Posts Tagged ‘Tax Break’

Tax Roundup, 8/9/12: IRS scolded for carelessly issuing ID numbers. Plus stupid vs. criminal, hitting bottom and digging.

Thursday, August 9th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman

IRS discouraged fraud detection in ID program (Huffington Post):

The Internal Revenue Service has been looking the other way instead of rooting out fraud when people apply for taxpayer identification numbers, Treasury Department investigators said Wednesday, exposing a shortfall with both financial and national security implications.

A member of Congress who sits on the House’s tax-writing committee responded to the report by calling on IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman to resign, claiming the IRS is helping illegal immigrants defraud the government.

He wants the Commissioner to resign for that?  Considering that the Commissioner oversees the mailing of $5 billion annually to thieves, that he has terrorized and financially ruined otherwise law abiding Americans for footfault paperwork violations, and that he has, with questionable authority, imposed an expensive and futile preparer regulation scheme, this new outrage needs to take a number.

More coverage from the Wall Street Journal, Linda Beale and the TaxProf; read the TIGTA report here and a TIGTA press release here.

Instapundit on state film tax credits:

REPEAL THE HOLLYWOOD TAX CUTS!  (LOCAL EDITION):  La. film tax break program needs limits, budget group says.   “Louisiana has spent more than $1 billion over the past decade to attract movie productions to the state, but hasn’t received much in return besides the prestige of hosting big-name Hollywood actors, according to a report released today.  The left-leaning Louisiana Budget Project suggests state lawmakers should put tighter limits on the generous film tax break program, lessening the credits offered and capping the amount of money it can cost the state each year.”  Actually, it should be abolished, as should similar programs in almost every other state.  And this is something state Tea Party groups might even make common cause with lefties on.

A sadder-but-wiser Iowa repealed its version of the film credits this year after it collapsed in scandal and disgrace and the State Auditor reported that 80% of the credits were issued improperly or lacked documentation.  But in defense of the program, two filmmakers are moving to Iowa for up to ten years thanks to the film tax credit!

It’s time to register for this year’s ISU Center for Agricultural law and Taxation Farm Tax Schools!  I will be on the Day 1 panel at all eight sessions, starting with the October 29 school in Mason City.

We’re vacationing in the mountains this year, kids. The Plot Thickens for Swiss Bankers Involved In U.S. Evasion: (Jack Townsend):

Swiss bankers whose names were delivered to the United States in April as part of the crackdown on US tax evaders face the risk of arrest while travelling in some European countries, not just on US soil.

Well, the Alps are nice…

Stupidity is no crime: Were Reid’s Remarks About Romney’s Returns Unlawful? (TaxGrrrl)

We’re just getting started!  Have We Reached the Nadir of Tax Policy Discourse? (Going Concern)

“Bipartisan” means they’re ganging up on us: Wind energy tax breaks are bipartisan in Iowa (Ames Tribune)

Kay Bell has a new Carnival of Taxes for State Fair week!

Tax Policy Blog:  Misunderstanding Tax Reform: The Case of The Olympic Tax Elimination Act


Tax Roundup, 7/13/2012: triskaidekaphobia edition.

Friday, July 13th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

At least it’s a higher-class crime this time: rapper Beanie Sigel got a two-year sentence for skipping out on over $700,000 in fefderal income taxes.  Mr Sigel has an idea of what the next two years might be like, having done time in 2004-2005 on weapons and drug charges.  TaxGrrrl has the scoop.

I think he at least has a hobby loss problem.  Kay Bell: Is Batman cheating on his taxes?

Anthony Nitti: Prince of Bel Air Denied Ordinary Loss (Alternate Title: Lying on Your Loan Application Might Bite You…):

What’s the lesson? If you’re one of the unfortunate souls still trying to unload a spec home you built pre-2008 and you’re angling to take an ordinary loss, you need to know the factors, and behave accordingly. Run it like a business, keeping books and records. Try like hell to sell the property through advertising, hiring unrelated brokers, etc… And for god’s sake, don’t admit you were “just trying to get rid of it.”

TaxProf: Sen. Grassley Places Hold on Treasury Nominations Pending Response on IRS Whistleblower Office

Taxing the Rich, and Missing the Point (Christopher Bergin):

The President’s proposal to temporarily extend the tax cuts for the middle class may have been smart election politics; I don’t know. What I do know is that it would help perpetuate a tax system – for which the Republicans share equal blame – that is unfair and unsustainable. Now, how does that protect any of us in the middle class in the long run? Like a lot of other things in our tax code now, it’s a ruse.

Smoke-filled rooms?  What Does Poker and Revenue Neutral Tax Legislation Have in Common? (Brian Strahle)

Daniel Shaviro: What’s so special about “small business”?:

“Small business” sounds good rhetorically, whether you are trying to put a misleading face on support for the top 0.1%, like the Republicans, or simply trying for a more generally faux-populist tone, like the Democrats.  Tax breaks for “big business” certainly don’t sound as wholesome.  But there is no particular reason to favor one part of the business sector over another, or to give businesses a tax incentive to stay small 

 Or to clobber one over the other, either.

And tax increases, too:  Essential reading: Obama, Democrats put tax cuts at center of 2012 agenda, and more (Tax Break)

 Howard Gleckman: Taxes Don’t Always Drive the Economy–Sometimes the Economy Drives Taxes (TaxVox)

I get a very kind mention from Peter Reilly today:

The Blogger With Whom I Feel Most Sympatico

Joe Kristan is a CPA with Roth and Company PC in Des Moines, Iowa.  Joe describes the Robert Flach version of tax season as a two month death march.  He actually has the temerity to criticize the Pro, before whom, I stand in awe and wonder. In his Tax Update, he will often pick up the same cases that I do.  He has taken to having many of his posts be Tax Roundups, which reflect a pretty good sampling of other tax blogs.

Totally unrelated to taxes, but well worth looking at is another blog of Joe’s that is inactive, presumably due to lack of further material.  It is called 42-72817.  The number is the serial number of a B-24 that was shot down in 1944.  The top turret gunner, who survived the crash, was Joe’s father.

Peter is a prolific and perceptive tax blogger, one of the best of a group of new tax bloggers who have emerged in the past year or so.  It’s the sudden abundance of excellent material from Peter and others that is behind these Tax Roundups; there’s so much good stuff out there now that I should link to, and this format helps me do that.


Tax Roundup, 5/24/2012: Vikings pillage taxpayers, Giant, Eagle choose not to help, and why it’s harder to do taxes than to eat right.

Thursday, May 24th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

Like the Vikings of Old: Pillaging Minnesota’s Budget (Tax Policy Blog):

This week in Minnesota politics has been instructive in what kinds of projects warrant state money and attention.  Governor Dayton signed a bill approving the construction of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings which he boasted would create thousands of jobs and would not use “a single dollar of General Fund tax revenues“. The state agreed to pay $498 million of the $975 million price tag for the new stadium, with $150 million of their contribution coming from the revenues of Minneapolis’s “hospitality tax” (a sales tax surcharge) and $348 million from electronic pull tabs.

Dayton championed the deal despite the growing body of research that, as academics have observed, “contains no evidence supporting the idea that sports facilities are important engines of economic growth.” That is in part because, as analysts at UBS note, the economic analyses used to support sports stadiums tend to over-estimate the benefit of stadiums by ignoring the substitution effect; individuals who would travel to spend money on live music and restaurants in the downtown area instead spend them on the professional sports team. 

It’s similar to the way Iowa’s economic development officials say they create jobs with tax credits, ignoring the jobs lost by the unsubsidized competitors of the corporate welfare recipients, and the economic activity that would have occurred had the state not taxed the money from us to give away in the first place.

$452 billion tax hike in 2013: Taxmageddon by the numbers (Tax Break):

The expiration of tax breaks like the 2001/2003/2009 tax cuts, as well as the payroll tax cut, estate tax breaks, the R&D tax credit for businesses, combined with the cost of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), and other sundry items, will add up to the overall tax increase in 2013 of $451.8 billion.

Repeal of Tennessee Gift and Inheritance Tax Official (Tennessee Tax Guy).  “Without a true income tax, and now without gift and inheritance taxes, Tennessee will likely be viewed as one of the most taxpayer-friendly states of the nation.”  Are you listening, Iowa?  (No.).

Former Dwarf, Crow believed to be in compliance. Former Giant, Eagle Fails to File Tax Returns (TaxDood)

 TaxVox: A Path Forward on Tax Reform.  We’ll go down that path when there are no others left. 

Peter Pappas:  I Am Aaron Worthing (or My Contribution to “Everybody Post about Brett Kimberlin Day”). Is a convicted deomestic terrorist using a 501(c)(3) and celebrity money to threaten and silence political opponents?  More here.

Brian Strahle: Teeter-Totters, Musical Chairs and Tug of Wars: The World of Multistate Income Taxes

Anthony Nitti: Doctor Done In By Tax Court’s “Too Good To Be True” Logic.  The Tax Court says that there was no reasonable cause to file returns based on the word of a promoter of a Sec. 419 tax benefit scheme.

Kay Bell: Beware unsolicited — and questionable — property tax payment plans

More Americans are very confused: More Americans Believe It’s Easier To Understand Tax Than How To Eat Healthy (TaxGrrrl)