Monday, December 28, 2009
Howard Gleckman (Urban Institue) has a great post on The Ten Worst Tax Ideas of 2009. My favorites:
10. The Roth Rollover. Let’s see, allowing people to turn their tax-deferred retirement savings into fully tax-free investments starting on Jan. 1 will be a long-term fiscal catastrophe. And in the short run, the up-front taxes people must pay to roll into a Roth could depress the stock market and damage the shaky recovery. What’s not to like? ...
6. The Estate Tax. Now you see it. Now you don’t. Wait, there it is again. So what if nobody has any idea how to do estate planning anymore. On the other hand, Congress has had only eight years to fix this mess. ...
3. The homebuyer credit. Congress started the year by giving away $8,000 in subsidies to "first-time" homebuyers, as many as 74,000 of whom, it turned out, never quite got around to buying a house. Then, it extended the boondoggle to current owners who buy up. Bottom line: People who were already going to buy will get billions of dollars in government subsides. But you gotta make those real estate agents happy.
2. The Obama Tax Reform Panel. Not only will it fail to propose an improved tax code, it missed its own deadline. Nothing beats being both disappointing and late. “After the holidays,” the Obama people say. Does anybody care?