Tax Analysts Blog

Monday, December 16, 2013
After a scandal-filled year in which the IRS's credibility dropped to levels unseen since 1998, the federal tax collector needs an image overhaul. The United States relies on voluntary tax compliance, and that suffers if taxpayers no longer trust that the agency charged with administering the nati...
Monday, December 9, 2013
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act seems to be revolutionizing the way governments share tax information. Other nations are using intergovernmental agreements to piggyback on FATCA information-gathering efforts. Virtually every practitioner and financial industry representative will readily adm...
Monday, December 2, 2013
The NFL's tax-exempt status has come under attack recently because of a book by Gregg Easterbrook targeting what he calls the league's “fleecing” of taxpayers. But the controversy over whether the league office should be tax exempt is largely academic -- there isn't much there to tax (unlike i...
Monday, November 25, 2013
The NFL and Thanksgiving are an annual tradition. Every year the professional football league stages several matchups on the holiday, dominating televisions in living rooms across the country for pretty much the entire day. Lately, however, a new tradition seems to be evolving: criticism of the NFL...
Monday, November 18, 2013
Anyone hoping that tax reform isn't quite dead should be looking at Washington for any sign of bipartisanship. Glimmers of hope can appear almost anywhere, and sometimes you have to look hard to find them. Bipartisanship can arise for a number of reasons: growing trust between the parties, a conse...
Monday, November 4, 2013
Engaging in tax shelters has become risky business. The government is now quite adept at shutting down formerly popular transactions like LILOs, SILOs, son-of-BOSS, and a host of others. Taxpayers frequently find themselves paying back taxes and interest, along with steep penalties. But the governm...
Monday, October 28, 2013
The government shutdown might be over, but it's up to 29 members of Congress to make sure it doesn't happen again anytime soon. The handpicked members of the much-anticipated conference committee will meet for the first time this week, and they face a pretty tall order. They must deliver a report...
Monday, October 7, 2013
On October 3 the income tax marked its 100-year anniversary. If you're confused by the commemorative articles that appeared earlier in the year, it's because 2013 also marks 100 years of the 16th Amendment, which allowed Congress to impose an income tax as part of tariff reform in 1913. There is...
Monday, September 30, 2013
The House and Senate are on pace for a government shutdown. After the Senate rejected language in the House-passed bill that would have defunded Obamacare, the lower chamber met over the weekend. The result was a continuing resolution that would scrap the medical device excise tax and delay Obamaca...
Monday, September 23, 2013
Practitioners, commentators, and taxpayers have spent weeks trying to figure out the importance of the First Circuit's decision in Sun Capital. When the court held that a private equity fund was in a trade or business for the purposes of ERISA, it caused many to wonder whether tax law would be aff...
Monday, September 16, 2013
The financial meltdown in 2008 was supposed to change how banks and Wall Street were regulated and taxed. The idea that trading was too volatile and that banks were engaged in numerous risky transactions caught hold. There was a growing belief that financial institutions and investment firms should...
Monday, September 9, 2013
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign never really recovered from his remarks about the 47 percent. At a private fundraiser, the Massachusetts Republican seemed to marginalize the supposed 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes, referring to them as those “who believe that the government h...
Monday, August 26, 2013
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is pushing to defund Obamacare. That isn't terribly surprising. Cruz is part of a group of conservative lawmakers that has tried to force the Republican Party into deeper opposition to President Obama's policies. He doesn't seem to believe in compromise, and he...
Monday, August 19, 2013
After spending the last three years declaring that his sole focus was on tax reform, House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp wavered in the last few weeks. On July 31 he announced he was considering running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Carl Levin. Running as a Republican in Michigan w...
Monday, August 12, 2013
The furor over the First Circuit's decision in Sun Capital Partners v. New England Teamsters hasn't abated. The court's holding that a private equity fund was engaged in an active trade or business and therefore was liable for pension liabilities under ERISA could have a profound impact on treat...
Monday, August 5, 2013
The largest tax expenditure is not the mortgage interest deduction, accelerated depreciation, or even the capital gains preference. It is the exclusion of employer-provided health insurance from income. Treasury estimates that the exclusion costs the federal government $163 billion a year, almost a...
Monday, July 29, 2013
“The power to tax involves the power to destroy.” Chief Justice John Marshall's famous phrase from McCulloch v. Maryland made it clear that if state governments had the power to tax the federal government, they could effectively impede or burden the implementation of federal legislation or the...
Monday, July 22, 2013
U.S. multinationals, or at least some of them, aren't paying that much tax. Their marginal tax rates are falling, and lawmakers and the public are starting to notice. In May, Apple's CEO was dragged before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee for Investigat...
Monday, July 15, 2013
Democrats have been dealt a double blow over the last month. South Dakota Republican Rep. Kristi Noem announced June 11 that she would not challenge former Gov. Mike Rounds for the Republican nomination in the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson. And over the weekend, popular forme...
Monday, July 8, 2013
Lawrence Summers has had a long career in government. He was Treasury secretary under President Clinton and an economic adviser to President Obama until 2010. Summers has a spotty record (just look at how his recommendations on derivatives and other financial products have worked out), but he remai...