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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sullivan: Obama's Tax Deform and the Top 0.1% by Zip Code

Tax Analysts Martin A. Sullivan (Tax Analysts), Eliminate Everybody’s Loopholes Except Mine, 134 Tax Notes 922 (Feb. 20, 2012):

As it is trying to promote tax reform, the Obama administration is defying the logic of real tax reform -- the economic logic that tax neutrality is best for growth and job creation except in extraordinary circumstances. What administration incentives hinder true tax reform efforts? A conversion of the already complicated section 199 manufacturing deduction into a two-tiered incentive. A temporary incremental wage credit for small business. A tax credit for investment in communities that have experienced a job loss event. A tax credit for moving expenses when companies move jobs to the United States. New tax credits for alternative energy to replace the existing ineffective and outdated ones.

This is big government through tax policy. The complexity of these new tax breaks is extraordinary even by the standards of our tax code. These items are small potatoes that are unlikely to ever become law anyway. Geithner should file them away. It subtracts and distracts from his main goals of raising revenue by eliminating loopholes and making the tax system more progressive. And as for the coming corporate tax reform, there is no more place for them there than there is for a fox in the henhouse. ...

2008 was economic hell. The markets crashed. The economy tanked. Jobs disappeared by the millions. But at the choice locations listed below, folks were doing fine. ...

Top 0.1 Percent ZIP Codes 


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Aren't some of the zip codes likely those of the accountants who use their addresses ("c/o ___") in lieu of the client's home address on the tax return?

Posted by: Andy Patterson | Feb 20, 2012 10:11:24 AM

Another great "fact post"!

How about the bottom .1 percent? Are there any negative income zip codes?

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Feb 20, 2012 10:38:17 AM

This particular article brought a loud laugh from myself due to the following:

Wichita Falls - I represent a client who's address is their PO box located at 76307. For Wichita Falls, 76307 is the downtown old main post office where accounting firms, large companies or wealthy individuals would normally have their PO boxes which are most probably used as addresses of record for the IRS. My presumption of WF being in the mix for 2008 stems from oil prices rising to $140 per barrel and natural gas prices rising to $14 per mcf and there being some large oil and gas producers in the area. Further, there are some older wealthier families who may have liquidated to cash some of their holdings prior to the tanking of the market. And finally, there was a large oil play that sold in 2008 for a handsome sum with a few of the larger players being in the WF area (most probably with PO boxes at 76307). My particular client negatively contributed to the "average income" denoted in the survey. Wichita Falls with a population of around 110,000 beats out all major Texas cities. Hilarious.

Posted by: Deductionseeker | Feb 21, 2012 7:58:52 AM