Categories underneath Tax Policy:
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Dec 14, 2012 Tax Plan Is Popular, but Not Quite Fair
QUOTE: The political appeal of a proposal that limits deductions without actually naming any — inciting the powerful interests and lobbyists that support them — seems obvious. But many tax experts said that a fixed dollar cap is anything but the evenhanded approach to closing loopholes it appears to be.
New York Times Dec 01, 2012 As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price
QUOTE: states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains. The cost of the awards is certainly far higher....A portrait arises of mayors and governors who are desperate to create jobs, outmatched by multinational corporations and short on tools to fact-check what companies tell them....Many of the officials said they feared that companies would move jobs overseas if they did not get subsidies in the United States. Over the years, corporations have increasingly exploited that fear, creating a high-stakes bazaar where they pit local officials against one another to get the most lucrative packages.
New York Times Oct 24, 2012 Tax Policy Center in Spotlight for Its Romney Study
QUOTE: No white paper or policy manifesto put out during the presidential campaign has proved more controversial than an August study by the Washington-based Tax Policy Center, a respected nonprofit that issues studiously detailed tax analyses. That study found, in short, that Mr. Romney could not keep all of the promises he had made on individual tax reform...
New York Times Oct 18, 2012 A Second Appeals Court Calls Marriage Law Unfair to Gays
QUOTE: A federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled on Thursday that the federal statute defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unlawfully discriminates against same-sex married couples by denying them equal federal benefits. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is the second federal appeals court to reject a central portion of the federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act...
New York Times Jul 26, 2012 The Real Problem With Offshore Tax Havens
QUOTE: one doesn’t necessarily have to fly to the Channel Islands with a bag of cash to stash ill-gotten gains or evade the taxman anymore. The past 30 years have seen the evolution of a mainstream financial system that is global in scope and that through secrecy and complexity has enabled itself to profit handsomely off of the tax evasion of the world’s richest citizens.
Time Magazine Jul 21, 2012 £13tn: hoard hidden from taxman by global elite • Study estimates staggering size of offshore economy • Private banks help wealthiest to move cash into havens
QUOTE: "The problem here is that the assets of these countries are held by a small number of wealthy individuals while the debts are shouldered by the ordinary people of these countries through their governments," the report says
Guardian Unlimited May 17, 2012 Eduardo Saverin's tax-free global citizenship: Must we tolerate this new global elite of the super-rich and mega-corporations dodging tax obligations in any one country?
QUOTE: It's pointless to suggest to the Apples and Severins of our world that they would never have achieved such heights of prosperity had it not been for, among many other things, America's economic and legal systems (among other benefits they've enjoyed)... But why should the Apples and Severins care, when as "global citizens", they can work the system and get more of what they want?
Guardian Unlimited Apr 17, 2012 How to Pay No Taxes: 10 Strategies Used by the Rich
QUOTE: For those who can afford a shrewd accountant or attorney, our era is rife with opportunities to avoid—or at least defer—tax bills, according to tax specialists and public records. It’s limited only by the boundaries of taste, creativity, and the ability to understand some very complex shelters.
BusinessWeek Jan 24, 2012 In Address, Obama Makes Pitch for Economic Fairness
QUOTE: President Obama pledged on Tuesday night to use government power to balance the scale between America’s rich and the rest of the public, trying to present an election-year choice between continued leadership toward an economy “built to last” and what he called irresponsible policies of the past that caused an economic collapse.
New York Times Dec 22, 2011 A Christmas Message From America's Rich
QUOTE: The entire ethos of modern Wall Street, on the other hand, is complete indifference to all of these matters. The very rich on today’s Wall Street are now so rich that they buy their own social infrastructure. They hire private security, they live on gated mansions on islands and other tax havens, and most notably, they buy their own justice and their own government....nobody even minds that they are rich. What makes people furious is that they have stopped being citizens.
Rolling Stone Dec 18, 2011 Don’t Tax the Rich. Tax Inequality Itself. (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: we propose an automatic extra tax on the income of the top 1 percent of earners — a tax that would limit the after-tax incomes of this club to 36 times the median household income. Importantly, our Brandeis tax does not target excessive income per se; it only caps inequality....It is not a “claw back” tax. It merely assures that things don’t get worse.
New York Times Dec 13, 2011 I.R.S. Denied Lesbians Legitimate Adoption Credit
QUOTE: when several lesbians seeking to adopt a partner’s child received letters from the Internal Revenue Service that said they could not use the credit, they couldn’t help but wonder: Is the government choosing to recognize our unions only when it’s to the government’s benefit?
New York Times Dec 12, 2011 Amazon Denies It Has a Small-Business Problem (You're the Boss)
QUOTE: For years — since its inception — Amazon has been at implicit war with local brick-and-mortar stores. Last week, the implicit seemingly became explicit when Amazon began a promotion that encouraged customers to check out prices at local retailers and use a specially designed “Price Check” smartphone app to report what they found back to Amazon. Customers who then purchased the same item from Amazon received a 5 percent discount, up to $5.
New York Times Oct 21, 2011 What is the Right Solution for Internet Tax? New report says it would encourage competition and help consumers
QUOTE: ...Amazon is pulling the spotlight away from other online retailers, but he is also disturbed that it is making deals with politicians in order to eliminate its tax own burden. The online retailer has been negotiating with states to avoid or delay paying taxes in exchange for investment and jobs in those states.
WebProNews Jul 13, 2011 Amazon Takes On California
QUOTE: Amazon said this week that it would push a voter initiative in California that could eliminate sales tax for virtual sellers with only a modest physical presence in the state. Its move instantly escalated the company’s long-running battle with many states over collecting sales tax, taking the question directly to voters. And it has sharply intensified its dispute with physical retailers like Wal-Mart Stores and Target, which have vowed to fight the measure.
New York Times Jul 13, 2011 Amid Minnesota Crisis, Pawlenty Faces Scrutiny
QUOTE: ...Mr. Pawlenty’s fiscal record as governor is drawing closer scrutiny. And while Mr. Pawlenty did face economic and political challenges in balancing the state’s budget each year, his record includes what critics say was an overreliance on one-time accounting maneuvers that failed to address the underlying problems.
New York Times Jul 12, 2011 Rush to Defend Tax Rule on Inventory and Profits
QUOTE: the LIFO proposal — supported by the president’s deficit-reduction commission — would simplify the tax code and establish a standard method of calculating the cost of items that a company sells....at first glance the LIFO proposal looked like “an easy source of revenue.” But, he said, “it taxes illusory income, phantom profits that result from inflation.”
New York Times Jun 29, 2011 California targets Kindle lab in Amazon tax spat
QUOTE: Amazon.com said today that it's reluctantly severing ties with affiliates in California, a move that it hopes will let it continue shipping products to state residents without collecting sales taxes.... The measure says that any retailer who "through a subsidiary" has any "place of business" in California must collect sales taxes.
CNET Jun 23, 2011 Let’s Make a Deal, Amazon Tells Texas
QUOTE: Texas has granted sales tax rebates to companies on goods and services they buy, but has apparently never allowed one to stop collecting taxes from its own customers. The Texas Retailers Association blasted the proposed Amazon deal as a carve-out that would leave the state’s brick-and-mortar stores at a disadvantage to the giant Internet retailer.
New York Times May 20, 2011 For Gay Employees, an Equalizer
QUOTE: a growing number of companies have taken it upon themselves to make life a little more equal for their gay employees. These companies are reaching into their own pockets to pay for an extra tax that their gay employees owe on their partners’ health insurance — something that their married heterosexual co-workers don’t have to worry about because the federal government recognizes them as an economic unit.
New York Times May 12, 2011 I.R.S. Moves to Tax Gifts to Groups Active in Politics
QUOTE: Big donors like David H. Koch and George Soros could owe taxes on their millions of dollars in contributions to nonprofit advocacy groups that are playing an increasing role in American politics. Invoking a provision that had rarely, if ever, been enforced, the Internal Revenue Service said it had sent letters to five donors, who were not identified, informing them that their contributions may be subject to gift taxes depending on whether the donations exceeded limits under the tax laws.
New York Times May 11, 2011 Squeezed Cities Ask Nonprofits for More Money
QUOTE: As recession-racked cities struggle to balance their budgets with everything short of feeling behind sofa cushions for loose change, a growing number are seeking more money — just don’t use the word taxes — from nonprofit institutions that occupy valuable land but by law do not pay property taxes.
New York Times May 04, 2011 Raise Taxes, but Not Tax Rates
QUOTE: As the bipartisan fiscal commission appointed by President Obama stressed last year, tax revenues can be increased substantially by limiting the deductions, credits and exclusions that are essentially government spending by another name.
New York Times Apr 03, 2011 Bring Donors Out of the Shadows
QUOTE: The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t allow tax filers to write off their donations to politicians or parties, because that would mean Republicans would be subsidizing Democratic political efforts, and vice versa. So why should gifts that often seek the same outcomes through nonprofit organizations be treated differently?
New York Times Feb 11, 2011 Administration Calls for Cutting Aid to Home Buyers
QUOTE: The three ideas that the report outlines for replacing Fannie and Freddie all would raise the cost of mortgage loans and push homeownership beyond the reach of some families.
New York Times Jul 01, 2010 Change in IRS rules could block rewards for whistleblowers
QUOTE: When information from whistleblowers helps the IRS recover unpaid taxes, the informants are entitled to as much as 30 percent of the proceeds. However, the new manual explains that the tipster is out of luck if, instead of yielding a payment to the IRS, the tip stops a refund or reduces a credit.
Washington Post Jun 11, 2010 Confusion Over the Dormant Estate Tax Keeps Advisers Busy
QUOTE: THE disappearance of the federal estate tax this year has created confusion and frustration among the wealthy, even among those who stand to benefit from it.
New York Times May 19, 2010 Whistle-Blowers Become Investment Option for Hedge Funds
QUOTE: Informants who turn in tax cheats have to wait years to get their share of any reward from the I.R.S.’s recently expanded whistle-blower program. So hedge funds, private equity groups and other big investors...agreeing to buy a percentage of those future payouts in exchange for a smaller amount upfront to the whistle-blowers.
New York Times May 07, 2010 Seeking Lower Property Taxes on a House of Sinking Value
QUOTE: Challenging property taxes is becoming a national sport, as homeowners contend they are paying too much as their houses decline in value. Some, too, have lost their jobs or have seen their salaries cut and can no longer afford their hefty property taxes.
New York Times May 02, 2010 Cash-strapped states go online, hoping to tax sales
QUOTE: Online retailers are vehemently fighting the bills, filing lawsuits and severing business ties in states that have passed sales tax legislation. At stake is not only the small discount that many shoppers enjoy, but the low-price business model that fueled the explosive transformation of Amazon and Overstock.com into giants of the $130 billion e-commerce industry.
Washington Post Apr 21, 2010 VAT's benefits outweighed by politics, experts say
QUOTE: the hyperpartisan political atmosphere is narrowing the options for dealing with the chronic budget shortfall. The latest sign: the emphatic rejection by both parties in recent days of a value-added tax, a sales tax imposed by nearly every other developed nation.
Washington Post Apr 19, 2010 Amazon fights demand for customer records
QUOTE: Amazon.com filed a lawsuit on Monday to fend off a sweeping demand from North Carolina's tax collectors: detailed records including names and addresses of customers and information about exactly what they purchased.
CNET Mar 27, 2010 States Seeking Cash Hope to Expand Taxes to Services
QUOTE: few states have gone where political leaders in Michigan and Pennsylvania are now suggesting: adding scores of services to their states’ sales tax requirement and lowering the tax rate under a widened tax base.
New York Times Sep 16, 2009 When Work Doesn't Pay For The Middle Class: Middle-class folks are finding that a raise or second paycheck doesn't always mean living better. Time to work less?
QUOTE: Work isn't the only middle-class virtue that is getting punished. The system penalizes savings, too--not just through taxes, but also through programs that reward debtors, the profligate and college families that show up at the financial aid office with empty pockets. Yet another series of tax and benefit rules penalizes marriage.
Forbes Sep 11, 2009 Joe Wilson aftermath: Illegals get scrutiny in health reform: Current healthcare bills don’t explicitly mention how illegal immigrants would be treated under some important provisions.
QUOTE: Republicans in general charge that since none of the [healthcare] bills contain enforcement mechanisms to check that recipients of government subsidies are legal, illegal immigrants would be able to sneak into the system and get US cash [for healthcare subsidies] anyway.
Christian Science Monitor Sep 06, 2009 IRS asked to repeal cell phone tax: Businesses are urging the IRS to cease taxing the personal use of work-issued cell phones.
QUOTE: A message is being conveyed by lobbying groups for a wide array of industries... cell phones are so ubiquitous and have become such an essential business tool that it’s nearly impossible to keep track of the line between professional and personal use [to document for income tax purposes].
Hill Aug 27, 2009 A national shame: Malnutrition in Guatemala
QUOTE: according to Unicef almost half of Guatemala’s children are chronically malnourished—the sixth-worst performance in the world.
Economist Aug 23, 2009 Calls to tax junk food gain ground: A surcharge on cigarettes has helped curb smoking, but will the same tactic work to fight obesity?
QUOTE: To make a significant dent in escalating rates of obesity, taxes would have to be steep and widespread.
Los Angeles Times Aug 17, 2009 Tax Bills Put Pressure on Struggling Homeowners
QUOTE: in recent years struggling cities and counties have sold their delinquent tax bills to the highest bidder... But housing advocates say the private companies may be exacerbating the foreclosure crisis, pushing out homeowners faster than would governments, which are increasingly concerned about neighborhoods becoming wastelands of abandoned properties.
New York Times Jul 29, 2009 Smoking bans, taxes burn cigar makers
QUOTE: The rise in smoking bans across the country and a unprecedented hike in taxes on tobacco are proving to be crippling [for cigar makers].
USA TODAY Jul 06, 2009 Paying for healthcare overhaul may fall unevenly on states: States such as New York are most likely to pay higher taxes to fund expanded coverage but have less to gain, policy analysts say.
QUOTE: Some of the "bluest" states that propelled Obama into the White House are among those most likely to pay more in taxes to fund expanded health insurance coverage and make other changes to the system, analysts say.
Los Angeles Times Jul 04, 2009 Tax Bill Appeals Take Rising Toll on Governments
QUOTE: Homeowners across the country are challenging their property tax bills in droves as the value of their homes drop, threatening local governments with another big drain on their budgets.
New York Times Jun 19, 2009 Tax Breaks Under the Microscope: Should nonprofit hospitals be forced to stop behaving like greedy corporations?
QUOTE: $93.5 billion in federal subsidies are provided every year [to nonprofit hospitals] in the form of tax breaks. But research shows that nonprofit hospitals behave no differently from for-profit ones. And in some cases, nonprofits have been caught mistreating the poor for the sake of financial gains.
Slate Jun 18, 2009 The future of broadband And access for all: Fast internet for everyone, and a new tax to help pay for it
QUOTE: Spending public money on whizzy new networks appeals to technophiles, but the benefits are not clear for others.
Economist Jun 12, 2009 IRS Seeks to Simplify Workers' Cellphone Tax Law
QUOTE: the Internal Revenue Service is weighing whether a portion of a work-related cellphone bill should be taxed as income....The law was designed to prevent employees from using employee-issued cellphones for personal calls and then writing them off as a work-related tax deduction.
Washington Post Mar 07, 2009 Mortgage Fraud Case Poses Federal Quandary
QUOTE: she [Waver Brickhouse] fell behind on her mortgage payments and turned to a so-called rescue firm, which, court papers allege, tricked her into signing away the deed to her Brooklyn home. She says the company, Home Savers Consulting, secretly sold her home, with the help of a mortgage from IndyMac Federal Bank, and ran up huge new debts. ...faces a new problem. She must convince the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which last year took control of IndyMac, now insolvent, that her mortgage payments should not include at least $150,000 tacked on by fraud.
New York Times Mar 02, 2009 Instant tax 'refunds' come under fire: States crack down on high-interest tax loans.
QUOTE: For years, consumer advocacy groups have warned against so-called "instant" or "same-day" [tax] refunds. The reason: these refunds are actually bank loans, and they often bring exorbitant fees.
Christian Science Monitor Dec 15, 2008 Executive Pay Limits May Prove Toothless: Loophole in Bailout Provision Leaves Enforcement in Doubt
QUOTE: Congress wanted to guarantee that the $700 billion financial bailout would limit the eye-popping pay of Wall Street executives, so lawmakers included a mechanism for reviewing executive compensation and penalizing firms that break the rules. But at the last minute, the Bush administration insisted on a one-sentence change to the provision...Now, however, the small change looks more like a giant loophole...
Washington Post Nov 10, 2008 A Quiet Windfall For U.S. Banks: With Attention on Bailout Debate, Treasury Made Change to Tax Policy
QUOTE: ...Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion. The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill.
Washington Post Sep 19, 2008 New taxes on your monthly cell phone bill?
QUOTE: Local governments are seeking new sources of tax revenue by eyeing their residents' monthly cell phone bills. Congress would like to block that, which has sparked a debate in Washington about federalism, tax policy, and fairness.
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