Tax Analysts Blog

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Make no mistake -- the IRS deserves all the heightened scrutiny and even scorn from congressional Republicans. Its conduct during the exempt organization scandal and the ongoing aftermath has been appalling. Those looking for a conspiracy and White House involvement are missing the point. The IRS'...
Monday, June 23, 2014
Lois Lerner can't escape from her role as a villain in Washington. She is at the heart of the exempt organization scandal that simply won't die. The latest round of the increasingly partisan and bizarre saga is the announcement that Lerner's e-mails from two critical years during the targeting o...
Monday, June 9, 2014
The IRS continues to try to rebuild itself following its mishandling of conservative groups' exempt organization applications. The scandal dominated last year, leading to the resignation of the acting commissioner and the quick appointment of a restructuring expert, John Koskinen, as the permanent...
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
After years of work and months of anticipation, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp, R-Mich., released his comprehensive tax reform draft in February. Even though several detailed proposals on aspects of tax reform had already been released, the complete plan contained a number of surpri...
Monday, May 19, 2014
From a policy perspective, the extenders may not be all that important. Many of the expiring or expired tax provisions are poorly tailored to accomplish their purported goals. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp and then-Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus wanted to strip most of t...
Monday, April 28, 2014
Congress returns this week, and the major tax policy objective for the remainder of the year is to deal with the so-called extenders. These temporary, expired tax provisions have traditionally sailed through Congress (albeit on a delayed and dilatory schedule) for years, with little or no debate ab...
Monday, April 21, 2014
The federal government relies less and less on the corporate income tax with each passing year. As corporate tax receipts fall, some policymakers (including the president) have looked to plug holes in international tax rules, arguing that multinationals are taking advantage of leaky transfer pricin...
Monday, April 14, 2014
It's almost tax day, and many taxpayers are probably struggling to finish their returns or contemplating filing for an extension. The classic picture of a harried citizen crouched over a paper return frantically erasing numbers is out of date thanks to the advent of e-filing, but the use of online...
Monday, April 7, 2014
In an ideal world, tax laws do not drive business decisions. Instead, the tax system should accurately reflect how businesses operate and then capture the proper amount of revenue for the government. That was one of the main selling points for the check-the-box regulations. However, a taxpayer's c...
Monday, March 31, 2014
Setting a new low for lack of detail and specificity, Senate Democrats unveiled their “Fair Shot for Everyone” agenda last week. Only loosely a set of real proposals, the agenda is merely a series of talking points designed to distract voters from President Obama's lagging approval numbers and t...
Monday, March 24, 2014
On February 26 House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp released a comprehensive discussion draft for tax reform that included legislative language and made several tough choices to deliver on the chair's promise to lower corporate and individual rates to 25 percent and stay revenue neutral. It was th...
Monday, March 17, 2014
It's the season for tax reform. Besides House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp, both Senate Finance Committee member Rob Portman of Ohio and President Obama have unveiled their own plans to overhaul the tax code. Portman's is very light on details, and Obama's is still another budget proposal that...
Monday, March 10, 2014
The largest tax expenditure in the code is the exclusion for employer-provided healthcare insurance. It cost the government $130 billion in lost revenue in 2013. It's also the only major individual tax expenditure that isn't on the chopping block under House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Ca...
Monday, March 3, 2014
By now, almost everyone interested in tax policy knows about Dave Camp's tax reform discussion draft. Camp's plan is the most detailed tax reform proposal in some time (arguably since 1986, depending on how seriously you take the efforts of President George W. Bush's blue ribbon commission). The...
Monday, February 24, 2014
This is the week tax reform observers have been waiting for. House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp, after years of preparing small drafts and laying the groundwork, will release a comprehensive discussion draft on reform. Camp's plan might be out as soon as February 26. In an e-mail to his committe...
Monday, February 10, 2014
Before 1996, entity classification was extremely complicated and made up a large part of corporate and partnership practice. Corporate and income tax professors in law school lectured us about how lucky we were that we no longer had to worry about the Kintner tests or the six characteristics of a c...
Monday, February 3, 2014
Everyone wants tax reform. Both the right and the left have complaints about the tax code, some the same and some different. The tax system is unfair, complicated, burdensome, and out of step with the rest of the world, according to the common refrain. The problem is that tax reform means different...
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The OECD's base erosion and profit-shifting project dominated news in the international tax world last year. The OECD's surprising and sudden shift to start protecting the tax base, instead of focusing only on preventing double taxation, took some multinationals by surprise and led to a lot of ha...
Monday, January 13, 2014
Comprehensive tax reform might be far in the future, but that doesn't mean that no changes to the tax system will be made over the next few years. The medical device excise tax is unpopular and might be repealed soon. Extenders are bound to be dealt with eventually, and it's likely a few won't b...
Monday, January 6, 2014
While it isn't quite official yet, the Senate will almost certainly have a new Finance Committee chair early in 2014. Current Chair Max Baucus has been nominated by President Obama to become ambassador to China. While it might have seemed that Baucus was doing a lot in 2013, the reality is that he...