Friday, December 21st, 2012 by Joe Kristan

20121221-1Plan C through Z?  House Speaker Boehner’s effort to pressure the White House into compromise with “Plan B,” a proposal to retain 2001 tax rates on incomes below $1 million, died last night.  The Speaker cancelled a vote on the plan when it was clear that it lacked enough support to pass.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

After pulling his bill without taking a formal vote, Mr. Boehner  unexpectedly disbanded the House until after Christmas, leaving behind
uncertainty about whether Congress and President  Barack Obama would be able to avoid $500 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that begin in January.

So what now?

“The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass,” Mr. Boehner said in a written statement after a brief meeting with House Republicans. “Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert  the fiscal cliff.”

Is it time to panic?  Will we see a filing season delayed until the end of March, a big 2012 AMT hit, and tax increases all around?  Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider says we aren’t over the cliff yet:

Indeed. If Boehner couldn’t even get the GOP to support a law that would let taxes revert on millionaires, how is he going to get GOP support on a deal that would let taxes revert on those making $250K or $400K, as the President would like to sign?

Here’s the thing with that. Boehner doesn’t need to get all of his caucus, because in the end, if Obama supports the ultimate compromise, then it’s safe to say that the Democrats will bring about 100+ votes in the house to support the bill. And this was always true. It was always the case that the eventual compromise would see Boehner lose 70 or more Republicans, to be made up with Democrat support. So nothing changes on that front.

There’s 10 days left before 2012 expires.  Even then it’s possible that they will make a retroactive deal next year with the new Congress.  The legislative and leadership malpractice continues.

Fiscal Cliff Notes:

TaxProf,  The Competing Obama and Boehner Tax Plans

Kay Bell, Republicans reject Boehner’s fiscal cliff Plan B, House breaks for Christmas

TaxGrrrl, Boehner Fails To Push Through Plan B Before House Walks

Christopher Bergin,  Fiscal Surrender (

So, I would suggest that while General Boehner wants things to look like  he is negotiating a budget deal, he is actually seeking the best surrender terms that he can get. And if the President is a good enough general to understand his position, he will not try to over-exploit it.

Paul Neiffer,  Farmers Might Delay Higher Tax Rates for Three Years?  Thanks to income averaging, a trick available only for farmers,  “…you might be able to earn $1 million from farming and have most of it still subject to the old lower tax rates” if rates go up next year.

Nanette Byrnes,  Blue states lose: how avoiding the U.S. fiscal cliff hits some states harder than others (Tax Break)

Tax Policy Blog, Tax Cut Expiration Would Impact States Unevenly

Janet Novack,  A Closer Look At Boehner’s Plan B: Tax Hikes For Parents And Workers

Howard Gleckman,  Should Working Class Families Pay Higher Tax so High Income People Can Pay Less? (TaxVox)

Jim Maule, The Postponed Pain of Foolish Tax and Spending Decisions


St. Louis area preparer “Tiger” Zerjav pleads guilty to tax crimes.  A St. Louis-area CPA who survived an IRS effort to shut down his practice through a civil suit lost a much bigger fight yesterday.  Frank “Tiger” Zerjav pleaded guilty to four tax crime counts in Federal District Court. Courthouse News Service reports:

Frank L. “Tiger” Zerjav Jr., 39, of Wildwood, Mo., pleaded guilty to  four counts of tax evasion from 2001 to 2004, prosecutors said.
     He  and his father, Frank L. Zerjav Sr., were principals in two entities:  Zerjav & Company, a full service accounting firm, and the Advisory  Group USA, which offered tax planning and asset protection strategies.      Zerjav admitted that he funneled his income into several S-corporations and failed to include that income on his tax returns.

The IRS attempted to enjoin the Zerjavs from tax practice in 2008, alleging that they set up S corporations for their clients and then deducted personal expenses on corporation tax returns — including a “Precious Moments” figurine collection.   The Zerjavs settled under what appeared to be favorable terms in 2010.

The plea agreement is not yet public.  Sentencing is set for March 26RelatedCopy of indictment.


Jason Dinesen, New Preparer Requirements on Earned Income Credit = Higher Fees for Clients.  That’s on top of the increase in fees that will result from the massive contraction of the preparer industry that we may be in for thanks to the IRS preparer regulation regime.

News you can use:  Pot Business May Be Legal In Washington State But There Are Still Rules (Peter Reilly)


The Critical Question:  Are Holiday Weddings a Form of Tax Planning? (Jana Luttenegger, Davis Brown Tax Law Blog):

Your  marital status for tax purposes is determined as of December 31. That means if you get married on New Year’s Eve, you are considered married for the entire year and can file as a married couple. Likewise, if a divorce is finalized by the end of the year, you will be considered unmarried for the entire year. Trust me, I am not the  only one that has wondered if certain people getting married on New Year’s Eve did it for tax purposes.

It’s a special Friday Buzz at Robert D. Flach’s place!

Madoff’s brother sentenced on tax charges (Wall Street Journal, via Going Concern)


Not so Fat Joe not so good at taxes.  A rapper who performs as “Fat Joe” is in tax trouble, reports AP.  The story says Joseph Cartagena pleaded guilty yesterday to not reporting nearly $3 million in income over two years.

Oddly, he’s not so fat, according to the story:

Wearing a navy suit, Cartagena looked fit and considerably slimmer than the former size that had earned him his rapper nickname. He has been very public about his efforts to shed weight after fellow rap stars died from obesity-related issues and was recently in Newark to speak to schoolchildren about health and fitness.

It’s nice that the schools find such good role models for the kids.



Tax Roundup, 12/19/2012: B is for Boehner. And Blizzard.

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

20121219-1Plan B.  House Speaker Boehner has proposed a “Plan B” that would increase the top rate to 39.6% for taxpayers with taxable income over $1 million.  Tax Analysts reports ($link):

Boehner’s Plan B would also permanently extend the alternative minimum  tax patch and the current-law estate and gift tax rules with a portable  $5 million individual exemption and a 35 percent top rate. Dividends and  long-term capital gains would be taxed at 15 percent for income below  $1 million and at 20 percent above that threshold. The bill would not  renew any tax extenders, emergency unemployment insurance, or the 2 percentage point payroll tax cut, and would not raise the federal debt limit.

It’s nice to see a permanent AMT fix in both the Boehner and Obama plans.  I like not renewing any of the “extenders,” but I suspect he plans to do that separately next year anyway.  An estate tax fix is also welcome.  It looks like there is no hope continuing the 15% rate for dividends or capital gains.


Meanwhile, a blizzard approaches.  From

Six to 12 inches of snow is expected by Thursday morning. The heaviest snow axis will be along a line from near Des Moines to Tama. The lowest amounts are expected near the Missouri border. Snow drifts several feet deep will be possible given the strong winds.


Winds will become very strong Wednesday night from the north northwest. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected with gusts over 45 mph possible.

I know what I’m doing tomorrow morning.  Hello, shovel.


Fiscal Cliff Notes

Wall Street Journal,  Boehner Weighs ‘Cliff’ Backup Plan

Janet Novack,  Strange Bedfellows: Boehner, Buffett And Obama All Support Millionaires Only Taxes

Andrew Lundeen,  How Many Days of Christmas Could the Fiscal Cliff Buy? (Tax Policy Blog)

Joseph Thorndike,  Republicans Shouldn’t Pin Their Hopes on The Origination Clause.  “In practice, the Origination Clause is more a nuisance than an obstacle to tax-happy senators.”

Howard Gleckman, What Adjusting the Price Index Would Mean for Taxpayers (TaxVox)

Rudy Penner,  How to Control Entitlements: A Challenge Ike Did Not Face (TaxVox)


TaxProf,  Fleischer: How Local Tax Rates Affect High-Income Professionals:

The study finds that an increase in the marginal income tax rate leads to a decrease in the average skill of the NBA free agents that migrate to that team. Unlike in baseball, basketball teams in high-tax jurisdictions actually end up with a worse free-agent talent pool, all else equal. …

These papers do serve as a useful reminder that if the goal is to remedy income inequality, state and local taxes are a weak policy instrument. To the extent that tax policy is used to achieve redistribution, redistribution should take place at the federal level.

Despite what Warren Buffett, the President, and the Speaker of the House say, marginal rates matter.  That’s also true at the state level; when you have to bribe businesses to locate in your state, as Iowa likes to, you have a sick tax systemRelated: David Brunori, If the Shoe Fits: Oregon Lawmakers Get Rolled (


Kay Bell,  Cupid says note year-end marital status; Reindeer Year-end Tax Games Tip #6

Paul Neiffer,  Annual Exclusion Does Not Eat Into Lifetime Exclusion.

Trish McIntire,  Identity Theft PIN

Peter Reilly,  Tax Court Not Quick To Find Abuse In Innocent Spouse Case

TaxGrrrl,  Lawmakers, Guns and Money: Where Do We Go After Sandy Hook?

Robert Goulder,  Starbucks Pays More Tax Than It Owes (  That’s silly.

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time for a fresh Buzz.  Robert D. Flach obliges.


The world is saved from its most dangerous criminals.  Quebec Police Arrest 3 in Maple Syrup Heist