Paying Taxes: Choice and Consequence

By :: June 25th, 2015

Will some private schools lose their tax-exempt status? If religious schools that ban same-sex relationships want to continue to do so, they might have to start paying taxes. If the US Supreme Court rules this month that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, the IRS could conclude that banning those relationships violates “fundamental national public […]

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How to Pay Zero Taxes on Income of Millions of Dollars

By :: June 24th, 2015

Remember when people complained that hedge fund managers and private equity firm owners paid a lower tax rate than many workers? Or when Warren Buffett said he shouldn’t pay a lower rate than his secretary?  In those cases, investors were benefiting from low capital gains rates, but at least they paid some tax. Now, thanks […]

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Estimates and the Economy: Let the Buyer Beware

By :: June 24th, 2015

The CBO, the ACA, and the economy: Precision doesn’t mean accuracy. Last Friday, the Congressional Budget Office projected that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would add $137 billion to the national debt over 10 years but boost the economy. But the estimates came with a big warning: “[R]epealing the ACA could in fact reduce […]

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CBO Has No Idea What Repeal of the ACA Means for the Economy or the Deficit

By :: June 23rd, 2015

This is what the Congressional Budget office really said about the budgetary and economic effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act: It has no idea. That, of course, it not what the political partisans are saying in the wake of CBO’s Friday release of a report on this exceedingly controversial topic. Backers of the law […]

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With Taxes, Timing Is Everything

By :: June 23rd, 2015

When is a tax payment an “advance” payment? In the 1990s, Ford made an $875 million payment to the IRS to cover some of $2 billion in underpaid taxes from the 1980s. Ford later learned that it had overpaid and asked the IRS to treat the money as an advance tax payment against future liabilities. […]

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The Rich get Richer, with a Little Tax Help

By :: June 22nd, 2015

Renaissance Technologies, an investment manager, is once again showing how to aggressively manipulate the tax system for its own benefit.  This time, Renaissance is helping its owners/employees (who are some of the wealthiest individuals in the country) to shelter tens of millions of dollars in tax-free Roth IRAs. Renaissance manages money for its employees, former […]

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No Breaks, Less Sugar, and More Refunds

By :: June 22nd, 2015

Texas Governor Greg Abbott says “no” to a tax break for big corporations. The Republican just vetoed a bill aimed at expanding a tax incentive for wind farms and petrochemical firms along the Gulf Coast. Subsidy backers claim it helps the firms generate jobs, but Abbott doesn’t think it’s worth the money. A 2013 study […]

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When does “repeal” mean “reform?”

By :: June 19th, 2015

Another presidential candidate floats a flat tax, but would it sink under its own weight? This time it’s GOP contender Rand Paul. He’d replace the tax code with 14.5 percent in federal tax on all personal income, including wages, investment income, and rents. He’d repeal the Social Security and Medicare payroll tax but tax wages […]

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Rand Paul’s Tax Cut Isn't Quite What It Seems

By :: June 18th, 2015

Unlike those GOP presidential hopefuls who say their tax reforms would raise the same amount of money as the current tax code, even when their actual proposals would not, Senator Rand Paul isn’t being shy. He’s promising a great big fat tax cut (described in this Wall Street Journal  column). And more than that, he’s […]

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Why the Highway Trust Fund is in trouble

By :: June 18th, 2015

Despite calls for more infrastructure spending from both Congress and the Obama administration, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), the primary source of federal transportation dollars, is again on the clock after another short-term extension with no financing plan in place. The House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee both held hearings on the […]

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