Archive for the ‘Capital Gains’ Category

One Downside Of Inversions: Higher Tax Bills For Stockholders

Corporate inversions are all the rage these days as U.S. businesses merge with foreign firms and then restructure the combined businesses as foreign-based corporations. That yields tax benefits and may boost their after-tax profits, but it can also leave their stockholders with unwanted capital gains and big tax bills. As Howard Gleckman explained in TaxVox […]

Abuse of financial products by hedge funds

Today, I testified before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (the “Subcommittee”) on the abuse of structured financial products by hedge funds, in particular by the Renaissance funds. This is what I told the Subcommittee: Almost a century ago, Congress reduced the tax rate for long-term capital gains. Then, long-term meant holding assets for […]

State Taxes and the April Surprise

In recent months, several governors have complained about the April, 2014, surprise in state tax revenues. They say they were shocked when personal income tax payments fell far below expectations. They shouldn’t have been. What happened? In part, in an effort to beat an upcoming increase in capital gains taxes, investors accelerated realizations into tax […]

A Flash Tax for the Flash Boys

Michael Lewis spotlights high-frequency traders with his new book, Flash Boys.  These traders use high-speed computers and fast connections to outrace investors, and other traders, to the market.  They now account for more than half of all U.S. stock trades.  And the flash boys spend billions to save milliseconds (by, for example, laying expensive fiber-optic […]

You Could Owe Capital Gains Taxes When You Spend Bitcoin

The IRS determined this week that Bitcoin and other digital currencies should be taxed as property, not currency. This means Bitcoin transactions will be taxed as capital gains, not as ordinary income. But, perhaps surprisingly, the act of spending Bitcoin could trigger capital gains taxes. Thus, the use of virtual currencies as a medium of […]

Camp Defines Private Equity as a Business, Would Boost Taxes on Carried Interest

In the tax reform roadmap he released yesterday, House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) targeted the trillion dollar private equity industry.  Not only did he propose to tax the compensation of private equity managers at ordinary rates rather than lower capital gains rates, he also called the industry out. The official description […]

Incoming Senate Finance Chair Wyden Outlines His Tax Agenda

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), about to become the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Friday that he aims to eventually rewrite what he described as a “dysfunctional, rotting mess of a carcass that we call the tax code.” But in an acknowledgement of the challenges of tax reform, Wyden said he wants to […]

Do Private Equity Firms and their Partners Owe Ordinary Income Tax Under Today’s Law?

For a decade, Congress has been debating how to tax managers of private equity firms. The argument is pretty familiar to tax wonks: Should these partners treat this compensation (commonly called carried interest) as capital gains, as they do today? Or should they be taxed at the higher ordinary income rate as President Obama and […]

What Changes in the Mortgage Deduction Would Mean for Home Prices

Tax preferences for housing are under fire, with mounting evidence that these preferences are inefficient, unequal, and too expensive to warrant a place in the tax code. Critics of proposed changes in the tax treatment of home ownership argue that these reforms would slash home prices at the very time they are showing signs of […]

Hiking Dividend Taxes to Pay for a Corporate Rate Cut

Finland’s government recently announced a broad fiscal reform package that cuts corporate tax rates—financed in part by higher taxes on corporate dividends. The plan makes sense for Finland and is worth considering here at home. Finland will lower the corporate rate to 20 percent in 2014, down from the current rate of 24.5 percent (and […]