Tag: ‘IRS’

What Will Happen To Voluntary Tax Compliance If a Budget-constrained IRS Is Not Fixed?

By :: April 9th, 2015

Is the IRS such a mess that the nation’s system of voluntary tax compliance is at risk? Will frustrated taxpayers rebel because they can’t get help with a revenue code they can’t understand? Will aggressive taxpayers who recognize that audit rates have plummeted to the lowest levels in years further push the tax-avoidance envelope?  And […]

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One Avenue to Bipartisan Tax Reform: Simplification and Improved Tax Administration

By :: April 8th, 2015

There are many ways to restructure the tax code. Elected officials often fail to detect opportunity when they adhere in a path-dependent way to one past model of success, such the 1986 tax reform.  An alternative approach where even the acclaimed 1986 effort made at best modest progress would focus on making tax code simpler […]

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The Internet, Drug Profits, and Sacrifice

By :: February 27th, 2015

The neutrality of the net: Set. Tax effects? Unclear. That’s the conclusion of Politifact after the Federal Communications Commission approved controversial regulations that will treat the Internet like a public utility. The fact checkers examined the question after GOP Senator Mike Lee claimed that net neutrality was a “massive tax increase on the middle class” […]

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Dividends, Bills, Assets and Software

By :: February 12th, 2015

Bank of America may have helped clients avoid taxes. Since at least 2011, it had been using its US unit’s funds to finance transactions by its European investment-banking arm. In doing so, it was able to help hedge funds avoid taxes on stock dividends. “BANA (Bank of America National Association) no longer finances dividend arbitrage […]

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Taxing the Rich: It’s a Plan Abroad, Too

By :: January 21st, 2015

The State of the Union: Tax reform depends on where you are sitting. In his State of the Union Address last night, President Obama called on Congress to address wealth inequality through the tax code, largely by increasing the capital gains tax and imposing a bank tax to fund tax relief for middle-income earners. Senate […]

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The IRS Should Fix Its Letter Audit Program

By :: January 20th, 2015

The beleaguered IRS has two enormous challenges: It must rebuild its reputation to win congressional support for the funding it needs to do its job. And, because it will never get all the money it needs, it must spend the dollars it does have more wisely. It can start by improving the way it communicates with […]

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An Agency Wronged, A Minor Tax Maligned

By :: January 15th, 2015

The IRS is unable to do right by taxpayers, says the National Taxpayer Advocate. In its annual report to Congress, the in-house IRS watchdog finds that the agency’s  budget cuts have eroded taxpayer service, especially for low-income taxpayers. At the same time the lack of effective administrative and congressional oversight has eroded taxpayer protections. US […]

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New Congress, New Rules, Old Obstacles

By :: January 7th, 2015

The House orders dynamic scoring. On the first day of the new Congress, the House, by a largely party line vote, instructed the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office to include macroeconomic effects when it calculates the revenue effects of major tax bills. The rule comes with several loopholes but Democrats are […]

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No Congressional Approval of a Spending Deal Yet, But Plenty of Commotion

By :: December 11th, 2014

In the spending bill, inversion curbs could be curbed. The bill to fund the government through September 2015, scheduled for a House vote today and a Senate vote after that, waters down Democratic-supported curbs on corporate inversions. The Ds would have barred companies that move their tax addresses outside the country from getting US government […]

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The Day After the 2014 Election: Six Things To Watch In the New GOP Congress

By :: November 5th, 2014

Republicans had a very good day yesterday. But can they translate their ballot-box success into a positive legislative agenda? It won’t be easy but here are six clues: Mitch McConnell: He is a brilliant legislative tactician. We know he’ll use those skills to try to outmaneuver Democratic Leader Harry Reid but will he also use […]

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