We’ve all had narrow misses with bad ideas. For example, the general manager of the Yankees and Red Sox owner went out drinking and negotiated a trade of Ted Williams for Joe DiMaggio, only to call it off in the light of day. Think of the time you almost went into business with your brother-in-law. Fortunately, we usually think better of it in time to avoid disaster.
Not Robert Kahre. He got this great idea to pay employees in gold and silver coins, which are worth far more than their original face value, while reporting the income and paying taxes at the face value.
Kahre met John Nelson (Nelson), who authored books and taught classes about the IRS and the monetary system, and Nelson’s ideas influenced Kahre to develop the payment system at issue.
According to Kahre, he developed his gold payroll system because the United States government had debauched the national currency and utilized inflation to confiscate the wealth of U.S. citizens. Kahre relied on court cases and the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985 that approved gold coins as legal tender. Kahre devised the independent contractor agreements to reflect that the IRS was a foreign agent for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In Kahre’s view, by collecting taxes for the IRS, employers illegally served as foreign agents for the World Bank and IMF. Kahre relied on several federal statutes, regulations, and “Presidential Documents” in the process of developing his payroll system to avoid the collection of taxes on behalf of foreign agents.
How do you suppose that worked out? Well, the above description comes from a federal appeals court decision upholding a 190-month prison sentence for Mr. Kahre, if that’s any indication. More from the decision:
Appellants contend that the district court erred in denying their motions to dismiss the indictments because they did not know that their use of gold and silver coins for payroll payments was illegal under the tax laws. Appellants specifically maintain that the district court’s tax valuation predicated on the fair market value of the gold and silver coins unfairly imputed criminal intent to their unknowing actions.
A footnote helps show why the court wasn’t persuaded (citations omitted, emphasis added.):
Appellants contend that gold and silver coins are statutorily valued at face value. However, this appeal does not really concern the statutory value of gold and silver coins when utilized as legal tender. Instead, this appeal addresses Appellants’ payment of wages in gold and silver coins in a scheme to avoid payroll taxes, as evidenced by the facts that Kahre’s employees were required to immediately return the coins for cash and, that if an employee retained the coins, his wages were reduced by the fair market value of the coins.
The moral? The tax law isn’t required to believe every ridiculous thing you read, and there is no Tax Fairy.
It’s not just individual identity theft. TIGTA: IRS Issues $2.3 Billion/Year in Fraudulent Tax Refunds Based on Phony Employer Identification Numbers. (TaxProf). Considering this, and the identity theft epidemic, and their worsening taxpayer service, their wish to devote resources to regulating preparers is hard to take.
Now there’s a shocker. Democrats, liberals pan Gov. Terry Branstad’s flat tax idea (Jason Noble). If you can’t get the cooperation you need to pass even a half-way plan, you can at least change the terms of the debate by going bold.
Jason Dinesen, Stock Losses and Taxes:
Beware of “wash sales.” A wash sale occurs when you sell stock at a loss and then buy the same stock within 30 days before or after the sale. (Example: you sell Stock A at a loss on August 1 and then re-purchase Stock A on August 15. This is a wash sale and the August 1 loss is not currently deductible but instead adjusts the basis of the stock you purchased on August 15.)
Year-end loss sales are a common tax planning move, but you need to be willing to do without the shares for 30 days.
Kay Bell, Low corporate tax rates don’t guarantee more jobs. No, but you won’t convince anybody that high corporate taxes help.’
Kyle Pomerleau, New Report on Corporate Income Taxes and Employment Doesn’t Come Close (Tax Policy Blog). ”Their conclusion is akin to blindly picking two jellybeans from a bag of 1,000, getting two red ones, and then concluding that the rest of the jellybeans in the bag must be red.”
Dueling cronyism. Missouri Lawmakers to Washington: We’ll See Your $8.7 Billion, And… (Tax Justice Blog)
William Perez, Year End Deduction Strategies for the Self Employed
Andrew Mitchel, New Resource Page: Monetary Penalties for Failure to File Common U.S. International Tax Forms. They’re quite ugly.
Elaine Maag, Analyzing Taxes and Transfers Together (TaxVox)
Keith Fogg, What is a return – the long slow fight in the bankruptcy courts (Procedurally Taxing)
Jack Townsend, Economic Substance Uncertainty in Civil Cases
Fiduciary Income Tax Blog, Valuation of Indirect Ownership Through a Trust
Brian Strahle, UDITPA REWRITE NECESSARY, BUT WILL STATES LISTEN?
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 211
Robert D. Flach has a meaty Friday Buzz!
News from the Profession. Former CPA and Procrastinator Ordered By the State to Get Around to Removing “CPA” From All Her Stuff (Going Concern)
Happy St. Nicholas Day!