California is the only state that has seen fit to elect the people who decide tax cases. One problem with elected officials is that they care mostly about reelection, and to get reelected you have to raise money for your campaign. I'm sure nothing could possibly go wrong by having tax adjudicators run for office. After all, there's not much graft and corruption in our electoral system.
Tax Analysts Blog
There is something very wrong with our priorities as a nation when our elected officials fast- track tax relief for Olympic athletes – many of whom are well-paid professional athletes – and place funding for a serious threat to public health on the back burner. Congress should be ashamed of itself.
I don't think the federal or state governments should regulate tax return preparers. I say that with some wariness. Many giants in the tax field, like former IRS Commissioner Larry Gibbs and National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, would disagree. Indeed, the president of Tax Analysts disagrees. Illinois recently enacted a law (HB 5527) regulating tax return preparers. It passed unanimously in the House and Senate.
Apple is a major part of why the United States is the world's leading innovator on new technologies, particularly those involving telecommunications and computers. The company has over 66,000 domestic employees, and a large percentage of its customers are here -- at least 40 percent, according to its latest annual report. But Apple also aggressively avoids paying taxes in high-tax jurisdictions, particularly the United States. And Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent statements are misleading about why.
That Donald Trump revised his tax reform plan came as no surprise. His campaign had been hinting for several weeks that a partial rewrite was in the works. The presumed objectives of the revision were threefold, and it’s useful to keep these goals in mind when evaluating the details of his plan.
Most Americans are still waiting for Donald Trump to release his tax returns. But he’s not the only one dragging his feet. Hillary Clinton, who has generally been very forthcoming with her tax disclosures, hasn’t divulged her 2015 return, either.
It is generally well accepted that the founders of the United States wanted a federalist system of government. That is, they wanted the national government to concern itself with issues that affect the entire country and the numerous subnational governments to take care of more local issues. The powers granted to the federal government are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. Article I, section 8 specifically provides that “Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the Unites States.”
Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine of Virginia, like his GOP counterpart, Mike Pence of Indiana, has a tax record as governor. And as with Pence, Kaine's tax policies as governor are worthy of consideration. Kaine served as Virginia's governor from 2006 through 2010, which included the beginning of the Great Recession. During his term, he supported several tax measures, most of which were good policy choices.
In April, while many people were celebrating the arrival of spring, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists disclosed the existence of 11.5 million private documents it had obtained from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. In disclosing the Panama Papers, the consortium exposed to the public the secret world of financial dealings that the wealthy, the powerful, and the criminal underworld use to hide money from, and evade taxes owed to, governments worldwide.
Given that it’s a presidential election year, much of the discussion among tax policy experts will focus on the candidates’ appetites for federal tax reform. But what often gets lost in that discussion is how changes at the federal level might affect the states. The reason for this is that most states in some way conform to the Internal Revenue Code.