Tax Analysts Blog

 
Monday, September 30, 2013 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
“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 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
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 - 00:00
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...
Monday, July 1, 2013 - 00:00
On June 25, 2009, President Obama made a major push for Congress to adopt climate change legislation that included a cap-and-trade proposal. In a speech in the Rose Garden, the president defended his plan and reiterated his campaign pledge to cut U.S. emissions. Cap and trade was never seriously co...
Monday, June 24, 2013 - 00:00
After years of creating rules that allow multinational corporations to shift profits and income to whatever jurisdiction they like, the OECD is now very concerned about base erosion. In fact, it is drafting a major report on base erosion and profit shifting (commonly called BEPS). Pascal Saint-Aman...
Monday, June 17, 2013 - 00:00
The inappropriate scrutiny of conservative groups' applications for exempt status was the result of a rogue “conservative Republican” in Cincinnati who, for convenience, decided to focus on the names of organizations. That's the narrative that Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings would like the medi...
Monday, June 10, 2013 - 00:00
During the height of the financial meltdown in 2009, Congress became obsessed with changing the tax treatment of carried interest. The idea that wealthy hedge fund managers could receive preferential capital gains treatment on their carried interest income shocked Democrats, and the media ran sever...
Monday, June 3, 2013 - 00:00
The IRS is underfunded. The Service has seen its budget cut more than $1 billion since 2010, and those cuts are starting to take their toll, both on enforcement and filing season efficiency. The IRS Oversight Board wrote last week that “the current budgetary path is no longer sustainable.” Former...
Monday, May 20, 2013 - 00:00
The beat keeps going in the IRS's exempt organizations scandal. Outgoing acting Commissioner Steven Miller did little to satisfy Republican critics in his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday (in fact, he probably made the scandal worse). Another round of hearings will sta...
Monday, May 13, 2013 - 00:00
It wasn't a very good week for the Obama administration. Republicans have been accusing President Obama of allowing political concerns to trump policy for years, but the public simply hasn't bitten on issues like the infamous Benghazi talking points memo. But last week the GOP was handed new ammu...
Monday, May 6, 2013 - 00:00
House Republicans don't like the idea of raising the debt ceiling. Many would like to see steep spending cuts that would balance the government's finances and prevent the need for further debt ceiling increases. Others view the debt ceiling as conservatives' only leverage over President Obama an...