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December 22, 2015
Brady Plans to Set Stage for a Broader Tax Overhaul
by Kaustuv Basu and Stephen K. Cooper
With tax extenders out of the way, Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, R-Texas, wants to focus on international tax reform in 2016 and set the stage for a broader tax overhaul after the presidential election.
December 21, 2015
Margrethe Vestager -- The Enforcer
by Amanda Athanasiou
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has been at the forefront of high-profile investigations into whether European Union member states' tax ruling practices constitute illegal state aid. Vestager discusses her achievements in advancing tax transparency in the EU, as well as the European Commission's ongoing strategy.
December 21, 2015
Antoine Deltour -- The LuxLeaks Whistleblower
by Teri Sprackland
Luxembourg's long-hidden role as a secret tax haven in the very heart of the European Union has been shattered by one man who happened to be in the right place at the right time to do what he thought was the right thing. Antoine Deltour brought to light how the Grand Duchy had for years quietly, but on an astounding scale, offered the best tax arrangements in Europe to scores of multinational companies.
December 21, 2015
Edouard Perrin -- The Journalist
by J.P. Finet
Tax Analysts' Jean-Paul Finet recently interviewed Edouard Perrin, the reporter and filmmaker behind the LuxLeaks investigation, about his role in the scandal and his plans to fight his indictment in Luxembourg.
December 21, 2015
Four Pioneers in Tax Transparency
by Stuart Gibson
Don't look now, but Europe is leading the world on transparency.
December 21, 2015
Hervé Falciani -- The SwissLeaks Whistleblower
by William Hoke
William Hoke reviews the strange tale of former Swiss banker Hervé Falciani and the fallout from his alleged leaking of information about thousands of HSBC account holders.
December 21, 2015
William Bourdon -- The Lawyer
by Teri Sprackland
William Bourdon has made a name for himself among whistleblowers. For those in France, he is the go-to guy for legal representation. Bourdon is currently representing both Hervé Falciani and Antoine Deltour, the SwissLeaks and LuxLeaks whistleblowers, respectively. Although France is providing safe refuge for both men, legal protection there for whistleblowers is not well developed as a legal principle, according to Bourdon and members of the European Parliament advocating for greater protection at the EU level.
December 17, 2015
Practitioners: Brett R. Carter and Mark F. Sommer
by Maria Koklanaris
For their careers of advocating -- and sometimes litigating -- for transparency in tax administration and government in general, State Tax Notes recognizes the practitioners Brett R. Carter of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Nashville, Tennessee, and Mark F. Sommer of Frost Brown Todd LLC, Louisville, Kentucky.
December 17, 2015
David W.T. Daniels and Margaret Winterkorn Meyers
by Jennifer Carr
David W.T. Daniels and Margaret Winterkorn Meyers of Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP are selected for recognition for their key amicus brief in Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury v. Wynne.
December 17, 2015
Organizations: Multistate Tax Commission
by Amy Hamilton
State Tax Notes recognizes the Multistate Tax Commission for its influence on state tax policy and practice in 2015.
December 17, 2015
Good Jobs First
by Brian Bardwell
State Tax Notes recognizes Good Jobs First for its work promoting transparency and accountability in state tax incentives.
December 17, 2015
Lawmakers: Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Sen. Bob Rucho
by Maria Koklanaris
According to the Tax Foundation, "North Carolina made sweeping changes to its tax code during the 2013 legislative session, and built on those reforms in 2014 and 2015 -- enough to move the state from having the 44th best tax code in the country to the 13th best tax code in the country once reforms are fully phased in."
December 16, 2015
Administrators: Utah State Tax Commission Detects TurboTax Fraud
by Amy Hamilton
State Tax Notes recognizes the Utah State Tax Commission for its role in uncovering and bringing to national attention the stolen identity tax refund fraud perpetrated through Intuit's TurboTax software in 2015.
December 16, 2015
Alabama Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee
by Doug Sheppard
Some state tax officials prefer to keep a low profile. And then there's Alabama Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee.
December 15, 2015
Champion of Rights
by Jéanne Rauch-Zender
The State Tax Notes Person of the Year for 2015 is Amy Silverstein of the San Francisco office of Silverstein & Pomerantz LLP, for her exceptional litigation work on constitutional issues in state taxation. Silverstein, known as a champion of taxpayer rights, has skillfully advocated on state and local tax issues of the year, including presenting arguments on behalf of taxpayers in critical Multistate Tax Compact litigation cases in California, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, and Texas, as well as constitutional arguments in Harley-Davidson Inc. v. Franchise Tax Board.
December 14, 2015
The IRS Is in Crisis and the Tax Community Needs to Help
by Martin Lobel
Martin Lobel is a partner at Lobel Novins & Lamont LLP and the chair of Tax Analysts' board of directors. In this article, Lobel discusses the need for a well-funded IRS and the importance of a simple, fair, and efficient tax code.
December 11, 2015
The Unknowns of the Chan-Zuckerberg LLC
by David van den Berg
The announcement by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, that they will give nearly all of their Facebook stock to a new limited liability company they formed to work on social causes has generated enormous media attention, but also numerous questions, including on some tax-related aspects of the project.
December 8, 2015
Understanding the Accidental American: Tina's Story
by Allison Christians
Allison Christians is the H. Heward Stikeman Chair in Tax Law at McGill University in Montreal, where she writes and teaches in the area of national and international tax law and policy. You can follow her on the Tax, Society & Culture blog at or on Twitter (@taxpolblog). She delivered the following speech at the International Conference on Taxpayer Rights in Washington on November 18.
December 7, 2015
Swiss Bank Program Non-Prosecution Agreements Accelerating
by Nathan J. Richman and Tom Kasprzak
Since the end of September, the number and size of non-prosecution agreements (NPAs) under the Justice Department's Swiss bank program have increased notably, the latest NPA announcement coming December 3.
November 30, 2015
IRS Pilot Attempts to Address Nettlesome ID Theft Issue
by Luca Gattoni-Celli
A pilot program contacting thousands of filers who might not have otherwise known that someone else used their Social Security number to gain employment will help the IRS better balance statutory mandates and filer interests, according to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
November 25, 2015
Lawmakers Eyeing $700 Billion Tax Extender Deal
by Stephen K. Cooper and Kaustuv Basu
House and Senate negotiators are working on a tax extenders package that would make the research credit permanent and delay the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac" tax on high-cost healthcare plans for two years, according to a tentative outline obtained by Tax Analysts November 24.
November 19, 2015
Candidates Seek High Return From Repatriation Policies
by Paul C. Barton
To hear some presidential candidates tell it, if it were suddenly easy from a tax standpoint for U.S. corporations to repatriate more than $2.1 trillion in overseas earnings, the money would be in the next wire transfer home, giving the economy a jump-start like none before.
November 5, 2015
Tax Analysts Exclusive: Conversations: Nina Olson Stands Up for Taxpayer Rights
by William Hoffman
Olson recently spoke with Tax Analysts' William Hoffman about the differences between taxpayer rights and remedies, embedding taxpayer rights in the Internal Revenue Manual, and why Sweden's idea of taxpayer rights would never work in the United States.
October 29, 2015
IRS Has Always Required Warrants to Track Phones, Koskinen Says
by Luca Gattoni-Celli
IRS policy has always required that it obtain a warrant to use cellphone-tracking surveillance devices known as Stingrays and that they be used only in criminal cases, Commissioner John Koskinen said October 27.
October 1, 2015
EITC Error Rate Reduction a Moving Target
by Tom Kasprzak and David van den Berg
Improper earned income tax credit payments are once again the subject of scrutiny as the Senate Finance Committee is set October 1 to examine the "fragmentation" in the federal bureaucracy it claims is responsible, but the data behind compliance efforts paint a complicated picture for regulating the popular anti-poverty program.
September 30, 2015
Analysts Say Trump Plan Likely to Delight, Not Irk Fund Managers
by Paul C. Barton
For months, billionaire real estate developer and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been likening hedge fund managers to bandits because of how they make out under the tax code, but his tax reform plan, despite claims to the contrary, may actually benefit them, some analysts say.
September 29, 2015
IRS Data Give Peek Into Bonus, Retention Pay at Chief Counsel
by William Hoffman and Tom Kasprzak
IRS data released to Tax Analysts September 17 on performance awards and retention incentives reveal a glimpse at the agency's supplementary compensation patterns for senior executive service and non-bargaining-unit managers at one of its most critical functions.
September 23, 2015
Contest Continues Over IRS Transparency Versus Confidentiality
by William Hoffman
The IRS is seeking a balance it has not yet found between taxpayers' rights to privacy and confidentiality and media and governments' demands for transparency, panelists at Tax Analysts' conference "Tax Transparency: The Good, the Bad, and the Future" said September 22.
September 15, 2015
Sen. Paul Files Lawsuit Challenging FATCA
by William R. Davis and Andrew Velarde
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., along with six current and former U.S. citizens living abroad, filed a lawsuit July 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio challenging the constitutionality of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and foreign bank account reporting.
September 9, 2015
Theories for Expatriation Numbers Abound, but Answers Elusive
by Andrew Velarde
After three previous quarters of increasing expatriations -- which many attribute to the reporting requirements imposed under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act -- the number of U.S. expatriates dropped considerably for the most recent quarter, which has left some observers with theories but no definitive answers.
September 9, 2015
Judging Candidate-Related 501(c)(4)s Is a Tricky Business
by Paul C. Barton
Eight groups claiming exemption from taxes under section 501(c)(4) are run by political operatives known to be close to 2016 White House contenders, and advocates of campaign finance reform caution that the groups' websites could hide politically oriented purposes that shouldn't qualify for a tax exemption.
September 1, 2015
Candidates Short on How to Pay for Tax Cuts
by Paul C. Barton
While many of the current presidential candidates emphasize tax cuts, ideas on paying for them are often sketchy.
August 17, 2015
Possible White House Candidate Blasts Temporary Tax Incentives
by Paul C. Barton
Lawrence Lessig, another possible Democratic candidate in the 2016 presidential race, says the year-to-year drama in Congress over the fate of the tax extenders, especially the research credit, explains much about what's wrong with American government and politics.
August 10, 2015
Bush Remarks Reassure Norquist; Trump Tries to Pay Little Tax
by William Hoffman and Kat Lucero
Donald Trump claims to be the first candidate in U.S. history to openly say that he tries to pay as little tax as possible.
August 3, 2015
It's Time to Reform Escheatment of Mutual Fund Shares
by Daniel Whipple
Daniel Whipple is a graduate of George Washington University Law School. He is planning to work at a financial services firm in Orange County, California, and will be pursuing an LLM through New York University's Executive Program. This is the first in a series of student papers on state and local tax issues.
July 29, 2015
House Oversight Committee Seeking to Remove IRS Commissioner
by Kat Lucero and Fred Stokeld
Republican members of a House committee investigating the IRS's mishandling of exemption applications called on President Obama July 27 to fire IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for misleading Congress about the missing e-mails of former IRS official Lois Lerner.
July 29, 2015
Senate Appropriators Adopt $10.48 Billion IRS Funding Bill
by Kat Lucero
The Senate Appropriations Committee on July 23 approved legislation that would continue the ongoing budget cuts at the IRS and yet would seek to improve taxpayer services.
July 29, 2015
Michigan Group Pushes Proposal to Pay for Roads With Corporate Tax Increase
by Maria Koklanaris
Following a proposal by Michigan House Democrats to increase the corporate income tax rate by 3 percentage points to pay for transportation improvements, a coalition of union groups went a step further by announcing a petition to push the tax even higher.
July 21, 2015
IRS Hints That ATB Rulings for Some REIT Spinoffs May Be at Risk
by Amy S. Elliott
A real estate investment trust spinoff with a leaseback may be unable to get a letter ruling on some significant issues raised by the spinoff if there are extensive continuing arrangements between OpCo and PropCo, and the significant issue ruling policy is trending toward a narrower wording of rulings, IRS officials indicated July 11.
July 21, 2015
Yahoo May Waive Receipt of Favorable Ruling Spinoff Condition
by Amy S. Elliott
After the markets closed July 17, Yahoo Inc. announced that it still plans to complete the spinoff of its holdings in Alibaba Group in the fourth quarter of 2015, asserting it also has the right to waive a condition that it receive a favorable private letter ruling from the IRS before
July 14, 2015
California Audits of Like-Kind Exchanges Focus of Precedential BOE Opinion
by Amy Hamilton
In the first precedential guidance published by the California Board of Equalization in five years, the board has unanimously overruled the Franchise Tax Board's disallowance of a group of investors' IRC section 1031 like-kind exchange; practitioners hope the ruling will bring the state in line with IRS positions.
July 8, 2015
5 States Yet to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages for Tax Purposes
by Brian Bardwell
Nearly two weeks after same-sex couples won the right to marry nationwide, Kansas and a handful of other states have yet to acknowledge those unions as legitimate for tax purposes.
June 24, 2015
Tax Analysts Sues IRS Over Executive Bonus Awards Records
by William Hoffman
Tax Analysts filed suit against the IRS on June 23, asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to compel the agency to release records of bonus awards it paid to high-level executives since 2010.
June 16, 2015
Trump's Views on Taxes Are Many and Varied
by Paul C. Barton
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, expected to make an announcement about his presidential plans on June 16, has espoused a wide range of views on tax policy, from wanting to eliminate the national debt by imposing a one-time wealth tax on the richest Americans to imposing a special tax on goods from China.
June 15, 2015
Negotiating a Closing Agreement With a Department of Revenue
by Peter L. Faber
Peter L. Faber is a partner with McDermott Will & Emery in New York. In the debut of his column, In the Trenches, Faber discusses techniques for negotiating closing agreements in tax audit settlements between departments of revenue and taxpayers.
June 15, 2015
U.S. 'Extremely Disappointed' in DPT and BEPS Output, Stack Says
by Lee A. Sheppard and Stephanie Soong Johnston
Someone had to do it. U.S. multinationals hate the new British diverted profits tax (DPT), and someone had to give vent to their frustrations and say it was wrong to get ahead of base erosion and profit-shifting agreements. That someone was Robert Stack, U.S. Treasury deputy assistant secretary (international tax affairs).
June 15, 2015
U.S. May Set CbC Report Deadline Earlier Than OECD
by Kristen A. Parillo
The IRS may require businesses to file their country-by-country (CbC) reports with their U.S. tax returns -- three months earlier than the OECD has recommended, a Treasury official suggested June 12.
June 8, 2015
Alabama Tribe Offers to Pay Taxes in Return for New Gaming Rights
by Eric Yauch
An Alabama tribe looking to expand its gambling operations is offering cash-strapped state officials millions of dollars in new taxes, while simultaneously challenging a local government's attempt to tax casino property.
June 8, 2015
Fiscal Policy Lessons From the States
by Jonathan WIlliams
In this viewpoint, Williams says that states must address unfunded pension liabilities and argues that low-tax states outperform high-tax states on economic issues.
June 8, 2015
Wynne, Cloud Computing, and a State's Deference to Another
by Arthur R. Rosen
In this edition of The Art of SALT, Rosen analyzes the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Wynne and how it could affect New York's residency statute.
June 5, 2015
Crossroads GPS Changing Skins, Watchdog Says
by Paul C. Barton
Because its own tax exemption has yet to win IRS approval, the section 501(c)(4) organization Crossroads GPS stands ready to switch its issue advocacy and political operations to a nonprofit already enjoying the agency's seal of approval, the Center for Responsive Politics reports.
June 4, 2015
Comptroller Estimates Tax Compact Case Could Cost Texas $675 Million
by Amy Hamilton
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts estimates the state could owe $675 million in revised franchise tax refunds to out-of-state corporations if businesses prevail in asserting the right to elect to apportion their business income under the Multistate Tax Compact's formula rather than the state's mandatory single-factor method.
June 2, 2015
Kansas Governor Offers Budget Proposals as Veto Threats Loom
by Brian Bardwell
After weeks of pleas from lawmakers and policy groups, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) offered some more insight May 30 on the kinds of budget provisions he's willing to support amid threats to veto any efforts to undo his business tax cuts.
June 2, 2015
Norquist Not Endorsing Graham's White House Run
by Paul C. Barton
When it comes to tax policy, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina appears to be starting his 2016 White House campaign with a Grover Norquist problem, not a good sign as he tries to win over GOP primary voters.
June 1, 2015
Taxing Contractors Under Arizona's Sales Tax Reform Laws
by James G. Busby Jr.
In this article, James G. Busby Jr. summarizes when, under Arizona's sales tax reform laws, construction contractors are required to pay Arizona transaction privilege tax on the construction materials, and when they are instead required to pay prime contracting tax on 65 percent of their gross receipts.
May 29, 2015
Finance Committee's Small-Bore Tax Bills Stall in Senate
by Stephen K. Cooper
Seventeen pieces of small-bore tax legislation passed by the Senate Finance Committee in February are awaiting approval from Senate leadership to move ahead while the Senate has debated weightier matters such as trade, executive nominations, and foreign policy.
May 28, 2015
104,000 Taxpayer Transcripts Stolen in Data Theft, Koskinen Says
by William Hoffman
Criminals using personal identifying information from outside sources raided the IRS's online Get Transcript application 200,000 times between mid-February and mid-May, gaining unauthorized access to about 104,000 taxpayers' accounts, Commissioner John Koskinen announced during a call with reporters May 26.
May 28, 2015
Pataki's Tax Cuts: Did the Shine Come Off?
by Paul C. Barton
During his last year in office in 2006, former New York Gov. George Pataki said at a press conference, "I've never met a tax cut I don't like," describing a tax cutting career the nation will likely hear plenty about if Pataki, as expected, enters the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on May 28.
May 26, 2015
You Know Scalia's Right
by David Brunori
In this viewpoint, Brunori dissects Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent on the dormant commerce clause from last week's Wynne decision.
May 26, 2015
SALT Community Reacts to Michigan Judge's IBM Order
by Amy Hamilton
In A Sharper Focus, senior reporter Amy Hamilton asks practitioners and a former chair of the Multistate Tax Commission about the significance of a trial court judge's order applying Michigan's retroactive repeal of the Multistate Tax Compact to IBM Corp.
May 20, 2015
IRS Announces Spinoff Ruling Pause; Yahoo Implicated?
by Amy S. Elliott
The IRS Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate) announced May 19 that it may hold in abeyance any new letter ruling requests involving some section 355 tax-free spinoff active trade or business requirement questions while it studies how much active trade or business is enough.
May 19, 2015
Hawkins to Retire as OPR Director
by William R. Davis
IRS Office of Professional Responsibility Director Karen Hawkins on May 6 announced that she will resign effective July 11, 2015, marking an end to her six-year tenure at the position.
May 14, 2015
Finance Working Group on Individual Taxation Narrows Focus
by Stephen K. Cooper and Luca Gattoni-Celli
The Senate Finance Committee's individual income tax working group has agreed to focus its efforts on four major areas, including education, charity, and homeownership incentives and tax administration, the group's co-chair, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said following a May 13 group meeting.
May 13, 2015
Who Died and Made GASB King of Tax Breaks?
by Billy Hamilton
In the State Tax Merry-Go-Round, Billy Hamilton writes about the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's recent focus on taxes and the efforts it is taking to require state and local governments to disclose information about their business tax incentives.
May 1, 2015
NFL May Have to Flout Exemption Rules to Drop Status
by David van den Berg
There is no official process for the NFL to work through with the IRS to drop its tax-exempt status, and the league's shortest route to achieving its objective of becoming a taxable entity is likely to amend its organizational documents in a way that violates requirements for tax exemption, observers told Tax Analysts.
April 30, 2015
California FTB Settles Public Records Lawsuit
by Brian Bardwell
Tax Analysts has won its second state-level freedom of information case in less than a year, as the California Franchise Tax Board surrendered a set of records that it sought to keep secret despite a freedom of information request and subsequent lawsuit.
April 8, 2015
Tax Professionals and IRS Grapple With Changing Pot Laws
by David van den Berg
The IRS recently settled a case in which it agreed to refund penalties assessed on a marijuana dispensary for paying its taxes in cash -- a potential sign, if a small one, that tax representatives for the industry will be facing fewer risks and less stigma than they did even a few years ago.
April 6, 2015
Economic Analysis: The Jeb Bush Tax Cuts in Florida
by Martin A. Sullivan
In economic analysis, Martin A. Sullivan looks at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's tax policies during his eight years in office.
April 3, 2015
Runaway REIT Train? Impact of Recent IRS Rulings
by Peter E. Boos
Peter E. Boos is a 2014 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. This report was selected as a winning entry in Tax Analysts' inaugural student paper contest. In this report, Boos examines the IRS's trend in granting real estate investment trust status to entities outside the traditional real estate business, and he offers a basic framework for lawmakers to consider when determining how best to proceed.
April 3, 2015
Statutory Protection From IRS Reinterpretation of Old Tax Laws
by John Bunge
John Bunge will be an associate at Culp, Elliott & Carpenter PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a 2014 LLM graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law graduate tax program. He thanks professors Omri Marian and Karen Burke, and the rest of the graduate tax faculty at the University of Florida for their input and support.
April 3, 2015
When Play Becomes Work: Are College Athletes Employees?
by Justin Morehouse
Justin Morehouse is a recent graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law. This report was selected as a winning entry in Tax Analysts' inaugural student paper contest.
April 3, 2015
Repealing the Federal Credit for State Estate Taxes Was Bad Policy
by Claire Arritola
Claire Arritola is a recent graduate of George Washington University Law School. Her paper was selected for publication as part of Tax Analysts' inaugural student paper competition. Arritola writes about the effect the repeal of the federal credit for state estate taxes will have on state inheritance, estate, and gift taxes.
April 3, 2015
Does the Belgian Fairness Tax Conform With EU Law?
by Eric Ntini Kasoko
Eric Ntini Kasoko holds a law degree from the Congo Protestant University and is a recent graduate of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Free University of Brussels, in Belgium. This article is one of the winning entries in Tax Analysts' inaugural student writing competition.
April 3, 2015
Making a Profit From Charitable Donations in South Carolina
by Sarah K. Johnson
Sarah Johnson is a third-year law student at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Her paper was selected for publication as part of Tax Analysts' inaugural student paper competition. In this article, Johnson analyzes a recently enacted South Carolina budget provision that allows taxpayers to receive a tax credit of up to 60 percent of their tax liability for donations to provide private school scholarships -- which are also now eligible for a charitable contribution deduction under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. In Johnson's view, it would be beneficial for the IRS to apply a different rule to tax credits than it does to tax deductions.
April 3, 2015
Much Ado About Qui Tam for State Taxes
by Deddeh Ansumana Jones
Deddeh Ansumana Jones is a Tax LLM candidate at the Georgetown University Law Center. This study was supervised by professor Michele L. Halloran in the fall of 2013 while Jones was a JD candidate at Michigan State University College of Law. In this report, Jones examines qui tam for state taxes and the arguments for and against it, concluding that it's unclear whether qui tam provisions are suitable or effective for all tax cases. According to Jones, while they may deter individual taxpayers from committing tax fraud, they raise several issues for business taxpayers.
April 3, 2015
Why New York Should Listen to Airbnb's Appeal for Taxation
by Michael Giaquinto
Michael Giaquinto is a JD candidate at George Washington University Law School. His paper was selected for publication as part of Tax Analysts' inaugural student paper competition. Giaquinto discusses why New York City should develop a plan to tax lodging services in the sharing economy, such as Airbnb.
April 3, 2015
How Do You Want Your Eggs: Taxed or Nontaxed?
by Christopher C. Weeg
Christopher C. Weeg is a JD candidate at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. In a rare call for amicus briefs, this February the Tax Court sought the public's input on an issue of first impression: the tax treatment of payments received for the sale of human eggs. In this article, Weeg explains why the Tax Court has approached that question with caution and he discusses the statutes, regulations, case law, and IRS guidance the court will likely use to draft its decision. Weeg concludes with a bold, yet simple, recommendation.
April 3, 2015
Attracting Technology Start-Ups: A Tale of 2 State Tax Strategies
by Allysa D. Piché
Allysa D. Piché is a recent graduate of the George Washington University Law School. Her paper was selected for publication as part of Tax Analysts' inaugural student paper competition. Piché discusses Georgia's and New York's incentives designed to attract and support tech start-up businesses. She writes that states have used either a piecemeal approach focused on start-up financing or a holistic approach focused on incubating start-ups.
April 3, 2015
Countering BEPS: Preventing Abusive Commissionnaire Arrangements
by Hiroshi Oyama
Hiroshi Oyama is an associate with Mori Hamada & Matsumoto in Tokyo. This article is based on a paper the author submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the international tax LLM program at the University of Michigan in 2014. The author is grateful to professor Reuven S. Avi-Yonah at the University of Michigan for his invaluable comments and support. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's, as are any errors or omissions. This article was selected for publication as part of Tax Analysts' inaugural student writing competition.
April 2, 2015
Stateless Income's Challenge to Tax Policy, Part 1
by Edward D. Kleinbard
Edward D. Kleinbard considers the tax consequences and policy implications of the phenomenon of "stateless income."
April 2, 2015
Stateless Income's Challenge to Tax Policy, Part 2
by Edward D. Kleinbard
In this second part of a two-part series, Edward D. Kleinbard considers the tax consequences and policy implications of the phenomenon of "stateless income."
April 2, 2015
News Analysis: The Power of a Name: Stateless Income and Its Failings
by Mindy Herzfeld
Mindy Herzfeld examines the concept of "stateless income" and cautions the architects of the BEPS project to be mindful of its historical and political underpinnings as they work to reform the international tax system to address stateless income.
March 26, 2015
Boustany Working on International Tax Reform Plan
by Stephen K. Cooper
House Ways and Means Committee member Charles W. Boustany Jr., R-La., said March 25 that he plans to introduce an international tax reform bill later this spring that would use the 2014 tax reform plan by former Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp as a starting point.
March 25, 2015
James Bond Producers Offer New Clues on Mexican Incentives
by Brian Bardwell
The producers of an upcoming James Bond film say they haven't made changes to their script in exchange for a Mexican incentive package, but experts in the field of film incentives say it's unclear why the studio would deny making the deal it did.
March 18, 2015
Louisiana Governor's Budget Proposal Would Cut Refundable Tax Credits
by David Sawyer
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has proposed to change some individual and business tax credits from refundable to nonrefundable, saving the state $526 million, according to his fiscal 2016 executive budget proposal.
March 18, 2015
Donors to Tax-Exempts Often Give Super-Sized Amounts
by Paul C. Barton
Many of the secret donors to politically oriented section 501(c)(4) organizations write checks with quite a few more zeros than any the average American will see in a lifetime.
March 18, 2015
Donors to Tax-Exempts Often Give Super-Sized Amounts
by Paul C. Barton
Many of the secret donors to politically oriented section 501(c)(4) organizations write checks with quite a few more zeros than any the average American will see in a lifetime.
March 17, 2015
The IRS, Politics, and Income Inequality
by Leandra Lederman
Leandra Lederman suggests that supporters of progressive taxation use the fight against rising income inequality as a rhetorical tool to help the IRS get more balanced treatment by Congress.
March 16, 2015
U.N. Head Suggests Moving Tax Committee Meetings to New York
by William Hoke
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 11 recommended that consideration be given to moving the annual meetings of the U.N. Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters from Geneva to New York.
March 16, 2015
News Analysis: The U.N. Rewrites International Tax Rules
by Mindy Herzfeld
In news analysis, Mindy Herzfeld discusses the U.N. Committee of Experts on International Cooperation, which is working on changes to the U.N. model tax treaty that could rewrite fundamental international tax rules.
March 13, 2015
EO Practitioners Unhappy With IRS Over Exemption Letter Decision
by Fred Stokeld
Initial reaction to the decision by the IRS to stop providing exemption letters to the media has been unfavorable, with several exempt organization tax practitioners saying access to the letters is useful and necessary.
March 12, 2015
IRS Stops Providing Exemption Letters to Press
by Fred Stokeld
The IRS National Office in Washington will no longer release exemption letters to Tax Analysts or other members of the press.
March 11, 2015
Wynne: It's Not About Double Taxation
by Michael S. Knoll and Ruth Mason
In this special report, Michael S. Knoll of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Ruth Mason of the University of Virginia Law School argue, based on both case law and financial theory, that the taxpayers should prevail in Comptroller v. Wynne.
March 6, 2015
TIGTA: Missing Lerner E-Mails Could Involve Criminal Activity
by Fred Stokeld
The disappearance of e-mails of former IRS official Lois Lerner could involve criminal activity, an official with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration told a congressional committee February 26.
March 4, 2015
Indian Budget Focuses on Business-Friendly Tax Tactics
by Stephanie Soong Johnston
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 28 unveiled the government's highly anticipated 2015-2016 union budget, which includes a gradual cut in the corporate tax rate, the deferral of a general antiavoidance rule, and other measures to create a more business-friendly tax environment.
March 3, 2015
Senate Finance Democrats Recommend Financial Products Changes
by Senate Finance Committee Democratic staff
Lawmakers could reduce tax avoidance through the use of financial products by changing the treatment of collars, wash sales, derivatives, constructive ownership rules, basket options, and nonqualified deferred compensation, according to a report from the Senate Finance Committee Democratic staff.
March 3, 2015
Finance Democrats Outline Tax Avoidance Strategies, Solutions
by William R. Davis
The Senate Finance Committee Democratic staff will release a report March 3 outlining several tax avoidance strategies using financial products that it estimates will cost billions of dollars in lost tax revenue over the next decade and proposed solutions to eliminate those strategies.
March 3, 2015
From Mexico With Love: How Sony Got Millions in Incentives to Rewrite 007 Film
by Brian Bardwell
E-mails from Sony Pictures Entertainment show that the eye-popping budget on an upcoming James Bond film left the studio vulnerable to foreign demands for changes to the film script in exchange for incentives that went beyond the Mexican federal government's statutory offerings.
February 24, 2015
Cardin's VAT Bill: Driving Debate or Another Back-Seat Attempt?
by William R. Davis
The latest attempt at a consumption tax in the U.S. is the Progressive Consumption Tax Act of 2014, introduced by Senate Finance Committee member Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., in the waning days of the 113th Congress, and economists and other tax experts disagree over its potential role in driving the reform debate.
February 24, 2015
John Samuels Addresses Inversions and Tax Reform
by John M. Samuels
John M. Samuels provides an expanded version of his opening remarks at a conference on corporate inversions and tax policy sponsored by the International Tax Policy Forum and the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center on January 23.
February 18, 2015
Groundhog Day: Waking Up to the Online Sales Tax Issue -- Again
by Billy Hamilton
In the State Tax Merry-Go-Round, Billy Hamilton celebrates Groundhog Day by resetting the debate over the taxation of online sales; he says that with the federal Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 all but dead and a new bill drawing criticism, states are in for a long wait before Congress settles the matter.
February 18, 2015
London Mayor to Relinquish U.S. Citizenship
by Teri Sprackland
Less than a month after reaching a tax settlement with the IRS, London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced his intent to renounce his American citizenship.
February 11, 2015
Sony E-Mails Show Tax Credits Driving Studio's Consideration of Shaky Projects
by Brian Bardwell
In a series on how tax policy can drive decision-making for large, publicly traded corporations, Brian Bardwell describes e-mails from Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. that suggest that top studio executives may be finding tax incentives to finance projects with major problems that could otherwise disqualify those films from being made.
February 11, 2015
A Short Course on Accounting Method Changes
by George White
Tax Notes contributing editor and retired national tax partner at EY, George White discusses a how-to instructional by two leading authorities on changing accounting methods.
February 5, 2015
Senate Finance Democrats Outline Tax Reform Principles
by Senate; Finance Committee
Tax reform should be done through "regular order and not reconciliation," and account for fairness, progressiveness, transparency, certainty, U.S. job creation and competitiveness, debt reduction, and base-broadening, the Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee said in a January 29 letter to Chair Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah.
February 3, 2015
U.S. JCT Provides Data on Passthroughs in 5 Countries
by Joint Committee on Taxation
A Joint Committee on Taxation report from October 2013, obtained by Tax Analysts and written at the request of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, outlines data on the taxation of passthrough entities in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
February 2, 2015
News Analysis: JCT Passthrough Report Informs Tax Reform Debate
by Luca Gattoni-Celli
In news analysis, Luca Gattoni-Celli discusses an unreleased report from the Joint Committee on Taxation that looked at how the passthrough sector can affect the debate over corporate taxation.
January 30, 2015
Worst Filing Season in 30 Years? Probably Not
by Christopher Bergin
Christopher Bergin writes that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen should prioritize taxpayer service in the wake of cuts to the agency's budget by Congress, and he doubts that the 2015 filing season will be as bad as some have predicted.
January 23, 2015
London Mayor Settles Capital Gains Tax With IRS
by Teri Sprackland
London Mayor Boris Johnson on January 22 announced that he has settled an IRS claim for capital gains tax owed on the sale of his London residence.
January 22, 2015
Experts Question Accuracy of New York Times Story on Chinese Taxation
by Stephanie Soong Johnston
Some tax experts are questioning the accuracy of a recent New York Times article about China's renewed focus on taxing its citizens' worldwide income, including pointing out that the piece erroneously indicates that China is following the U.S. model of citizenship-based taxation.
January 22, 2015
Minnesota Estimates Compact Cases Could Cost State $700 Million in Tax Refunds
by Amy Hamilton
Minnesota estimates that the state would face the prospect of refunding nearly $700 million in taxes before interest -- or more than half of the state's corporate franchise tax collections in a single year -- if out-of-state taxpayers prevail in asserting the right to apportion their business income using the Multistate Tax Compact's formula.
January 14, 2015
Koskinen Outlines How 2015 Budget Cuts Will Affect IRS Employees
by John A. Koskinen
In light of severe IRS budget cuts in 2015, IRS employees can expect delays to critical IT investments, enforcement cuts, cuts in overtime and temporary staff hours, an extended hiring freeze, and the possibility of a shutdown of IRS operations for two days later this fiscal year, according to a memo to IRS staff from Commissioner John Koskinen.
January 13, 2015
Sony E-Mails Show Plan to Exploit 'Loophole' in Expanded California Film Credits
by Brian Bardwell
Sony Pictures Entertainment is looking for ways to exploit a "programmatic loophole" that would allow the company to take advantage of California's recently expanded film tax credits, according to internal e-mails between company executives.
January 12, 2015
Nunes Business Reform Plan Uses 25 Percent Rate, Full Expensing
by Lindsey McPherson
House Ways and Means Committee member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Tax Analysts on January 9 that his business tax reform plan to reduce rates to 25 percent for both corporations and passthroughs and replace most existing deductions and credits with full expensing would produce the "best business environment in the entire planet."
January 7, 2015
Changes to Mississippi Law Address Equifax, but Transparency Issues Linger
by David Sawyer
Though sweeping legislation designed to ameliorate shortcomings in Mississippi's tax system exposed by Equifax Inc. v. Department of Revenue went into effect January 1, practitioners say there is still a great need for more transparency.
January 5, 2015
Year in Review: The 2014 Tax Person of the Year
Tax Notes presents its 2014 Person of the Year, along with other members of the tax community who left their mark on policy, practice, and administration in 2014.
January 5, 2015
January Ushers In Sweeping State Tax Changes
by Maria Koklanaris
The new year ushers in significant developments in state and local taxation across the country and spotlights major, but highly disparate, changes in two huge states -- New York and Illinois.