Tax Analysts Blog

Dec 2, 2016
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You hear it so often it’s become commonplace: There’s never been a president like Donald Trump. In any number of ways, that truism is undeniably true. But in some respects, there are precedents for a President Trump, or at least for some Trumpian policies, including his still vague “borrow to build” plan for infrastructure.

Nov 23, 2016
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OK – I admit it. I hold a bias in favor of law enforcement, particularly when it comes to taxes. Thirty years of litigating civil tax cases for the U.S. Department of Justice, and seeing the myriad ways that taxpayers use to avoid paying what they owe, will do that to a person. While abuse of the tax laws cuts across most income levels and demographics, I found that the wealthiest people often came up with the most “creative” explanations for why they didn’t follow the tax laws. 

Nov 21, 2016
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President-elect Donald Trump's 100-day agenda is starting to take shape.  While a lot is still not known (including a number of key Cabinet appointees), Vice President-elect Mike Pence laid out four priorities over the weekend.  "Repealing Obamacare will be the first priority in a session that will be characterized by tax reform, rebuilding the military, infrastructure, ending illegal immigration, and that’s where we’re focused," Pence told Face the Nation

Nov 15, 2016
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Before the elections, pollsters were confident that the United States faced another four years of divided government. Virtually every prognosticator in the country predicted that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would win the presidency, but face at least a GOP-controlled House. They were all wrong. Far from being pushed into a media-predicted civil war, Republicans won a complete victory on November 8, with Donald Trump winning the White House while Republicans maintained control over both chambers of Congress. This opens the door to at least two years of frenzied legislative activity, particularly on tax reform.

Nov 8, 2016
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Suppose a country’s leaders asked citizens to vote on how to achieve a complex policy goal -- for example, how to make the country’s tax system fairer, or how to reform the immigration system or entitlement programs. And because it is difficult to incorporate nuance into this kind of question, suppose the leaders were able to draft a ballot referendum that posed a binary choice: yes or no, up or down. And then, just for good measure, suppose the leaders told the public that they would honor the results of the referendum.

Nov 3, 2016

One of the goals of the OECD’s base erosion and profit-shifting project  is to achieve a level of uniformity in countries’  domestic laws, particularly those that address the international movement of goods and services. The U.S. states and multistate taxpayers have likewise longed for more uniformity on certain issues. States are permitted a great deal of leeway in the creation and administration of their tax systems, and the result is that state tax systems vary greatly. For a multistate taxpayer, this creates compliance challenges.

Nov 2, 2016
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Although there isn't much of a consensus on anything in Washington, there is a lot of chatter over increasing infrastructure spending.  Hillary Clinton wants to reinvest in the nation's transportation network. Donald Trump wants to spend even more than Clinton. And lawmakers all want to find a way to replenish the Highway Trust Fund that doesn't involve a gas tax hike. 

Nov 1, 2016
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Democrats used to hate monopolies, and now they don’t.

Oct 26, 2016
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If you are friends with any corporate tax attorneys, kindly forgive them their grumpiness. They get a pass right now. That’s because the government recently dropped an abnormally dense set of income tax regulations on their desks – the ones dealing with debt recharacterization under Internal Revenue Code section 385

Oct 24, 2016

Harsh words for the state commissioner of revenue from the Minnesota Tax Court in a recent opinion involving utility assessments. The case, CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. v. Commissioner of Revenue, stemmed from CenterPoint’s appeal of the commissioner’s valuation of its gas transmission pipeline as a single economic unit.