Tax Analysts Blog

Monday, July 25, 2011
In 2010 America's 50 most profitable companies generated nearly $600 billion of profits before taxes -- 38 percent of all U.S. profits. The average effective corporate tax rate reported to shareholders was 26 percent. Foreign profits comprised 50 percent of worldwide profits, and the average foreig...
Monday, July 18, 2011
"None of us are fond of loopholes." -- House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, July 11 _____________________________________________________________________ Tax reform will not be a part of the legislation that raises the debt limit. Congress and President Obama cannot even agree on the broad outlin...
Monday, June 27, 2011
Next time you hear multinationals talk about international tax reform -- which they equate to an exemption system that does not deny deductions for expenses allocable to foreign income -- notice that there is no mention of profit shifting. They routinely present a picture of a simple world in which...
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Most large profitable American businesses must pay the corporate income tax. Others are completely exempt from it. The unfairness of this is so plain even a 5-year-old can understand it. If that's not high enough authority for you, please consult the first commandment of tax economics: Thou shalt t...
Monday, May 23, 2011
A large reduction in the U.S. corporate tax rate is inevitable. It can't miss when proponents have an easy-to-understand talking point: The United States will soon have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. If it weren't for the Japanese earthquake, we would already have the number one spot....
Thursday, April 7, 2011
As somebody who has spent his professional career advocating for tax reform -- that is, lowering the rates and broadening the base-- I welcome any excuse to give the topic some attention. But recent developments make it more clear than ever that politicians are taking advantage of citizens' desire...
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
In a few hours House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will release his deficit reduction plan that will cut Medicare, Medicaid, and dozens of other programs. (There is tax reform but no tax increase.) Now Democrats will have to admit their only viable option for long-term deficit reduction is ra...
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
For decades the conventional political wisdom has been that a VAT will never be enacted in the United States because liberals view it as a tax targeted on the poor and conservatives view it as a money machine. And in response to this observation pundits would quip: a VAT will be enacted when libera...
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Thanks to President Obama, corporate tax reform has gone prime time. Major news outlets are reporting on closed-door discussions involving Treasury officials, congressional staff, and industry representatives and on any utterance from members of Congress on the topic. But progress is slow, and most...
Monday, March 21, 2011
A lot of high-profile disputes like funding NPR are only distractions from the really important budget issues. Every expert will tell you that government funded health care is THE cause of our long-term budget problems. As medical technology prolongs life, we as a nation must delve deeply into issu...
Friday, March 18, 2011
Of course Republicans despise any radio that espouses views that are more moderate than those of Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. So when they desperately needed spending cuts, eliminating $432 million of annual subsidies was an easy target for House Republicans. The House voted to defund NPR by a...
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
"Fiscal space" is a term you hear mostly in Europe as governments there try to figure out if they have the borrowing capacity to provide stimulus and to lend to huge failing banks. Nobody really knows how much government debt is "too much." Some economists say gross government debt should not exce...
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The debate on Capitol Hill is now raging over the budget for the current fiscal year (ending September 30). House Republicans are hoping for about $60 billion of cuts for the remainder of the fiscal year--which translates into about $100 billion for a full year. Assuming this is the high water mark...
Monday, March 14, 2011
On Fox New Sunday Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, did a lot of double talk. He explained to interviewer Chris Wallace that he was against tax hikes but was also simultaneously looking at "revenue and reform of our complicated tax code in a major way" to reduce the deficit: You judge for yourse...
Monday, March 7, 2011
Beverly Hills 90210 and Clarksdale, Mississippi 38614 both have a population a little above 20,000. But that’s where the statistical similarities end. IRS data show that in 2007 adjusted gross income in 90210 was $5.6 billion, more than 20 times larger than the $266 million reported in 38614. In B...
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The five press reports I've read about the new General Accountability Office study ignore the GAO's numerous recommendations to cut targeted tax benefits and to reduce tax evasion by increasing IRS enforcement. The study is being portrayed as a clarion call for cutting wasteful government spending....
Monday, February 28, 2011
All of Washington is looking to reduce the deficit and reform our tax system. Tax credits for alternative energy increase the deficit and make the tax code more complicated and unfair. We've made those points before. But did you know green tax credits can actually defeat the policy goals of environ...
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Leona Helmsley was the billionaire real estate baroness New Yorkers loved to hate. She was famous for humiliating her household help and staff at her hotels. When it came to home improvement, she routinely charged it as a business expense or simply left her contractors unpaid. Her greed eventually...
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
As seasoned observer of tax policy, I can only stare in slack-jawed wonder at all the hubbub over the constitutionality of the so-called “individual mandate.” Congress has decided to provide a tax incentive for people to buy health insurance. How can this be an issue? Using the tax code to provid...
Monday, February 14, 2011
The good folks at the Statistics of Income Division of the IRS compile individual tax returns by zip code. They take a lot of steps to preserve confidentiality: no zip codes with less than 10 filers are included. And if any one return dominates a data entry that return is either dropped or merged i...