Call me old-fashioned. Call me old school. But I still adhere to the belief that a tax system should be based on a broad base and low rates. Tax everything -- a little. That system minimizes economic distortions, makes compliance and administration easier, and ultimately raises more revenue. And political machinations distorting this ideal don't work.
Tax Analysts Blog
The Brexit saga in the United Kingdom is almost ready to enter its next phase. Instead of waiting until September to elect a new Conservative leader who would then become prime minister, Andrea Leadsom's decision to drop out has conceded the race to her rival, Theresa May. May's triumph has significant ramifications for Britain's future relationship with Europe and the U.K. economy, but she also struck a blow for transparency in election disclosures. May released four years' worth of her own tax returns, while Leadsom declined to release more than one.
An important proposal is before the North Carolina legislature. The bill (SB 481) would force the North Carolina Department of Revenue to release all private letter rulings issued over the past six years. There is nothing more critical to fair tax administration than transparency. Indeed, there is nothing more critical to democracy than transparency. As a Tax Analysts guy, I am particularly interested in transparency. That's at the core of our organization's mission. We believe that tax laws should be open to public scrutiny. From its beginnings, Tax Analysts has fought for this ideal. You can thank Tax Analysts for your ability to read every private letter ruling issued by the IRS.
I once got an email from Angie’s List with the subject line “$99 for $200 Credit Toward Plumbing Services.” I could pay $99 to receive a $200 credit that I could use for a variety of plumbing services. Not a bad deal. It occurred to me that transferable tax credits could be marketed in a similar fashion. Recently, Tesla Motors Inc. could have sent out a comparable email captioned “$19 million for $20.4 million Credit Toward State Tax Liability.” The Tesla deal isn’t quite as good as the plumbing service example, but transferable tax credits provide tangible benefits to both sellers and purchasers.
On the morning of June 24, Europe woke up with a bad hangover. The continent didn’t know whether the events of the previous day and evening were real, or just the remnants of a long, bad dream. Then, like on most post-binge mornings, the sun hit Europe in the eye, and reality began to sink in – the voters of Great Britain had decided they wanted to leave the European Union.
There are three tax ideas that may pass in the New Jersey Legislature. They are important because they are good ideas. They are important because, well, New Jersey is not exactly a paragon of sound tax policy.
Reacting to the success of the Leave campaign in the United Kingdom’s referendum on continued membership in the European Union, the alarmist headline of a New York Times article foreshadowed a nation stepping into “uncharted territory.” Surely a country that has not been successfully invaded since 1066, that forged the concept and practice of parliamentary rule, and that as late as seven decades ago exercised sole dominion over a quarter of the world’s total land area and an equal proportion of its population would have left in its possession a few maps with which to chart its own sovereign course once again.
Bernie Sanders won’t withdraw and won’t endorse Hilary Clinton. He has promised to vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee – and to campaign against Donald Trump. But for the time being, he’s staying in the “race,” determined to boost his leverage within the Democratic Party.
It is hard to overstate the magnitude of the shock wave emanating from the United Kingdom in the wake of voters' decision to exit the EU. The surprising victory of the Leave campaign will almost certainly prompt introspection on the part of EU leaders and force the next U.K. prime minister to confront the serious possibility of a major recession and tangled trade policy. Where the Brexit vote might have a more subtle impact is on the U.K. tax regime.
In many small shops customers see a sign advising, “If you break it, you’ve bought it.” This warns shoppers to take extra care when handling the merchandise. Unfortunately, voters in the U.K. received no such simple warning before they voted to leave the European Union, effectively dropping their country on the concrete like a cheap ceramic souvenir – likely breaking it into three pieces.