Tax Analysts Blog

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...
Monday, July 1, 2013
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...