Off-shore or On-shore, There Are Taxes to Be Paid.

Dave Camp’s plans for tax extenders. The House Ways & Means Committee chair says he’ll soon start reviewing dozens of expired business tax breaks on their merits. He implies that he may try to make some permanent and kill others, but also hints he may not bother to find offsetting revenues for those he wants to preserve.     

FATCA goes into effect July 1… Then what? The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which will make tax evasion through off-shore accounts more difficult for US citizens, will have a slow start, as foreign banks struggle to set up  up new systems to provide necessary data, Bloomberg reports. “We will be understanding of these problems as long as these intermediaries are making reasonable, good faith efforts to comply,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen acknowledged yesterday. The IRS just has to figure out how to be understanding of banks who try to comply while not giving a free pass to banks that do nothing.

Mortgage interest deductions help the wealthy in big cities. They appear tied to an increase in the size of homes purchased among wealthier buyers, rather than an increase in home ownership overall, according to a new study of ten metropolitan areas. House Ways & Means Chairman Camp’s tax reform plan seeks to limit the interest deduction to mortgages of $500,000, down from $1,000,000. A similar idea was outlined in “Options to Reform the Deduction for Home Mortgage Interest” by TPC’s Amanda Eng, Harvey Galper, Georgia Ivsin and Eric Toder.

Deductions or not, mortgages are unnecessary for some in the Los Angeles housing market. There’s a housing boom of sorts in LA, thanks to the purchasing power of Chinese homebuyers, reports the Los Angeles Times. “Chinese buyers bought 12% of all U.S. homes purchased by foreign citizens last year… More than half their home purchases were in California. And more than two-thirds of them paid cash…” Of course, nobody can avoid the hefty property taxes in California, which are nonexistent in China.

Got time for some light reading? The IRS has released its quarterly Statistics of Income Bulletin, as well as its Fiscal Year 2013 databook. And for a not-at-all-dry read, TPC’s Len Burman offers an ode to IRS heroes, especially  the late Randolph Thrower, IRS Commissioner from 1969-1971 who resisted White House efforts to target political enemies.

 

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