Tax Analysts Blog

Monday, August 29, 2011
Germany and Switzerland recently signed a landmark tax agreement that resolves years of squabbling over secret bank accounts. Fascinatingly, the agreement ends one form of blatant offshore tax evasion while preserving Swiss bank secrecy. How can that be? The answer is simple: tax collectors have be...
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Thanks to all the Tax.com readers who participated in our recent survey. It will be interesting to follow the events of the coming months and match the actual outcomes against the prognostication skills of our online community. Our first survey question was about the congressional deficit reduction...
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Henry Kissinger predicted the demise of the euro many years ago. He and other euro-skeptics saw a fundamental flaw in the structure of the single currency. The flaw -- which remains in place to this day -- is that countries adopting the euro must forfeit monetary policy to the European Central Bank...
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Ouch -- America's credit rating has been down graded. Not only are the Germans better than us at soccer, but now they have a stronger credit rating too. Ditto for France, Luxembourg and Sweden -- those bastions of fiscal responsibility. Okay, how long will it take us to regain our AAA rating? Histo...
Friday, August 5, 2011
The debt ceiling squabble is over. What did we accomplish? Not much, frankly. The Budget Control Act of 2011, signed into law by President Obama on August 2, involves an initial round of spending cuts worth $900 billion plus a second round of cuts worth at least $1.2 trillion. (All dollar amounts d...
Monday, March 21, 2011
"What happens if China stops buying our debt?" For years that question has been tossed around Washington DC as a kind of doomsday scenario. As everyone knows by now, our national debt is on an unsustainable trajectory. The foregoing 'China issue' is identified as a possible trigger for all sorts of...
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Everybody knows what a taxpayer is. We are the millions of people who pick up the tab for America's public spending. You, me, basically everyone you meet is a taxpayer. But what is a "tax-eater"? What do they look like? Where do they come from? And what should you do if you live next door to one? T...
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
You're well aware of the headlines by now. The Bush-era tax cuts have been extended for two years, through the end of December 2012. American citizens are pleased their tax rates won't be increasing on January 1, 2011, and media pundits are rushing to declare the political winners and losers. Here'...
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
You know the story by now. If Congress doesn't renew them by the end of the year, the Bush-era tax cuts will expire and tax rates will return to the levels that existed when Bill Clinton was in office. That means the top marginal rate on ordinary income would jump from 35% to 39.6%, the long-term c...
Monday, October 25, 2010
We Americans tend to be poorly informed about how the government spends our tax dollars. Consider this -- a Kaiser Foundation survey shows that, by a margin of two-to-one, the public thinks the government spends more money on foreign aid than on Social Security. (That happens to be wildly false.) M...
Thursday, September 16, 2010
How would you feel if the tax collectors in some foreign country -- one you never had any direct dealings with -- sent you a tax bill for $2 billion? To make matters worse, let's say the foreign taxes have nothing to do with your own personal earnings; the bill relates entirely to somebody else's c...
Friday, August 13, 2010
We have been told that Charlie Rangel was war hero. That's fine, but we no longer care. We have been told that Rangel did a lot for the little fellow during his many years in Congress. Again, we don't care anymore. Rangel's few remaining supporters make him out to be the Patron Saint of progressive...
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Hedge funds are continually searching for investment opportunities that hold the potential for huge financial returns, regardless of the associated risk. Their latest strategy is remarkably clever, although something about it rubs me the wrong way. No doubt you're aware of the tax evasion scandals...
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Just the other day I lavished praise on the Commonwealth of Virginia for its leadership in the free-file movement. By way of follow up, we must note that there's been an unfortunate reversal of policy in Richmond. Starting next year, Virginia will deprive many taxpayers of the ability to e-file fre...
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Why is there no equivalent to the Tea Party movement in the United Kingdom? British voters, like their American cousins, are concerned about the sluggish economy and rising unemployment. They're also deeply annoyed at bank bailouts and a self-serving political establishment. But where is the populi...
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
April 15th is finally here. The day millions of procrastinating Americans assemble their federal income tax returns. In the old days this ritual involved rushing to the post office to make sure your envelope was postmarked before the midnight filing deadline. But an increasing number of taxpayers n...
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The wave of offshore tax scandals sweeping across America and Europe reinforces an old adage: Sometimes it's better to be lucky than smart. Some voices in the tax community have been quick to point at these events as proof that our tax enforcement rules are functioning properly. Some have claimed v...
Monday, January 11, 2010
I do not hate the French. Honest. France is one of my favorite places to visit; the country is undeniably beautiful. I've previously been accused of being a cheese-eating, cognac-sipping, Francophile. I even have Serge Gainsbourg tracks on my ipod. So let me say from the outset that my objective he...
Friday, November 6, 2009
Your taxes are about to increase. So are mine, and so are everybody elses. And there's nothing we can do about. It won't happen today or tomorrow, but it will happen soon -- and once the rates increase they will remain high for a very long time. That's the dire forecast contained in an IMF report r...
Friday, September 18, 2009
The results are in -- London's hedge funds are staying put despite Prime Minister Gordon Brown's controversial tax hike. That news directly conflicts with all we were told when the U.K. announced it was raising the top individual tax rate from 40% to 50%. The higher rate applies to taxable income i...