Tax Analysts Blog

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 The medical device excise tax is unpopular and might be repealed soon.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...
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...