Tax Analysts Blog

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...
Monday, April 29, 2013 - 00:00
By now the retirement of Max Baucus is old news. Most commentators have shifted from talking about the Montana senator's career to discussing how his seat might flip to Republicans in the next election. The mainstream press is also reporting Baucus's statements about his house in Montana, his den...
Monday, April 22, 2013 - 00:00
The U.S. tax system allows multinationals to effectively indefinitely defer taxes on profits earned by active foreign affiliates until that money is repatriated to the United States. Deferral as a cornerstone of tax policy dates from a compromise during the Kennedy administration and has long been...
Monday, April 15, 2013 - 00:00
Happy tax day! It's April 15, and undoubtedly many Americans are rushing to the post office to mail their returns to the IRS. The rise of e-filing and the increasing use of return preparers and TurboTax has significantly reduced last-minute traffic, but the United States always has its share of pr...
Monday, April 8, 2013 - 00:00
President Obama will finally release a budget this week. Obama consistently ignores the statutory timeline for releasing his budget, and this year is the latest he has ever put forward a fiscal proposal. On all things administrative, the president is frequently dilatory. But those waiting with bate...
Monday, April 1, 2013 - 00:00
Another Senate Democrat is retiring. South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson will not seek a fourth term in 2014, leaving an open seat that Republicans will be heavily favored to pick up. Johnson's retirement brings the total number of Democrats leaving the Senate to five. The possibility that Johnson will...
Monday, March 25, 2013 - 00:00
The most progressive tax in the United States is also one of the most unpopular. Thanks to Republican-led efforts to characterize it as a death tax, the estate tax is almost universally reviled in Congress and by voters. To emphasize the point, last week the Democrat-controlled Senate voted 80 to 1...
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 00:00
Paul Ryan may have been on the ticket opposing President Obama in the last election, but that hasn't stopped the House Budget Committee chair from copying the president in at least one important respect. Much like Obama, Ryan keeps releasing the same budget every year, knowing full well that it ha...
Monday, March 11, 2013 - 00:00
Not long ago, I pointed out that Sen. Carl Levin was determined to continue his quest to end offshore tax abuse by U.S. individuals and corporations. The Michigan senator had reintroduced the Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act, a follow-up to his stalled Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act. Unless something ha...
Monday, March 4, 2013 - 00:00

The United States has a tax gap problem. The IRS has estimated that the tax gap may be as much as $450 billion a year. That's approximately 18 percent of total federal revenues. As Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus pointed out during the healthcare debate, closing the tax gap could have pa...

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 00:00
“Charge 'em for the lice, extra for the mice. Two percent for looking in the mirror twice. Here a little slice, there a little cut Three percent for sleeping with the window shut. When it comes to fixing prices There are a lot of tricks I knows. How it all increases, all them bits and pieces. Jesu...
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 00:00
Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles have become synonymous with deficit reduction. Their names are thrown about by lawmakers and the White House whenever one side or the other wants to act serious about a grand bargain on taxes and spending. But the details of the Simpson-Bowles plan, originally releas...
Monday, February 11, 2013 - 00:00
President Obama is going to call for tax reform in his State of the Union address this week. According to sources, the president will use tax reform as a way to lower the deficit, promote job creation, and address the growing income disparity. The latter will be couched in terms of how to increase...
Monday, February 4, 2013 - 00:00
If Sen. Carl Levin ever feels like Sisyphus, constantly pushing a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back to the bottom, he certainly doesn't let anyone know it. For years, Levin has been on a quest to close international taxation loopholes. And for just as long, he has largely failed to persu...
Monday, January 28, 2013 - 00:00
The derivatives market in the United States is estimated to be $600 trillion, which is 10 times the size of the global economy. Excessive trading in derivatives probably contributed heavily to the meltdown in the financial sector that threw the United States -- and the world -- into recession in 20...
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 00:00
President Obama and Democrats may think that taxes should go up more on upper-income earners, but count Phil Mickelson among those who disagree. The golfer recently told reporters that he planned to make “drastic changes” because of California's new tax laws. He hinted that retirement might be a...