The expectant crowd gathers in Ames, Iowa for the final 2012 session of the ISU Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation Farm and Urban Tax School.
350 practitioners are signed up, and the coffee’s on!
Fiscal Cliff Notes
Because writing big checks in April is always popular. A few commenters have said that the Treasury Secretary can prevent Fiscal Cliff disaster by just setting the withholding tables to pretend that the tax law isn’t changing January 1. Marie Sapirie of Tax Notes says it’s not that simple ($link)
Commentators have suggested that Geithner may even be able to prospectively implement the administration’s policy of raising taxes on taxpayers making more than $250,000 per year by increasing withholding only on income above that level. That is almost certainly wishful thinking. Whatever the “most appropriate” amount of withholding to reflect the tax rates in section 1 may be, section 3402(a) does not give the Treasury secretary the power to create withholding tables that have no basis in current or recently expired law.
Of course Secretary Geither hasn’t always been big on following the tax law.
Steven Rosenthal, Paying Taxes on Capital Gains Early: How Investors are Avoiding Tax Hikes (TaxVox): “All of this planning suggests that sophisticated taxpayers are outracing Congress again.”
Nick Kasprak,Alternative Minimum Tax Increase Looming Over Fiscal Cliff Negotiations (Tax Policy Blog)
Robert D. Flach, WHAT FOOLS THESE POLITICIANS BE!
Remain calm, all is well. Deficit Hysteria and Debt Denialism (Joseph Thorndike, Tax.com)
Megan McArldle discusses an interesting pension funding approach:
Big news in pensions today: Silverdex, a major US-based conglomerate with fingers in just about every economic pie, from mining to solar cells, turns out to have been stuffing its main pension fund full of… it’s own corporate bonds
I don’t really know how to say this, but sorry, I lied a little bit. I’m not talking about a private company at all, because of course, if a private company did this, it would be completely and totally illegal. Regulators would have shut this down decades ago and probably at least a few lower-level executives would have spent a little time in the pokey. Instead this is, of course, a description of how the United States Social Security “trust fund” works.
Like so many things: private sector does it, it’s scandal and ruin. Government does it, it’s Tuesday.
Courtney A. Strutt-Todd, Tax Law Blog: Attacks on the Exemption for Municipal-Bond Interest and Why it is Important to the Average Taxpayer (Davis Brown Tax Law Blog)
Paul Neiffer, Another Nice Feature of a Living Trust
Brian Strahle, D.C. Combined Reporting: How Much Will it Cost Your Company?
Missouri Tax Guy, Capital Gains, What you need to know
Trish McIntire links to the annoying new 2013 EIC Interview Sheet, so practitioners can double up as welfare caseworkers.
Martin Sullivan, Capital Gains Frustration for Tax Reformers (Tax.com). His “reformers” want to increase the problems inherent in capital gains taxes by increasing them. May their frustrations endure.
The Critical Question: Naming Spousal IRAs After Senator Hutchison – Is That A Priority ? (Peter Reilly) I still think Roth & Company should get royalties for the Roth IRA…
Linda Beale, Goggle’s Bermuda hideaway/HSBC’s too-big status: time to rein in the corporations! Too big, eh? Google’s entire market capitalization is about $234 billion this morning. That’s how much the federal government spends in 23 days. And it’s Google that’s too big?
Sorry, I think there’s already a mortgage on it. A New Way to Reduce Our National Debt — Sell Alaska. (Greg Mankiw)