Archive for the ‘Capital Gains’ Category

“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. […]

Chairman Camp Agrees: Too Many Choices Burden our Tax System

Last week’s draft plan by House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) to reform the taxation of financial products includes two key changes that would simplify rules, reduce manipulation, minimize compliance burdens, and improve tax administration. The first would require investors to use the “mark-to-market” method of accounting for all derivatives, other than […]

Understanding TPC’s Analysis of Governor Romney’s Tax Plan

The Tax Policy Center’s latest research report went viral last week, drawing attention in the presidential campaign and sparking a constructive discussion of the practical challenges of tax reform. Unfortunately, the response has also included some unwarranted inferences from one side and unwarranted vitriol from the other, distracting from the fundamental message of the study: […]

Five Challenges for the IRS’s New Capital Gains Reporting Rules

Sellers of stocks and other assets have always had to calculate their cost basis (generally, what they paid for the investment) in order to figure their taxable capital gains. In the past, this was often a hit-or-miss experience that required lots of tedious research (occasionally with help from brokers) and more than a bit of […]

No Obvious Relationship between Capital Gains Tax Rates and Economic Growth

If you read the editorial page of financial newspapers, you might conclude that no aspect of tax policy is more important for economic growth than the way we tax capital gains.  You’d be wrong. The chart displayed above shows top tax rates on long-term capital gains and economic growth (measured as the percentage change in […]

Romney’s Tax Plan Really Does Favor the Rich

Despite evidence to the contrary, there is a lingering view that Mitt Romney’s tax plan would primarily help middle-income households and not favor the rich. Yet TPC’s analysis of the plan clearly showed that high-income households would win big and others would do less well. Poor families would actually lose, relative to the taxes they’re […]

Why Do U.S. Investment Funds Operate in Tax Havens?

Mitt Romney’s holdings in the Cayman Islands have generated lots of interest in investment funds that are managed from the U.S. but incorporated in foreign jurisdictions.   But taxable U.S. investors like Romney don’t get much benefit from such funds.  The real winners are U.S. tax-exempt entities, such as charities, pension funds, university endowments, and IRAs, […]

Tax Policy in Margaritaville: The Buffett Rule

I’m trying a new thing in the blog–imagining a debate between a smart conservative and liberal economist on a contentious tax policy issue. Here liberal economist Keynes and conservative economist Hayek debate the Buffett Rule–President Obama’s proposal that millionaires pay tax rates at least as high as middle-income people.  Let me know whether you think […]