Posts Tagged ‘per-diem rates’

Tax Roundup, 9/27/2012: Misdirected charity edition. Also: No, Iowa, you don’t have a good tax climate.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

Peter Fisher

Is the Iowa tax system better for business than its 41st place ranking in the Tax Foundation’s 2012 Business Tax Climate Index would indicate?  Iowa City’s Peter Fisher says so in the Des Moines Register: Iowa View: Why ignore Iowa’s pro-business tax climate?

Complaints about Iowa’s business tax system are puzzling, because businesses get a really good deal here.

First, as the Iowa Fiscal Partnership has shown, Iowa’s overall state and local taxes on business are lower than average. Only nine states take a smaller share of private-sector output in corporate income taxes.

So Iowa’s tax system is good because it’s ineffective.  Noted.  Later Mr. Fisher unwittingly gets to the real problem with Iowa corporate taxes.

We go through this every few years. Business lobbyists complain about Iowa’s corporate tax rates, but ignore the way they are applied. Iowa’s effective tax rate on businesses makes our state highly competitive with our neighbors. It’s Iowa’s great secret.

The problem with Iowa corporate taxes is that there are so many loopholes and special deals made for select companies. Many companies get away with paying no income tax and instead demand subsidy checks for many thousands and even millions of dollars.

With the highest corporation income tax rate in the nation — even after the 50% deduction for federal taxes that he points out — some businesses really get clobbered — particularly Iowa corporations selling primarily to Iowa customers.  The clobbered ones subsidize the ones that “get away with paying no income tax and instead demand subsidy checks for many thousands and even millions of dollars.”  That’s why the net corporate tax is a so small — the state only gets what’s left after it takes cash from the average taxpayer and transfers it to the well-connected ones with the “loopholes and special deals.”  It’s a textbook model of crony capitalism.

Mr. Fisher’s solution is not to alleviate the suffering, but to spread it around.  There is a better way.


When your employer doesn’t offer a “matching gifts” program, you aren’t allowed to start one by yourself. reports on a man sentenced to five years in prison after stealing from his employer — and not putting the proceeds on his 1040:

U.S. District Judge Richard Young also ordered 54-year-old Richard E. Brown of Mount Vernon to pay a fine of $30,000 and nearly $190,000 in restitution and to serve three years supervised released after his prison term.

Prosecutors say Brown used his position as the office manager of Walker Investments in Evansville to pay his personal expenses with a company credit card and company checks to pay expenses of his church, Oak Hill Christian center in Evansville, where Brown was the bookkeeper.

He needs to re-read that “give unto Caesar” thing.


It’s better to give than to receive, but receiving can be lucrative.  From

The founder of USA Harvest was charged Wednesday with failing to pay taxes on $553,891.67 from 2005 through 2008 — including funds prosecutors say he stole from the charity and personal expenses he billed to the organization.             

In a bill of information, 63-year-old Hugh “Stan” Curtis of Louisville is charged with taking $183,354 in donations from the charity and charging $370,537.67 in personal travel expenses. He faces charges of mail fraud, money laundering and filing false income tax returns.

The story says that the organization takes extra foods from restaurants and other food service providers and delivers it to the hungry.

The group’s efforts have drawn assistance from the Goo Goo Dolls, who used to pick up food in their concerts in benefit of the organization and actress Scarlett Johansson, whose photo is featured on the organization’s web site.

Yes, this picture.



Per Diem rates updated.  The IRS has updated the “Special Per Diem Rates” for away-from-home expenses for taxpayers in the transportation industry (Notice 2012-63).  Taxpayers can use these rates in lieu of substantiating actual away from home business meal and lodging costs.The notice also provides the new incidentals-only amount ($5 per day) and the rates for “high-cost localities” for taxpayers in all industries.  The Journal of Accountancy has more.  The GSA web site has the rates nationwide.


Joseph Henchman,   Taxpayer Wins Against Washington State Shakedown; State Appeals (Tax Policy Blog)

TaxGrrrl, More Bogus IRS Emails Hit Inboxes

Courtey A. Strutt Todd,  How will the Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts Affect Me? (Davis Brown Tax Law Blog)

Leaving Louisiana.  A New Orleans preparer gets a 92-month sentence for filing 635 returns claiming inflated deductions and credits (

Tax Trials,  Tax Court: Gross Receipts Must Include Interest & Investment Income for Research Tax Credit Calculation

Trish McIntire,   Out of Pocket Charity Deduction

Brian Strahle,  Kentucky Tax Amnesty Program begins October 1, 2012!

Jason Dinesen,  IRS E-Services and the TIGTA Report

Daniel Shaviro,  More honest than usual, but still not making sense

Kay Bell,  ‘Obama didn’t raise taxes’ and other Romney comments freaking out the GOP

Anthony Nitti,  Coloradans May Soon Be Able to Get High Without Having To First Pretend They Have Cataracts


The Critical Question: Do Swinging Singles Have Any Chance At Making Partner in Public Accounting? (Going Concern).