Your extended 2013 corporation, partnership and trust returns are due a week from today. If you have a pass-through entity and you file late, you have a $195 per month, per K-1 penalty going back to April if you don’t make the extension deadline.
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 487. Among the links today is one from the Washington Post, Why Did the IRS Clean Out Lois Lerner’s Blackberry as Probes Began? It also quotes this from Russ Fox:
Let’s assume you’re under a court order to find some emails. Your hard drive crashed, but you think that some of them are saved on your Blackberry. Would you:
(a) Try to find them on the Blackberry,
(b) Do nothing, or
(c) Erase the Blackberry.
If you’re the IRS, the answer is (c)
For an agency that insists it has nothing to hide, the IRS sure acts like it is hiding something. Just to ice the cake, IRS Says It Has Lost Emails From 5 More Employees. Can dogs eat emails?
Meanwhile, Democratic Senators released a report insisting the IRS picked on left-side outfits just as much as right-side ones and slamming Treasury Inspector General Russell George for insisting otherwise. So let’s go to the stats:
No left-side groups have produced evidence of the absurdly-intrusive questioning faced by some right side groups. We can assume that if they existed, they would have come out by now. Mr. George stands by his work.
The Iowa Department of Revenue has given its web site a makeover. Ain’t it pretty?
Tyler Cowen, Civil forfeiture cash seizures:
Only a sixth of the seizures were legally challenged, in part because of the costs of legal action against the government. But in 41 percent of cases — 4,455 — where there was a challenge, the government agreed to return money. The appeals process took more than a year in 40 percent of those cases and often required owners of the cash to sign agreements not to sue police over the seizures.
Hundreds of state and local departments and drug task forces appear to rely on seized cash, despite a federal ban on the money to pay salaries or otherwise support budgets. The Post found that 298 departments and 210 task forces have seized the equivalent of 20 percent or more of their annual budgets since 2008.
Civil forfeiture rules in the U.S. allow outrages every day. It’s very third-world, inherently corrupt, and way overdue for reform.
Phil Hodgen, Renunciation Interviews Not So Intense. “The State Department justifies the new $2,350 user fee for renunciation by saying ‘Hey, it’s a lotta work. It’s intense. You have to pay me more.'” It looks a lot like civil forfeiture, where the government takes the money because they’re bigger than you, and they can.
Paul Neiffer, A Deduction of Zero is Still Zero:
If the calf was born on the ranch and raised there, the tax deduction due to a death loss is zero. Since the ranch is allowed to deduct all of the feed and other costs associated with raising the calf, the rancher has a tax basis in the calf of exactly zero. Therefore, the rancher can deduct zero which is still zero.
It’s the same reason you can’t deduct wages you never received; you never pick them up in income to start with.
Russ Fox, Lies, Deceit, and Nefarious Schemes. He addresses a VEBA scam:
His plans allowed you to both get the tax deduction and, “then later access the full cash value of their plan contributions by taking out loans against the life insurance policies purchased with plan contributions.” That’s not allowed.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Kay Bell, NFL 2014 season underway, along with the taxable betting. Kay also has a great map of NFL team affinities by county. Oddly, it appears central Iowa is Packer Country.
Jack Townsend, Offshore Enabler Nabbed in Sting Operation Sentenced
Peter Reilly, New Hampshire Supreme Court Declines More Power In Tuition Credit Case. The New Hampshire court refused to stop tax credits for contributions to private schools. Iowa and many other states have instituted such credits. An athiest group said the credits amounted to an “establishment” of religion. If New Hampshire disallow the credits to the Richard Dawkins Country Day School, they’ll have a better case.
Annette Nellen, Is disclosure of corporate tax information a good idea? Professor Nellen doesn’t care for proposals to require disclosure of public company returns.
Ajay Gupta, How Not to Stop an Inversion (Tax Analysts Blog). “All those proposals focus on the inverting corporate entity—a wonderfully inanimate piñata-like container that can be repeatedly hit for enjoyment and will occasionally yield the candy of additional revenue. None targets the individuals at the helm of the corporation, the men and women who stand to make vast amounts of money from their collective decision to execute an inversion.”
Sebastian Johnson, State Rundown, 9/5: Gun Holiday in Mississippi, Shortfall in Wisconsin, and a Showdown in Washington (Tax Justice Blog)
Renu Zaretsky, Business Tax Reform: Will Patience Be a Vice? This TaxVox headline roundup talks business tax reform, Nevada’s corporate welfare plan for Tesla, and how individual tax revenues will grow, but not as fast as the government will spend them.
Tony Nitti, The IRS Cares Not For Your Vow Of Poverty. “Call me conservative, but if I wanted the IRS to take my vow of poverty seriously, I’d probably refrain from cruising around town in a Mercedes.”