Category: Tax Issues

Congressional Spending Still Runs Amok

In the antebellum south, it is said that a common practice among slaveholders was to give a barrel of salt pork to slaves to divide amongst themselves. This scrambling and fighting for a share of the pork became equated with its political meaning in the early 1870s, according to Wendy McElroy of the Future of […]

A Double Whammy: Travel Taxes That Fund Stadiums

Last week, NCPA released a report on travel taxes.  Hotel occupancy taxes comprise the largest share of taxes on an average trip, while plane ticket taxes and rental car taxes rank second and third.  Travel taxes are politically easy to levy, because it is assumed that those who pay them are “out of towners” and […]

Nix the Netflix Tax!

Netflix just got a little more expensive in Chicago.  Starting in September, the city is expanding the interpretation of amusement and property taxes to audit “cloud companies” like Netflix and Amazon by levying a 9 percent tax every time consumers use “software as a service” streaming media services.  This new “cloud tax” comes at a time when […]

Busy Week In Congress on a Number of Tax Bills

This week, the House of Representatives is working on a number of tax-related bills (in celebration of April 15).  Two of them, in particular, will directly affect future tax returns: H.R. 1105 – Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015:  Would “repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes for estates of decedents dying or for transfers made on […]

Tax-Related Identity Theft – A Real and Growing Problem

The first tax deadline is just hours away, and many individuals needing extra time will file extensions.  But some who have electronically filed their returns are surprised to receive notice that a tax return for them has already been submitted — by somebody who is not the taxpayer. This tax-related identity theft is a real […]

Constitutional Challenge to FATCA

Earlier this month, Jeff Lerner wrote about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a pesky law that requires foreign financial institutions to report to the IRS on bank accounts (not just income, but transaction records) held by Americans in their countries.  Reporting requirements have evidently forced many overseas financial institutions to drop American bank accounts due to […]

Weekend at Bernie’s Spent Thinking of Ways to Raise Tax Revenue

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) recently penned a letter to President Obama urging him to use his (ahem) executive powers to close six corporate tax loopholes. According to Sanders, these loopholes are “egregious” and, by putting a stop to them, the Treasury could rake in $100 billion over 10 years. I am not an expert in Constitutional law, so this […]

Obama’s 2016 Budget Proposal: Eliminating the “Trust Fund Loophole”

Ben Franklin, in a letter to a friend written in 1789, famously stated: “Our Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” President Obama appears to be taking things a step further. His 2016 budget proposal […]

The President’s 2016 “Budget”

President Obama’s $4 trillion FY 2016 budget request was submitted to Congress today.  It seems unlikely it will pass a Republican-controlled Congress, given the plethora of tax hikes and a few silly ideas.  But it is worth noting a few things: The president has never proposed a balanced budget, ever.  To wit, his FY 2016 budget proposes […]