Archive for the ‘Capital Gains’ Category

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 […]

“Common Sense” Aside, What Do We Really Know About Capital Income Taxes and Growth?

If you’re discussing tax policy with someone who asserts that his or her point is “just common sense,” this could indicate one of two things: Either no deep thought is required—as the person would have you believe. Or no deep thought has been applied. The “common sense” notion that capital income taxes hinder growth seems […]

Why the IRS Should be Taxing the Profits of Private Equity Funds as Ordinary Income

For years, the battle over carried interest has focused on how to tax the compensation of private equity managers. But a careful reading of  the law suggests that all the business profits of these investment firms, not just the pay of their managers, are ordinary income, and should be taxed that way. Until now, the […]

Camp’s Investment Tax Plan: Implications for Lower Rates on Capital Gains?

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) has proposed requiring most derivatives investors to pay tax on their annual returns even if they don’t realize their gains by selling their securities. This proposal, which requires investors to mark-to-market the value of financial derivatives, has ramifications far beyond the heady world of high-tech finance. […]