Monday, February 3, 2014
Richard Winchester (Thomas Jefferson) presents Carried Interest for the Common Man at Pepperdine today as part of our Tax Policy Colloquium Series:
In recent years, the public has become increasingly aware of the compensation arrangement known as carried interest, which permits private equity fund managers to pay tax at obscenely low rates on obscenely high earnings for their work. The publicity has led Congress to consider no fewer than eight separate pieces of legislation since 2007 to increase the tax on carried interest. Much of the energy behind this movement seems to be grounded in a concern that the tax system currently allows certain rich individuals to gain an advantage that is not available to anyone else. However, that is not entirely accurate. For years, huge numbers of ordinary self-employed people have been able to limit the tax on their earnings when they conduct their business through a formal business entity instead of as a sole proprietor. These business structures produce the same objectionable results as a carried interest arrangement. They just happen to be utilized by the common man. It is long past time for Congress to address this inequity in a comprehensive way with the same energy that it is devoting to addressing the taxation of carried interest.
Update: Post-presentation lunch: