Lois Lerner still isn’t talking. That would seem to make for a dull hearing of the House Committee investigating the harassment of Tea Party organizations by the IRS, but there was some interest. From the Wall Street Journal:
A House hearing on the Internal Revenue Service scandal ended in acrimony, as the ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) accused Republicans of a “one-sided investigation” and GOP members walked out.
Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) ended the hearing after the lone witness, former IRS official Lois Lerner, declined to answer several of his questions, citing her Fifth Amendment privilege.
Yes, everyone is entitled to the protection of the Constitution, but those of us not sitting on a jury are also entitled to draw our own conclusions. When the key figure in the scandal fears honest testimony will incriminate herself, you can be forgiven for questioning the President’s assertion that there is “not even a smidgen of corruption” involved.
Take it away, GoGos:
Althouse, After Lois Lerner re-asserts the 5th, Cummings yells at Issa and Issa cuts the microphone. “Issa is closing down the meeting, Cummings asserts what he calls a “procedural question” that’s really a political scolding, and Issa cuts the microphone and walks out. It’s pretty unpleasant.” Video provided.
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 301
Peter Reilly, Lois Lerner Takes The Fifth Again – Political Theater?:
There are two narratives about this whole mess. One is that there was something of a left wing conspiracy inside the IRS to pick on the political activity of organizations that were not supposed to be mainly political, which hurt those groups in their effort to prevent the President from being re-elected. My blogging buddy, Joe Kristan, supports that theory having grown up in Chicago, where all sorts of enforcement is politically motivated.The other narrative is that the whole thing is a phony scandal. I think that I am the only person left who has looked at this without fully making up his mind.
As Peter notes, I think the science is settled.
Andrew Lundeen, Kyle Pomerleau, The Tax Changes in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget (Tax Policy Blog):
He proposes to expand the child tax credit and the EITC, two of the largest family tax benefits. His budget also proposes to alter retirement plans and create an auto-enrollment IRA program. In order to pay for these expansions, his budget will raise taxes on high-income earners through a series of changes to tax expenditures, most notably placing a cap on the value of itemized deductions.
It will never be enough. The rich guy isn’t buying.
Renu Zaretsky, Obama’s 2015 Budget Hits Capitol Hill (TaxVox)
Tony Nitti, Tax Aspects Of The President’s FY 2015 Budget . “…in simple terms, the President’s proposal would add a(nother) alternative minimum tax calculation to the current individual income tax regime.”
Paul Neiffer, How Much Longer for Section 1031 Exchanges? “ Most likely, nothing will happen this year, but in 2015, watch out.”
Cara Griffith, California Needs a Dose of Sunshine (Tax Policy Blog):
This issue arose after references to two forms were noticed in an FTB multistate audit technique manual…
By not disclosing forms like this, the FTB is enabling its auditors to take inconsistent positions regarding similarly situated taxpayers. If that’s the case, any guidance the FTB puts out on its application of the unitary business principle is meaningless.
When you have to disclose the standards you apply, you risk being held to them.
News from the Profession. The Latest New Jersey CPA Magazine Cover is a Little Freaky (Going Concern)