TaxProf Blog

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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sen. Flake Releases Report on 'Outlandish Tax Rackets'

Flake

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Tax Rackets: Outlandish Loopholes to Lower Tax Liabilities (press release):

As Tax Day approaches and Congress considers long-overdue tax reforms, the report is intended to highlight loopholes that create fake markets for unnecessary or unwanted goods and services; encourage more borrowing, spending, and taxing by local governments; and shift the tax burden to the middle class. ...

There are as many as 200 tax expenditures within the code that cost $1.23 trillion annually in forgone revenues. The handful of loopholes profiled in TAX RACKETS will cost as much as $50 billion over the next decade.

Wasteful tax expenditures intended to benefit specific industries profiled in this report include:

  • the write off for publishers to increase circulation;
  • write offs for gambling losses; and
  • tax credits for chicken poop power.

Tax expenditures being manipulated to avoid taxes or receive tax subsidies profiled in this report include:

  • foreign tax credits paid to U.S. businesses in Puerto Rico and then collected by the commonwealth’s government as part of a shell game;
  • Deductions for the cost of alpacas to receive the immediate depreciation available to small businesses for capital investments;
  • Conservation-easement tax deductions for golf course owners for maintaining their fairways; and
  • tax-exempt municipal bonds used by localities to finance golf courses and a megamall.

Fake markets for which the tax code is creating artificial supply and demand profiled in this report include alpacas, poultry poop power, losing lottery tickets, and golf courses.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/04/sen-flake-releases-report-on-outlandish-tax-rackets-.html

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Comments

Don't tax me; don't tax thee; let's tax the feller behind the tree. Hey, who cut the tree down?

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Apr 19, 2017 5:46:08 AM