Monday, October 24, 2016
Calvin H. Johnson (Texas), Were Trump's Fake Losses Legal as Tax Deductions?:
Trump claimed almost a billion of tax losses on his 1995 tax return. Trump did not lose anything like that in economic substance because he never put that much money into his transactions. If he never put it, he did not lose it. Trump must have treated part of the $3.4 bank debt as a cost and tax basis, while inconsistently, not correcting his cost when it turned out not be paid. Sheppard and Lipton have proposed an S corporation or Gitlitz theory, which if applicable would allow the fake loss as a tax deduction, but real estate developers did not use S corporations in the early and middle 1990’s because S corporations trapped all losses inside the corporation where they were wasted. Trump might have reduced basis in real property, rather than taking an immediate income or NOL reduction. In any event, the losses do not “impinge on the world” and courts take away fake tax losses when they see them.
October 24, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Saturday, October 15, 2016
- The Atlantic, ‘It’s Tax Policy That Matters’
- Bloomberg, Wilbur Ross Says Trump Plans Higher Carried-Interest Taxes
- Forbes, Clinton Versus Trump: How Their Tax Plans Will Affect You
- Forbes, Clinton's Child Tax Credit Plans Would Not Reduce Poverty By Even One Person
- Forbes, The Presidential Campaigns Contrast Their Candidate's Tax Plans At TPC
- The Hill, Trump Adviser Accuses Tax Policy Center of Bias
- Huffington Post, Donald Trump and Federal Income Taxes: Perspective
- MaddowBlog, Team Trump Offers a Case Study in How Not to Debate Tax Policy
- New York Times, How to Fix the Tax Code and Close Donald Trump’s Loopholes
- New York Times, Tax Me. Please.
October 15, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Friday, October 14, 2016
Wall Street Journal op-ed: Killing the Death Tax Would Resurrect Growth, by Stephen J. Entin (Tax Foundation):
The death tax is an inevitable point of disagreement in a presidential campaign. Donald Trump would eliminate it to promote growth. Hillary Clinton would raise it—up to 65%, while lowering the exemption for estates to $3.5 million—to promote equality. The outcomes would be as different as their intentions. ...
Analysts at the Tax Foundation, where I work, have run the numbers using two models: one of the estate tax, based on historical filings, and another to estimate the economic effects on capital formation, GDP, profits, wages and federal revenue from those sources.
October 14, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016
- American Lawyer, Trump's Returns: A Tax Lawyer's Rebuttal
- Bloomberg, Buffett Just Released His Own Tax Data to Hammer Trump
- Bloomberg, Clinton Proposes Bigger Tax Credit for Parents of Young Children
- Bloomberg, Trump’s Tax Plan Seen Turning Employees Into Contractors
- Buffett Press Release, Some Tax Facts for Donald Trump
- Cato at Liberty, Ending the Tax Breaks for Real Estate
- CNN, Warren Buffett to Trump: 'I Have Paid Federal Income Tax Every Year Since 1944'
- Forbes, Donald Trump's Deep Love Of Tax Depreciation - An Affair To Remember
- Forbes, Fact Checking Trump's Tax Claim: Clinton Would Not 'Raise Everyone's Taxes Massively'
- Forbes, Trump Tax Plan Would Add Trillions To Debt; Clinton Plan Would Trim Deficits, Hike Taxes On Wealthy
- Forbes, Warren Buffett Gave Away 75% Of Donald Trump's Net Worth In 2015, Offers Facts On Taxes
- New York Times, Buffett Calls Trump’s Bluff and Releases His Tax Data
- New York Times, What Donald Trump’s Big Tax Break Might Buy
- New York Times, The White House Rule: No Tax Returns, No Job
October 11, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Saturday, October 8, 2016
Thursday, October 6, 2016
TaxProf Blog op-ed: Assigning a Tax Lesson: The Relationship between the Trump Foundation and Trump’s Tax Returns, by Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola) & Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer (Notre Dame):
As the debate between the Vice Presidential candidates Wednesday night made clear, Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns remains an important campaign issue. The extraordinary tax losses that Donald J. Trump reportedly had in 1995 emphasize the need for him to fully disclose his tax returns for all years from then forward. Without disclosure of his federal income tax returns, we cannot begin to evaluate fully his claim on Tuesday that he has “legally” and “brilliantly” complied with all of our complicated tax laws.
The ongoing tax issues relating to his foundation came to light only because of the required disclosure of those returns. Those issues — and the foundation’s failure to register to solicit charitable contributions that has now resulted in a cease and desist order from the New York Attorney General — seem to demonstrate a woeful ignorance of the applicable law or a complete disregard of it, either of which would be of even greater concern if also reflected in his personal and business tax positions. And at least one issue raised by the foundation’s tax filings can be resolved only with full disclosure of Mr. Trump’s personal tax situation.
October 6, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Following up on my posts (here and here): The Daily Beast: Art of the Steal: This is How Trump Lost $916M and Avoided Tax, by David Cay Johnston:
The big New York Times scoop that Donald Trump used $916 million of tax losses to enjoy many income tax-free years raised a question the newspaper didn’t try to answer: How did Trump do it?
Trump, the only major-party presidential nominee in four decades to keep all his tax returns secret, insists “there’s nothing to learn from them.”
Yet in one day I figured out how Trump’s advisers almost certainly arranged the massive tax losses, skipped out on a massive income-tax bill, and then fashioned a loophole with more valuable tax benefits than the already liberal tax breaks Congress gives big real-estate owners while sticking others with the bill.
Trump dumped the real costs of all this on investors who saw gold in his brand name, but who lost everything even as he was paid tens of millions of tax-free dollars.
All this came from subtle clues on the front pages of Trump’s 1995 Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York state income-tax returns. Which sums were on which lines in each state pointed to how Trump must have organized his affairs. Two of the most respected tax professors in America agree with my analysis. Edward Kleinbard of the University of Southern California and Martin J. McMahon Jr. of the University of Florida refined my view.
New York Times: The Trump Campaign’s Questionable Tax Return Justification, by Gretchen Morgenson:
Did Donald J. Trump have a fiduciary duty to keep the amount he personally owes in taxes to a minimum?
October 4, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Sunday, October 2, 2016
New York Times, Trump Tax Records Obtained by The Times Reveal He Could Have Avoided Paying Taxes for Nearly Two Decades:
Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.
The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.
October 2, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Friday, September 30, 2016
Washington Post, How Donald Trump Retooled His Charity to Spend Other People’s Money:
New York Times op-ed: An Uncharitable Foundation, by Linda Sugin (Fordham):
In addition to being the Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump is president of the relatively small Donald J. Trump Foundation and chairman of the relatively large Trump Organization. Although the foundation is a charitable organization, it appears to have been used for less than charitable purposes.
According to exhaustive reporting by David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post, Mr. Trump may have used the foundation to pay expenses for his business, to buy himself gifts and to make a political contribution. These things are all clearly prohibited under both federal and state charities law. No competent lawyer would advise a charitable foundation that such payments were allowable, and only someone with no respect for charity would so flagrantly violate these basic rules. ...
Americans who give to, volunteer with, or depend on charities should know that politicking and self-dealing by charities are never acceptable. The candidate’s apparent disregard for the law does not bode well for a Trump administration.
Slate: What Is the Trump Foundation? It’s Supposed To Be A Charity. It Looks A Lot More Like A Personal Piggy Bank, by Adam Chodorow (Arizona State)
September 30, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Following up on Friday's post, Hillary Clinton Proposes Raising Estate Tax Rate From 40% To 65%: Dilbert.com, Why I Switched My Endorsement from Clinton to Trump:
As most of you know, I had been endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, for my personal safety, because I live in California. It isn’t safe to be a Trump supporter where I live. And it’s bad for business too. But recently I switched my endorsement to Trump, and I owe you an explanation. So here it goes.
Clinton proposed a new top Estate Tax of 65% on people with net worth over $500 million. Her website goes to great length to obscure the actual policy details, including the fact that taxes would increase on lower value estates as well. See the total lack of transparency here, where the text simply refers to going back to 2009 rates. It is clear that the intent of the page is to mislead, not inform.
So don’t fall for the claim that Clinton has plenty of policy details on her website.
September 27, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Monday, September 26, 2016
Lily L. Batchelder (NYU), Families Facing Tax Increases Under Trump's Latest Tax Plan:
Donald Trump’s latest tax plan would cost more than $5 trillion over 10 years. Trump claims his plan would cut taxes for every income group, with the largest tax cuts for working- and middle-class families. But despite its enormous price tag, his plan would actually significantly raise taxes for millions of low- and middle-income families with children, with especially large tax increases for working single parents.
This paper explains why Trump’s latest tax plan raises taxes on so many families and provides examples of how large these tax increases would be. I conservatively estimate that Trump’s plan would increase taxes for roughly 7.8 million families with minor children. These families who would pay more taxes represent roughly 20% of households with minor children and more than half of single parents. They include roughly 25 million individuals and 15 million children.
Washington Post, A New Study Says Trump Would Raise Taxes for Millions. Trump’s Campaign Insists He Won’t.:
September 26, 2016 in Political News, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink
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Friday, September 23, 2016
Wall Street Journal, Hillary Clinton Proposes 65% Top Rate for Estate Tax:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would levy a 65% tax on the largest estates and make it harder for wealthy people to pass appreciated assets to their heirs without paying taxes, expanding the list of tax increases she would impose on the top sliver of America’s affluent.
The estate-tax increase and other new proposals that Mrs. Clinton detailed on Thursday would generate $260 billion over the next decade, enough to pay for her plans to simplify small business taxes and expand the child tax credit, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget [more here], which advocates fiscal restraint.
In all, Mrs. Clinton would increase taxes by about $1.5 trillion over the next decade, increasing federal revenue by about 4%, though that new burden would be concentrated on relatively few households. There is at least a $6 trillion gap between her plan and the tax cuts proposed by her Republican rival Donald Trump.
The Clinton campaign changed its previous plan—which called for a 45% top rate—by adding three new tax brackets and adopting the structure proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the Democratic primaries. She would impose a 50% rate that would apply to estates over $10 million a person, a 55% rate that starts at $50 million a person, and the top rate of 65%, which would affect only those with assets exceeding $500 million for a single person and $1 billion for married couples.
September 23, 2016 in Political News, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink
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Thursday, September 22, 2016
Christopher Peterson (Utah), Trump University and Presidential Impeachment:
In the final weeks of the 2016 Presidential campaign Donald J. Trump faces three lawsuits accusing him of fraud and racketeering. These ongoing cases focus on a series of wealth seminars called “Trump University” which collected over $40 million from consumers seeking to learn Trump’s real estate investing strategies. Although these consumer protection cases are civil proceedings, the underlying legal elements in several counts that plaintiffs seek to prove run parallel to the legal elements of serious crimes under both state and federal law. This essay provides a legal analysis of whether Trump’s alleged behavior would, if proven, rise to the level of impeachable offenses under the presidential impeachment clause of the United States Constitution.
September 22, 2016 in Legal Education, Political News, Scholarship | Permalink
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Washington Post, Trump Used $258,000 From His Charity to Settle Legal Problems:
Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.
Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.
September 20, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Sunday, September 18, 2016
Friday, September 16, 2016
New York Times: One Beneficiary of Clinton’s Complex Tax Plan: Tax Lawyers, by James B. Stewart:
It’s hard to imagine a tax code more complicated than the one we already have.
Hillary Clinton has come up with one.
“This isn’t tax reform,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist who served as director of the Congressional Budget Office and is now president of the American Action Forum, a conservative, pro-growth advocacy group. “It’s anti-reform. She’s layering on even more complexity.”
His views were echoed by a number of tax experts I spoke to this week about Mrs. Clinton’s tax plans, as I did earlier about Donald J. Trump’s.
September 16, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Saturday, September 3, 2016
New York Times: If Trump Gets His Way, Real Estate Will Get Even More Tax Breaks, by James B. Stewart:
It’s hard to imagine a tax code more favorable to real estate developers than the one we already have.
Donald Trump has come up with one.
Thanks to some major loopholes in the existing tax code that treat real estate developers as a special privileged class, it’s entirely possible (even likely) that Mr. Trump pays little or no federal income tax.
But Mr. Trump’s new tax proposal doesn’t just preserve those breaks, it piles on new ones for real estate developers like Mr. Trump himself — at an estimated cost of more than $1 trillion in tax revenue over a decade.
September 3, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Thursday, August 25, 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Factsheet, Hillary Clinton Will Make Life Easier for Small Business at Every Step of the Way:
Work to create a new standard deduction for small businesses—like the one available to individual filers. This proposal will vastly simplify filing for small businesses and entrepreneurs—whether they’re running a business out of their own home, managing a shop on Main Street, or selling online through platforms like Etsy and eBay. Rather than having to track and file forms documenting their overhead costs—potentially including transportation, computer and phone use, maintaining an office, and more—a small business would be offered the option of taking a single, simple deduction. Hillary will ask her Treasury Department to bring together small business owners and leading experts to design this new standard deduction, including its limits and parameters, which existing expenses could voluntarily be replaced, and measures to prevent gaming and abuse—all to advance the goal of making it far easier for small businesses to file their taxes. This proposal would be focused on true small businesses, with restrictions preventing larger businesses or high-income taxpayers from claiming it. Small businesses could still opt to track and deduct their expenses individually, just like individual filers.
August 23, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Thursday, August 18, 2016
New York Times, Hillary Clinton Twists the Knife in Donald Trump’s Tax Proposals:
Hillary Clinton leaned into her plans to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans on Wednesday, denouncing Donald J. Trump’s tax proposals as a boondoggle for billionaires.
“We’re going to tax the wealthy who have made all of the income gains in the last 15 years,” Mrs. Clinton told a crowd in Cleveland. “The superwealthy, corporations, Wall Street,” she declared emphatically, “they’re going to have to invest in education, in skills training, in infrastructure.”
August 18, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016
David Cay Johnston, Clinton vs. Trump: What Happens to Your Income Taxes?:
Let’s look at a few of the more curious aspects of the Clinton and Trump plans for individual income tax now that both candidates have put out reasonably comprehensive proposals they promise to take to Congress next year. The bottom line: Clinton and Trump both offer conventional, predictable and minimally significant changes, not reform. ...
The reality is that Congress, not presidents, sets tax rules and rates. The proposals by Clinton and Trump – while quite different – are just tinkering around the edges and vote-seeking, not real reform of a system that has become so complex, burdensome and capricious in how it treats taxpayers with the same income that no politicians defend the system as it exists.
August 16, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Saturday, August 13, 2016
- The Atlantic, How Hillary Clinton Is Using Her Taxes as a Political Weapon
- Bloomberg, Clintons Made $10.6 Million in 2015, Paid Tax of $3.6 Million
- Bloomberg, Clinton Rips Trump’s Tax Plan as Boon to Wealthy Like Him
- Bloomberg, Trump Advisers Try to Head Off Possible ‘Scam’ of His Tax Plan
- Bloomberg, Trump Tax Plan Seen as Boon for Rich, Question Mark for Others
- Daily Beast, Is a Crook Hiding in Donald Trump’s Taxes?
- Forbes, 'Trump Loophole' Could Have Cut Clintons' 2015 Tax Bill In Half
- Forbes, Trump's Tax Returns And The IRS Statute Of Limitations
- Politico, Morning Tax: What Would the Trump Anti-Abuse Rules Look Like?
- New York Times, Clinton Released Her Taxes. Will Trump Follow This Tradition?
- New York Times, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine Show More Tax Returns, Pressuring Donald Trump to Do the Same
- New York Times, How Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Differ on Taxes
- New York Times, How Much Does Donald Trump Pay in Taxes? It Could Be Zero
- New York Times, Trump’s Misguided Embrace of Tax Cuts
August 13, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Friday, August 12, 2016
The Movement for Black Lives Platform: Economic Justice:
What is the problem?
- There is a desperate need to replace the current practice of collecting revenue in regressive ways with a more just system for collecting taxes.
- Across the United States, there are major political obstacles to raising any kind of revenue.
- As with most faults in our economic and political systems, regressive taxation has hit Black people, low-income people, and people of color the hardest.
- Many municipalities have resorted to privatization and new taxes and fees in order to save money and generate more revenue. As a result, residents are being forced to pay more for services like trash collection, sewage, public property maintenance, parking meters, and to pay new taxes on a variety of everyday goods.
- A recent study conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that when one combines all the state and local income, property, sales and excise taxes that Americans pay, the nationwide average of effective state and local tax rates are 10.9 percent for the poorest fifth of taxpayers, and 5.4 percent for the wealthiest 1 percent.
- In the ten states with the most regressive tax structures, the poorest fifth pay up to seven times as much in taxes and fees as the wealthiest residents, as a percentage of their income.
- While states sometimes shift the cost of some services onto poorer residents, at other times they simply cut services all together. Many municipalities have had to increase public school class sizes, shorten school days, close vital city offices, and eliminate a huge number of public sector jobs.
- As the wealthiest Americans and most powerful corporations continue to evade their fair share of taxes, many programs and initiatives that could contribute to racial and economic justice go underfunded or unfunded.
What does this solution do?
- Taxing income:
- Raise marginal tax rates for high earners, specifically the top percentile (for equity and revenue generation reasons —they pay more than 40 percent of federal income tax revenue, yet their average rate has been reduced to around 20 percent) and begin by gradually raising the top marginal rate first to 50 percent and then up to 80 percent.
- Remove income caps on payroll taxes that fund social security and unemployment insurance.
- Raise corporate income taxes, especially on large corporations and end tax deferral for foreign income of multinational corporations.
- Taxing wealth:
- Increase taxes on capital to the point where they are higher than taxes on labor, as wealth inequality is greater than income inequality. Specifically:
- Increase capital gains tax
- Create anti-speculation tax on property transfers
- Increase estate tax
- Have states shift to an income-sensitized property tax that focuses on homes above a certain threshold and second homes
- Impose a wealth tax (on tangible and financial assets)
August 12, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Monday, August 8, 2016
The Hill: Trump’s Pushback on Tax Return Release Reveal True Ambitions, by Edward Kleinbard (USC):
With his nomination secure, Donald Trump has made it clear that he will not release his tax returns. Democrats have responded with outrage, and even bounties for their publication, while Trump supporters scramble to explain why this time is different, and the returns should remain confidential. Trump’s refusal already is costing him in the polls, and the issue will only grow as the election approaches.
So why has Mr. Trump staked out this politically unpalatable position? The answer lies not in any sordid details that Trump’s tax returns might reveal, but rather in what the refusal itself says about the man and his ambitions.
August 8, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Sunday, August 7, 2016
The Boston Globe, At Harvard Law, Tim Kaine Was Driven by Faith:
He was a year younger than most of his classmates, a state-school graduate and devout Catholic from the Midwest suddenly surrounded by Ivy Leaguers on a secular East Coast campus.
It was clear, when Tim Kaine arrived at Harvard Law School in the fall of 1979, that he was not exactly in his natural element. And it didn’t take long for him to lose faith in his chosen field on the cutthroat camp“
He had a crisis of purpose during his first year in law school when he realized most of his fellow classmates went on to become corporate lawyers with practices and principles with which he didn’t agree,” said Scott Brown, a New Hampshire energy investor who met Kaine on their first day of law school. “I encouraged him to veer off.”us of career-minded law students.
Kaine’s bumpy years at Harvard helped clarify what he wanted — and didn’t want — in life, friends said, and introduced him to some of the issues, like the death penalty, that he would later confront as a governor, senator, and, now, Democratic vice presidential nominee.
August 7, 2016 in Legal Education, Political News | Permalink
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Following up on my previous posts (here and here): The Atlantic, Trump Wants to Make Churches the New Super PACs: His Promise to Repeal the 1954 Johnson Amendment Isn’t About Free Speech—It’s About Cash:
Why have some religious conservatives decided to support Donald Trump for United States president? Leaders have named their reasons: He’s promised toappoint pro-life Supreme Court justices; he’s allegedly good at business. But they have also consistently cited something else, perhaps more unexpected: the tax code.
Trump has promised to repeal the so-called Johnson Amendment, a 1954 provision that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from participating in political activities. Proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and later revised by Congress, it keeps churches and other non-profits from lobbying for specific causes, campaigning on behalf of politicians, and supporting or opposing candidates for office.
While opponents of the Johnson Amendment often frame their objections in terms of free speech, the provision’s primary impact may be financial. Right now, the IRS makes a clear distinction between non-profit groups—from charities and universities to certain private schools and houses of worship—and political organizations.
If the Johnson Amendment were repealed, pastors would be able to endorse candidates from the pulpit, which they’re currently not allowed to do by law. But it’s also true that a lot more money could possibly flow into politics via donations to churches and other religious organizations. That could mean religious groups would become much more powerful political forces in American politics—and it would almost certainly tee up future court battles. ...
August 3, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016
New York Times editorial, Donald Trump Ducks Tax Disclosure:
As Donald Trump’s tweets pile one atop another, generating sensational headlines, issues of true substance are tending to get lost in the shuffle. None is more important for voters to keep in mind than the failure of Mr. Trump to disclose his full income tax returns, something he is not likely to do by Election Day.
August 2, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Saturday, July 30, 2016
Politico, Morning Tax: Corporate Tax Left in the Lurch?:
Hillary and Corporate Taxes, Cont'd:
Is that sound you hear the Democratic Party moving left on taxes?
Neera Tanden, a key adviser to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, scoffed in Philadelphia at the idea that the corporate tax rate needs a cut — noting that companies’ bottom lines seem to be doing just fine, even with the top rate of 35 percent, and suggesting that average Americans aren’t concerned over whether corporations get a lower rate.
Republicans have knocked President Barack Obama for not really having his heart in tax reform, but this White House did release a framework to reduce the corporate rate to 28 percent. (Manufacturers would have the chance to get down to 25 percent.)
July 30, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Following up on Sunday's post, Trump's Call To Repeal The Johnson Amendment And Allow Churches To Endorse Political Candidates:
Adam Chodorow (Arizona State), Donald Trump Wants to Politicize the Pulpit:
One of the biggest applause lines of the Republican convention was Donald Trump’s call to repeal the so-called Johnson Amendment, which, among other things, conditions churches’ tax-exempt status on ministers refraining from political speech at their pulpits. Critics such as Trump argue that ministers have First Amendment speech rights, which they say the government is infringing by restricting religious organizations in this manner. ...
In truth, it’s a lot more complicated than that. With Trump, it always is. Because on closer inspection, it’s clear that the Johnson Amendment, made law in 1954, serves an important function: preventing the government from subsidizing political speech. And repealing the law could lead to more entanglement of church and state—not less. ...
July 27, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Following up on my previous posts:
Newsweek, New York Terminates the Tampon Tax:
There are plenty of things you can buy in the U.S. tax-free: bagged salads in Colorado, seasoned croutons in Texas, manicures and massages in West Virginia. But in 40 states, menstrual products—used to care for a normal bodily function that occurs every month, for 30 to 40 years—are taxed anywhere from 4 to 10 percent. Meanwhile, we can all participate in rodeos tax-free (thanks, South Dakota!)
On Thursday, however, New York became the 11th state without a tax on menstrual products when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation eliminating local and state sales taxes on them.
July 22, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Sunday, July 17, 2016
Following up on my previous posts (here and here): Philadelphia Inquirer: Turned Down by the IRS, Philly's DNC Host Committee Goes for Plan B:
The IRS has turned down the long-running effort by the Democratic convention's Philadelphia host committee to win a tax exemption.
Word of the decision, a setback for efforts to raise the last of the $60 million needed to help pay for the July 25 to 28 convention, came Friday from its adviser, David L. Cohen.
When the decision came - and why - is less clear. Cohen would say only that the IRS "recently" turned down the application for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the tax code, which the committee had sought for more than a year.
July 17, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Monday, June 20, 2016
Politico Morning Tax, Make it Five:
Drip, Drip, Drip: Well, there’s another two years that Donald Trump didn’t pay any taxes.
Politico's Shane Goldmacher, relying on New Jersey gambling records while Trump continues to keep his returns private, found out that it doesn’t look like Trump had any tax liability in 1991 or 1993. That means there’s now at least five reported years over the last four decades that Trump didn’t pay any taxes, counting also 1978 and 1979 (per The Washington Post) and 1984 (via the Daily Beast).
June 20, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Saturday, June 18, 2016
Forbes: Tax Moves To Make For A Clinton—Or Trump—Presidency, by Janet Novack:
Robert Gordon, the president of Twenty-First Securities Corp., is something of a guru when it comes to tax efficient investing. He writes and lectures widely on the topic, and has created the visualization below showing the likelihood of various tax outcomes depending on which political party controls the White House and Congress next year. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the November election, Gordon offers two pieces of specific advice for well off folks seeking to election proof their finances.
June 18, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink
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Friday, June 17, 2016
Daily Beast, Donald Trump Accused of Using His Charity as a Political Slush Fund:
The Trump Foundation, Donald Trump’s nonprofit organization, is under fire for allegedly operating as more of a political slush fund than a charity. The foundation is accused of violating rules prohibiting it from engaging in politics—prompting ethics watchdogs to call for public investigations.
On numerous occasions this year, Trump’s campaign work and his foundation work have overlapped—putting himself at risk for penalties and his charity at risk of being shut down.
June 17, 2016 in IRS News, Political News, Tax | Permalink
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