David Cay Johnston, Raw Story Uncovers a Huge Secret Tax Favor For the Super Wealthy:
Raw Story has uncovered a secret IRS tax favor for the super-rich—authorized when Donald Trump was president—that will take effect on Thursday, July 1. President Biden can stop it with one phone call. Will he?
The Biden White House was unaware of this Trump tax favor—disguised as a crackdown on wealthy tax cheaters—when Raw Story asked about it on Friday.
That's not surprising because the IRS remains under the control of Charles Rettig, a holdover from the Trump era. Before Trump named him IRS commissioner, Rettig was a Beverly Hills tax lawyer who helped the super-wealthy escape taxes and—if they got caught cheating—negotiated secret settlements that avoided public humiliation while minimizing taxes and penalties.
If Biden lets this Trump policy take effect it would be a huge benefit to clients of Rettig's old law firm and others like it. And it would make an already unfair tax system even more heavily tilted in favor of billionaires.
Internally the IRS characterized the new favor for the rich as nothing more than a subtle change to comply with arcane civil service policy. But at least one high-level IRS manager saw through this façade and fought the plan, an email obtained by Raw Story shows.
What makes this Trumpian scheme diabolical is that on the surface, it appears to be a 50% increase in enforcement of gift and estate tax law, areas where cheating is rampant. Actually, it's the opposite.
Starting Thursday, July 1, the IRS will hire 71 new people to examine estate and gift tax returns.
The 137 IRS tax lawyers who do this work now are, in effect, highly trained colonels on the tax police force. They need sophisticated detective skills to understand the mind-numbingly complex trusts and other devices that lawyers like Rettig designed to hide money from the IRS.
The new hires, however, won't be lawyers, only lightly trained "tax specialists." They will be equivalent of mere corporals on the tax police force, lacking the legal education required to see through the fog of confusion that tax lawyers get paid fat fees create so their clients can pay little to nothing in taxes. ...
The question is whether Biden will do what he promised or reveal himself to just be another politician who tells voters what he thinks they want to hear and then doesn't act.
David Cay Johnston, How Trump’s Toothless IRS Let the Rich Off Easy:
The amount of additional taxes that the richest Americans owed after the IRS audited their tax returns fell more than 99% in Donald Trump’s first full year in office, data tables released this week show.
June 29, 2021 in IRS News, Tax, Tax News | Permalink