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December 19, 2012
Fiscal Cliff Negotiators Need to Consider Impact on States, Panelists Say
There needs to be proper consideration at the federal level of the impact on the states of any deal between the White House and Congress on the fiscal cliff and on deficit reduction, state tax experts said December 14 during a roundtable discussion sponsored by Tax Analysts.
December 18, 2012
Show Me the Money!
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., must have been inspired by Tom Cruise's character in Jerry Maguire.
December 17, 2012
Are States Facing Their Own Fiscal Cliffs?
The state and local tax world has been strangely quiet in the days since the election regarding one very important topic: the fiscal cliff.
December 17, 2012
New Prescription for California's BOE: Good Diagnosis but Questionable Cure
On September 29 California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed AB 2323 into law.
December 17, 2012
Transcript of Tax Analysts Panel on State Fiscal Cliffs
MR. BERGIN: Good morning. Thank you for coming. Welcome to the latest in the Tax Analysts series of discussions on key issues in tax policy and tax administration.
December 14, 2012
Interstate Tax Competition: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
My purpose is to review some of the recent discussions and writing in the area of interstate tax competition and to provide you with my perspective on that debt.
December 14, 2012
Tensions Mounting Between MTC and NCSL Task Force Over Commission's Role
Noting that the Multistate Tax Commission is a governmental body while the National Conference of State Legislatures is not, an MTC Executive Committee member is criticizing as inappropriate letters from an NCSL task force instructing the MTC about what it should and should not be doing.
December 12, 2012
Numerous New John Doe Summonses in the Works
The IRS is seeking to refine and extend its efforts to identify unreported offshore bank accounts and is actively working on drafting new John Doe summonses to that end, John McDougal, special trial attorney and division counsel, IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Division, said December 7.
December 10, 2012
Best of 2012
State Tax Notes is pleased to announce its second annual awards edition.
December 6, 2012
Tax Expenditure Reform: Some Common Misconceptions
The debate on tax reform has focused almost exclusively on tax expenditures.
December 5, 2012
Is Trailing Nexus Constitutional?
Trailing nexus is a method used by some states under which businesses that cease the activities that created nexus with the state continue to have a tax obligation after those activities have ended.
December 5, 2012
Measuring Transparency in State Tax Administration
In 2012 State Tax Notes began a transparency project, which has primarily involved looking at areas in which states can do better in providing information to taxpayers and practitioners.
December 5, 2012
The Rich Will Pay for Our Sins
More and more Republicans in Congress are distancing themselves from their promise never to raise taxes.
December 5, 2012
The Compact Apportionment Election -- State Taxes Get a Dose of Shock and Awe
The California Court of Appeal's decision in Gillette Co. et al. v. Franchise Tax Board has taken the state tax world by storm, leaving taxpayers, practitioners, the Multistate Tax Commission, and the state tax authorities of Multistate Tax Compact member states scrambling in its wake.
November 28, 2012
Failure to Pass AMT Patch a 'Recipe for Disaster,' Former IRS Official Says
Failing to pass an alternative minimum tax patch during the lame-duck session of Congress would be a "real recipe for disaster" resulting in delayed processing of tax returns and economic harm, a former IRS official said November 14.
November 28, 2012
Departing Shulman Warns Congress About Late Legislation
Lame-duck congressional action on expiring tax provisions, credits, and extenders will not all affect the IRS and the filing season the same way, departing IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said November 7 at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants National Tax Conference in Washington.
November 26, 2012
Learning From a Wrongful Criminal Tax Prosecution
William Comiskey of Hodgson Russ LLP, New York City and Albany, formerly with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, discusses a mistaken department prosecution for tax fraud and lessons the department and taxpayers should learn from the case.
November 26, 2012
The Effect of Proposition 39 on California Corporate Taxpayers
On November 6 California voters approved Proposition 39, which requires corporate taxpayers to use single-sales-factor apportionment for tax years beginning after January 1, 2013.
November 12, 2012
The Expanding Universe of REITs
In news analysis, Amy S. Elliott discusses the recent popularity of corporations exploring conversions into real estate investment trusts.
November 7, 2012
Digital Currency: A New Worry for Tax Administrators?
Controversies surrounding presidential candidates are old hat in any given election year, but 2012 could very well be the first time that hackers, presidential tax returns, and a mysterious digital currency called bitcoin all had starring roles in one of the oddest politically motivated tax capers in recent memory.
November 1, 2012
Gangs, Ganjapreneurs, or Government: Marijuana Revenue Up for Grabs
Polls say half the nation wants to end the war on marijuana. Legalization could provide new revenue for government, but how? Six 2012 marijuana ballot initiatives show a splintered legalization movement with an amazing range of revenue ideas.
October 30, 2012
The Employer Healthcare Exclusion's Role in Tax Reform
The exclusion for employer-provided health insurance is by far the largest tax expenditure. But despite its size, it doesn't seem to be on the table for tax reform.
October 26, 2012
New Mexico Penalty Dispute Increases Calls for Independent Tax Tribunal
The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department's recent decision to hire a contractor to oversee a penalties and interest case heightened an existing concern among private sector practitioners over the independence of its Administrative Hearing Office.
October 23, 2012
Tax Analysts Picks Washington's Top 5 Tax Lobbyists
Tax Analysts' Meg Shreve and Michael M. Gleeson select and profile the top five tax lobbyists in Washington and offer insight on how they operate and what makes their practices successful.
October 22, 2012
How Much Deficit Reduction for a Grand Bargain?
Deficit reduction will be a numbers game. After the election, bridging the so-called fiscal cliff and treading dangerously close to the debt ceiling, Congress and whoever is president will come to the main event: a grand bargain on medium-term deficit reduction.
October 16, 2012
New York AG's Tax Probes Energize Whistleblowers, Set Advisers on Edge
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) spearheaded the state false claims act's expansion to tax matters as a state senator and is now following through as whistleblowers bring qui tam tax cases -- thrusting him on the national stage and putting skeptical corporate tax attorneys on edge.
October 9, 2012
The Hypocrisy of Tax Reform
Lately there has been a lot of bold talk about getting rid of tax breaks to pay for lower rates and deficit reduction. It was not too long ago that base-broadening reform was considered one of the most difficult tasks Congress could undertake. But now it seems as though the political calculus has been turned on its head.
October 1, 2012
State of the Tax Practice: The Aggressive and the Meek
In this now-monthly column on current tax policy and issues, Jackel examines the state of the tax practice in taking either aggressive or conservative positions on a tax matter. He also discusses the conundrum facing those who comment on government-proposed guidance and are forced to choose between client interests and sound tax policy.
September 26, 2012
Romney's Tax Rate Lower Than Any President's Since Nixon
In news analysis, Joseph J. Thorndike compares the average effective tax rate paid by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney with that paid by other recent presidents while they were in office.
September 10, 2012
Wyoming Transparency: Policy Sacrifices Openness for Privacy
Legislative efforts at taxpayer friendliness in Wyoming may be going too far and creating problems by overemphasizing taxpayer privacy and failing to provide a framework for tax transparency.
September 5, 2012
The Effects of Interest Allocation Rules in a Territorial System
Most Republicans have proposed that the United States adopt a territorial system of international taxation. However, even if Mitt Romney wins the November election, unprecedented long-term budget pressures will make it difficult for Congress to enact any territorial system that is as generous as business is hoping it will be.
August 30, 2012
Reorganization Business Purpose
In this article, Cummings explains how corporate taxpayers can avoid having to conjure up a business purpose for an acquisitive reorganization, other than the acquisition.
August 23, 2012
Life in the Fast Lane: Tax Controversies of the Suddenly Wealthy and Globally Famous
Tax professionals familiar with celebrities' peculiar tax travails explained why otherwise smart-seeming, successful people fall prey to tax schemes, shoddy advice, and shady counselors; which traps most often befall them; and what tricks and tips they use -- and shouldn't use -- in dealing with the tax man.
August 13, 2012
Your Mitt Romney Tax Issues Cheat Sheet
Lee A. Sheppard points out the potential issues in Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney's tax return.
August 9, 2012
FATCA -- a Report From the Front Lines
On June 26 and 27th, two debates on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act were held in Zurich and Geneva. The debates were sponsored by the Swiss CFA Society.
August 8, 2012
Should Taxpayer Privacy Be Violated to Encourage Tax Policy Discussion?
A bill pending in the California State Legislature would require the state to publish a list of the 1,500 largest corporate taxpayers per tax year. The list would include not only the taxpayer's name but also its tax liability and apportionment information.
August 6, 2012
Treat Corporate Interest Deductions Like Any Tax Expenditure
Should interest expense costs be deductible? To business owners, accountants, and tax lawyers, the question seems totally out of left field. In their eyes, the cost of borrowing money is an expense like any other. Of course it should be deductible.
August 3, 2012
Taxes on Olympic Winnings Not the Whole Picture
Republican lawmakers and their supporters are decrying the potential tax bills for Olympic athletes who win medals in the ongoing games in London, but practitioners who specialize in taxation for athletes told Tax Analysts the taxes on earnings are only one part of the equation.
August 1, 2012
Is the Tax Law Subsidizing Ann Romney's Horse?
In news analysis, Lee A. Sheppard discusses the tax treatment of the horse owned by Ann Romney, the spouse of Mitt Romney, presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
July 30, 2012
Transparency? Informal and Invisible Guidance in Kentucky
The Kentucky Department of Revenue's refusal to release documents such as final rulings and other written guidance, combined with its informal approach to issuing written guidance, has created significant transparency problems within the state, practitioners say.
July 23, 2012
Audit Proof? How Hedge Funds, PE Funds, and PTPs Escape the IRS
In news analysis, Amy S. Elliott discusses why large partnerships, including many types of funds and publicly traded partnerships, are essentially immune to audit by the IRS.
July 19, 2012
The Unnecessary Complication of the Fiscal Cliff
Washington seems to be a town that loves complicating things.
July 17, 2012
Transparency in North Carolina: Portrait of a State in Flux
The issue of forced combination of separate entity returns began as a dispute between taxpayers and the North Carolina Department of Revenue, but has mushroomed into a public debate over how the DOR provides guidance to taxpayers -- or the lack thereof.
July 10, 2012
2013 Filing Season Already at Risk From Tax Changes, Extenders, Taxpayer Advocate Says
Congress's "continual enactment" of significant new tax laws and tax extenders late in the year has delayed millions of tax returns, led many taxpayers not to claim benefits, and already has put the 2013 filing season at risk for similar problems, according to a June 27 report from the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
July 5, 2012
Jersey Threatens to Cut Ties With U.K. Over Tax Accusations
The Channel Islands bailiwick of Jersey is considering a break from its 900-year relationship with the U.K. as a result of London's continued political attacks on the island over its tax haven status and alleged facilitation of tax avoidance.
July 5, 2012
Corporate Tax Incentives and the Equal Protection Clause
The relationship between individuals and corporations has existed since the nation was founded.
July 5, 2012
The Economic Case for Unlocking Foreign Profits
The WIN America Campaign did not win. The group formed solely for the purpose of securing a repeat of the one-time tax holiday for repatriated foreign profits has little chance of success anytime in the foreseeable future.
July 5, 2012
Whose 'Treasure Islands'? The Role of Tax Havens in the Global Economy
Two recent works with the same title suggest radically different views of the role of tax havens in the global economy.
June 4, 2012
Transparency in State Taxation, Part 2: Legislative Process and Letter Rulings
In part two of this series, we begin by examining transparency in the state legislative process.
June 4, 2012
Are You Ready for Taxmageddon?
A combination of spending cuts and tax increases could bring the economy to its knees at the end of 2012.
June 4, 2012
Taking a Bite Out of Apple
Apple's tax planning appears to be almost as elegant as its product designs.
May 14, 2012
Indexing Capital Gains by Fiat
In this article, Bartlett reviews the history of efforts to index capital gains using the government's regulatory authority. Although the Treasury and Justice departments rejected earlier efforts to so index capital gains, some legal scholars continue to argue in favor of indexing and say the case for it is now stronger legally than it was when it was first raised in 1992.
May 11, 2012
What's Next After Codification Falls?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 together constitute the broad-based healthcare legislation enacted into law a little over two years ago.
May 11, 2012
State Tax Actions 2011
Organizations that measure state tax and revenue changes often report different numbers, resulting in confusion about the true magnitude of state tax increases or reductions.
May 10, 2012
State Tax Treatment of LLCs and LLPs -- 2012 Update
Update for State Tax Treatment of Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships
May 10, 2012
American Citizens Abroad's Recommendation for U.S. Tax Law Reform
The United States is the only country that applies citizenship-based taxation in addition to residence-based taxation.
May 1, 2012
If Romney Wins . . .
Right now voters are leaning toward reelecting President Obama.
May 1, 2012
Reaganomics: A Report Card
In 1980, America elected Ronald Reagan president, and with Reagan came Reaganomics, the conservative economic philosophy that has dominated government policy for over 30 years.
April 27, 2012
Putting Arbitration on the MAP: Thoughts on the New U.N. Model Tax Convention
The U.N.'s tax committee last month released its latest version of the U.N. model tax convention, designed for use between developed and developing countries.
April 27, 2012
On Tax Increase Limitations: Part II -- Evasion and Transcendence
There are several reasons why it is worth discussing strategies for circumventing TILs.
April 23, 2012
U.K. Road to Competitiveness Is Paved With Tax Increases
It has been the stated policy of the United Kingdom's Conservative-led coalition government "to create the most competitive corporate tax regime in the G20."
April 18, 2012
Transparency in State Taxation -- Part I: Discretionary Authority
This is the first in a series by Cara Griffith, Amy Hamilton, and Jennifer Carr that will examine transparency at the state tax level; this installation focuses on how states use their discretionary authority and how they provide guidance to taxpayers in circumstances in which tax officials can use their discretionary authority.
April 17, 2012
Americans Support Higher Taxes on Wealthy: Bad News for Romney?
Bruce Bartlett reviews recent poll data and finds strong support for raising taxes on high-income individuals, which could present a major problem for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in November.
April 16, 2012
Busting Myths About Rich People's Taxes
There are good reasons for the government to keep its hand out of the pockets of the wealthy.
April 10, 2012
The Fake Third Rail of Tax Reform
Dennis J. Ventry Jr. argues that despite the assertions of its powerful and well-financed supporters, the mortgage interest deduction is in fact the most inequitable, inefficient, and ineffective tax expenditure provision.
April 9, 2012
Was the VAT a Money Machine for Europe?
In 1965 there was not a big difference between the level of taxes in the United States and in Western Europe.
April 6, 2012
Washington Governor Approves Reinstatement of Film Incentives
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) has signed a bill (SB 5539) to reinstate a tax incentive program for filmmakers that had expired in 2011.
April 5, 2012
Is It Time for the United States to Consider the Patent Box?
Over the last decade, six European Union countries have adopted "patent box" tax regimes designed to increase innovation activities, create and maintain high-value jobs, and foster global leadership in patented technology.
April 4, 2012
Government Power, Cronyism, and the IRS Running Amok
In news analysis, David Brunori discusses the lawsuit challenging the IRS's attempts to regulate the tax return preparer industry.
April 4, 2012
If Mandate Is Struck Down, Are Tax Incentives Next?
For lawyers and political junkies, it is the Super Bowl: three days of Supreme Court arguments over one of the biggest domestic policy changes in decades.
April 4, 2012
Demystifying Accountant-Client Privileges in State Tax Litigation
It is a common scenario -- a client reaches out to an accounting firm and discussions ensure regarding a restructuring, a transaction, or a variety of other questions about a client's tax return.
April 4, 2012
CO2: Tax Now, Pay Later!
Regarding the climate change issue, a tax on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission flows (also dubbed the carbon tax) is arguably the most prominent instrument put forth to correct "the greatest market failure the world has seen" (Stern, 2008).
March 29, 2012
Obamacare and the 'What Is a Tax?' Question -- Part II
We are engaged in a two-part exploration. The previous installmente of our column reviewed the perennial questions of whether a given state or local exaction should be classified as a tax or something else.
March 29, 2012
New U.S. Regs Confirm That Basis Is Lost in Some Cash D Reorgs
On November 18, 2011, the IRS and Treasury released temporary and proposed regulations for determining the basis of stock or securities deemed to be received in certain D reorganizations (the 2011 regulations).
March 29, 2012
U.S. Taxes Corporate Income at Comparatively Low Rate
In this report, Pike argues that the United States does not tax corporate profits at a relatively high nominal rate.
March 26, 2012
When Immigration and Tax Converge
The world seems smaller and smaller -- a shared international space -- as more countries "go global." Investments and trade are crossing borders like never before.
March 26, 2012
Transcript: Tax Analysts' Panel on the IRS Budget (The IRS: What It Does and What It Needs)
A transcript is available of a March 23 panel discussion cosponsored by Tax Analysts and Georgetown University Law Center on budgetary challenges facing the IRS; speakers included Lisa Zarlenga of Treasury's Office of Tax Counsel, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, and former IRS Commissioner Fred T. Goldberg Jr.
March 26, 2012
Will Rate Changes Transform C Corps Into Tax Shelters?
In the days before the Tax Reform Act of 1986, when the top individual rate was above the corporate rate, wealthy owners of closely held businesses kept as much money as possible in subchapter C corporations.
March 19, 2012
Tax Reform Goals Differ for Corporate Coalitions
When it comes to taxes, corporate America is divided into two parts.
March 6, 2012
The Questionable Legality of New York City's Proposed UBT Audit Position
The New York City Department of Finance let slip some news about a potential new audit position it may be asserting against private investment funds, though the city is providing little details or guidance about the possible position change.
March 6, 2012
The New Politics of Tax Nominations
The notion of tax exceptionalism has faced several setbacks in recent years, as courts have suggested that tax law really isn't much different than other types of administrative practice.
March 2, 2012
Dynamic Scoring: Will S&P Have Company?
Dynamic scoring involves the use of macroeconomic models to predict the economic response to changes in tax policy.
February 27, 2012
State and Local Tax Aspects of Corporate Spinoffs
More and more publicly owned corporations are dividing their businesses, distributing, or spinning off one or more of their businesses to their shareholders.
February 24, 2012
Standards for Tax Court Review in Equitable Innocent Spouse Cases
In a case pending in the Ninth Circuit, the government argues that the Tax Court has applied overly restrictive standards of review to IRS denials of equitable innocent spouse relief under section 6015(f).
February 23, 2012
Taxpayer Bound by Allocation Agreements
When, in an applicable asset acquisition, there is a written agreement regarding the allocation of the consideration paid and received in the transaction, the parties to that agreement are bound to use the allocations set forth in the agreement.
February 22, 2012
What Is the Revenue-Maximizing Tax Rate?
With the economy recovering and increasing attention being paid to the budget deficit, Republicans are finding it harder and harder to gain political traction on tax cuts.
February 21, 2012
Recent State Legislative Tax Changes in the Face of Recession
This report was presented at the National Tax Association annual conference in November 2011 and is published here with NTA's permission.
February 21, 2012
Eliminate Everybody's Loopholes Except Mine
Until he talked about tax reform, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's spirited defense of administration policy was making a lot of sense.
February 15, 2012
Apple Reports High Rate but Saves Billions on Taxes
By taking advantage of lax U.S. transfer pricing rules, Apple Inc., the world's most valuable company, cut its federal tax bill by billions of dollars in 2011.
February 15, 2012
Tax Reform in Exile
This article originated as a talk at a gathering of experts on international taxation sponsored by the American Tax Policy Institute (ATPI).
February 15, 2012
Federal Tax Reform: Lessons From the States
As the federal corporate tax reform debate in Washington intensifies, the recent experiences of states with business tax reform may prove instructive.
February 6, 2012
What Is a Frequent Flier Mile Worth?
Citibank became the antagonist in another confused episode over the taxation of airline miles when it gave its customers Forms 1099 that reported the value of miles handed out as a promotion for opening bank accounts.
February 3, 2012
The Peculiar Taxation of Capital Gains Income
In 2012 Tax Notes will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its inaugural issue, published on September 18, 1972.
January 31, 2012
News Analysis: The New Limits on Corporate Letter Rulings Explained
by Amy S. Elliott
In news analysis, Amy S. Elliott examines how the IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate) has tried to limit practitioners' ability to influence which attorneys in that office are assigned to work on their private letter rulings.
January 26, 2012
Romney Returns Show Wealth Should Be Taxed Like Work
In news analysis, Joseph J. Thorndike uses Mitt Romney's newly released tax returns to argue that investment income should be taxed at the same rate as labor income.
January 26, 2012
Forget Buffett -- What About a Romney Rule?
Mitt Romney won't release his tax returns. Presumably, he's reluctant to be caught violating the so-called Buffett rule, President Obama's aspirational standard for tax reform.
January 23, 2012
Romney's Other Tax Break
Was it creative destruction or vulture capitalism? Whatever you call what Mitt Romney did at Bain Capital, it is now a multi-pronged challenge to his presidential aspirations.
January 17, 2012
When Should Small Businesses Get a Tax Break?
If you listen to the politicians, you might think all would be right with the world if we just had more small businesses.
January 12, 2012
Washington Supreme Court: Oil Refinery Not Entitled to Manufacturing Business Tax Deduction
The Washington Supreme Court held that an oil refinery may not claim a business and occupation (B&O) tax deduction on its bunker fuel sales because the deduction applies only to taxes on wholesale and retail sales.
January 9, 2012
40 Years: About These Notes
For Tax Notes' 40th anniversary, Tax Analysts presents the introductory article from the magazine's first issue in September 1972.
January 9, 2012
Tax Notes Celebrates Its 40th Year of Publishing With a Nine-Month Retrospective of Archived Articles
Archived articles to celebrate Tax Notes' 40th anniversary.
January 9, 2012
40 Years: Jasinowski Responds to Debunking of Tax Mythology
For Tax Notes' 40th anniversary, Tax Analysts presents a letter to the editor by Jerry J. Jasinowski, in which he defends his position regarding his criticism of Treasury's misleading figures and the Nixon administration's attempts to thwart tax reform.
January 9, 2012
40 Years: Notes on the Mythology of Tax Reform
For Tax Notes' 40th anniversary, Tax Analysts presents an article by Gerard M. Brannon, in which he argues against the claim by Jerry Jasinowski that Treasury is propagating the "myth" that the rich pay high taxes.
January 9, 2012
Start-Ups, Not Small Businesses, Are Key to Job Creation
In an October 23, 2011, op-ed in The New York Times, Jared Bernstein neatly laid out some earthshaking facts.
January 9, 2012
40 Years: Bergin Commemorates Tax Notes' 40th Anniversary
Happy New Year! 2012 looks to be an important year for tax policy and administration.
January 5, 2012
Year in Review: The 2011 Person of the Year
The dire state of tax politics became woefully evident in 2011, as fragile optimism about the possibility of tax reform bumped into the harsh reality of political intransigence.
January 5, 2012
Promoting Energy Savings With State Income Tax Incentives for Homeowners
The federal income tax has long strayed from its initial constitutional mission of raising revenue "to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare."
January 3, 2012
New Research Weakens Case for Small Business Tax Relief
Next to support for the troops, nothing is more sacrosanct on Capitol Hill than support for small business.