American Thinker: Politico Does Weepy Story About Poor Lois Lerner
And my favorite:
Daily Caller: Lois Lerner Compares Herself To Jeffrey Dahmer
So Tea Party-friendly web sites were not won over, apparently. Some other reaction:
LOIS LERNER TOOK THE FIFTH, but now she’s telling Politico that she did nothing wrong, and that she’s the real victim here. And note the prominent play Politico gives to alleged anti-semitic epithets, and to Lerner’s brownie-baking. So why the media-rehab operation — and that’s what this is — and why now?
But it’s nice to hear that even the Washington revolving-door apparat finds her “untouchable.” Perhaps that’s because nothing much in this story suggests that she didn’t target Tea Party groups for partisan political reasons.
David Hirsanyi, Sorry, Politico, But Lois Lerner Is Not A Victim:
She has already admitted and apologized for the practice of targeting conservatives groups with terms like “Tea Party” or “patriots” in their titles. She claims that it was done in an effort to deal with the surge in applications for tax-exempt status asking for permission to participate in the political process. Yet, she didn’t aim at groups with the “climate change” or “fairness” in their names to mitigate this alleged crush of work she was facing.
Peter Suderman, Unapologetic Lois Lerner Insists She’s Done Nothing Wrong (Reason.com):
Lerner thinks she did nothing wrong, and she won’t apologize. “Regardless of whatever else happens, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances and am not sorry for anything I did,” she said in an interview with the paper.
That’s basically all she says about her role in the scandal. Lerner, who, after reading a statement, exercised her Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination when called to testify before Congress last year, doesn’t really add anything to her defense with the statements in her piece. She declares that she stands by her work—and that’s it.
And James Taranto reports “Politico landed an exclusive interview with Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the still-unresolved scandal, and to call it a whitewash would be an insult to lime.”
I think we can safely say of this PR stunt, so far, not so good.
Prior Tax Update coverage: Lerner speaks, sort of. And: a federal tax amnesty?
Treasury “does something” about inversions. The moral panic over inversion transactions took its next logical step when the Treasury announced it would issue regulations out of nowhere to “crack down” on corporations trying to escape our awful U.S. corporation income tax. Notice 2014-52 has the technical details.
The Treasury has previously issued such notices, generally describing future regulations, when it is in a hurry to stop some kind of transaction and doesn’t want to wait for the usual regulation comment period to “do something.”
The Wall Street Journal explains the rules in general terms:
The Treasury rules will make it harder for companies that invert to use cash accumulating abroad—a big draw in recent deals. In addition, the government has made it more difficult to complete these overseas mergers.
The tax changes took effect immediately, officials said, and applied to all deals that hadn’t closed by Monday.
The article addresses how the deal might affect pending deals: (I removed the WSJ’s obligatory stock price info):
The new guidelines could impact a number of pending mergers and acquisitions, including Medtronic Inc. s proposed acquisition of Irish medical-device maker Covidien PLC; Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd.’s acquisition of a division of Italy’s Cosmo Pharmaceuticals SpA; and Mylan Inc.’s pending deal for Abbott Laboratories overseas generics business. It could also interfere with the merger of fruit grower Chiquita Brands International Inc. and Fyffes PLC.
Less clear is how it would impact Burger King Worldwide Inc. BKW -0.48% ‘s proposed acquisition of Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc., THI.T +1.92% a deal that was designed to move the new corporate headquarters to Canada.
That deal is structured somewhat differently, and experts disagree whether it would be affected by the new government rules. Most agree the rule changes aren’t likely to end inversions altogether.
Of course it won’t. As long as the U.S. has an uncompetitive business tax climate — better only than France and Portugal in the developed world — corporations will be forced to seek self-help, like inversion deals.
Tax Analysts has a story about how the last round of inversion rules created dangers for corporations who aren’t even inverting ($link): “The existing anti-inversion rules under section 7874 create several traps for foreign companies and individuals that could cause transactions to be treated as inversions when no inversion has taken place.”
Unintended consequences result, traps are created for the unwary, and the awful U.S. corporation income tax gets a little worse. Well done, Jack Lew!
The TaxProf has a roundup. Howard Gleckman asks Does Treasury Have the Legal Authority To Curb Tax Inversions? (TaxVox): “This issue is the subject of heated debate among tax lawyers.”
TaxGrrrl, Back To School 2014: Moving Expenses
Russ Fox, They Both Begin With “E”. Embezzlement, evasion. Add another: eventually detected.
Jason Dinesen, Entrepreneurial Maturity. “In other words, a business owner who has entrepreneurial maturity knows what they don’t know.”
Annette Nellen, Points from your bank. On the “frequent flyer miles” Tax Court case.
Steven Olsen, Summary Opinions for 9/12/14 (Procedurally Taxing). Rounding up recent developments in tax procedure.
Jack Townsend has some Comments on the Warner Sentencing Oral Argument: “The panel was also concerned that, if Warner’s conduct were so bad, why did the Government argue at sentencing for only a sentence of 1 year and 1 day when the Guidelines range was significantly higher.”
Alan Cole, The U.S. Tax Code is its Worst Competitive Weakness (Tax Policy Blog). “Simply put, while assessments of the U.S. tax code – both at Tax Foundation and elsewhere – are bleak, there is much to be optimistic about in America.”
Martin Sullivan, Should We Give Up On Reagan Style Tax Reform? (Tax Analysts Blog) “The landmark 1986 Tax Reform Act is an inspiration to all would-be tax reformers. But reforms following that basic framework have gotten nowhere in Congress.”
Steve Warnhoff, The Estate Tax Is Not Doing Enough to Mitigate Inequality: State-by-State Figures (Tax Justice Blog). It’s not working, so lets do it more, harder!