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A Billionaire Saves, Two Words Disappear, and Three Provisions Protect

There’s more than one way to skin a cat (and reduce taxes). Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has made a swap for Procter & Gamble’s interest in Duracell. The “cash-rich split-off” means that Berkshire Hathaway bought Duracell in exchange for its appreciated P&G stock, worth $4.7 billion. Show More Summary

Will Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Kill Tax Reform? Hint: You Can’t Kill Something That’s Already Dead

The latest narrative making the rounds in Washington is that President Obama will kill prospects for tax reform in 2015 if he grants legal status to undocumented immigrants though an executive order. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)...Show More Summary

Navajo lawmakers approve 2% sales tax on snacks, sodas

Is an anti-soda trend finally getting a foothold? Berkeley, California, voters on Nov. 4 approved a tax on sugary beverages. That 1 cent per ounce levy will begin Jan. 1, 2015. Heading east across the San Francisco Bay, a majority of San Franciscans also supported a soda tax. Show More Summary

Obamacare’s Contradictory Tax Incentives

MIT Economist Jonathan Gruber, an architect of the Affordable Care Act, has been in the news lately for several comments on the design of the health care bill. One such story includes some remarks on the Cadillac Tax, a tax levied on employer-provided health plans. Show More Summary

An Introduction to Forms of Business Organization and Taxation

There are five basic legal forms of business structures found in the United States: C corporations, S corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). In order to understand business income taxes, we can start with how the business forms are different. Show More Summary

Get the Fiscal House in Order

54 minutes agoBusiness & Finance / Taxes : TaxVox

The Cato Institute has organized an online forum to debate pro-growth economic policy reforms. Tax Policy Center scholars Bill Gale, Donald Marron, and Eric Toder have each contributed to the discussion. As policy makers search for ways...Show More Summary

Which States Adjust Their Income Tax Brackets for Inflation?

One important common-sense taxpayer protection in the federal income tax code is inflation-indexing. Inflation indexing means that tax brackets (and other important dollar-amount features of the individual income tax, like standard deductions or personal exemptions) are revised annually to reflect price increases that result from inflation. Show More Summary

Zelinsky: The Giving Pledge and Reform of the Estate Tax Charitable Deduction

Edward A. Zelinsky (Cardozo), Why the Buffett-Gates Giving Pledge Requires Limitation of the Estate Tax Charitable Deduction, 16 Fla. Tax Rev. 393 (2014): The Buffett-Gates Giving Pledge, under which wealthy individuals promise to leave a majority of their assets to charity, is an admirable effort to encourage philanthropy. However, the...

Maine's Governor Proposes to Replace the Income Tax with a Broader Sales Tax

After winning reelection this month, Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage, announced that he wants to completely eliminate the state’s individual income tax. He would replace the lost revenue by broadening the sales tax base. This sort of swap is generally good tax policy. Show More Summary

FATCA, Automatic Information Exchange, and the End of Financial Privacy

This week Switzerland became the 52nd country to sign an OECD initiative which will enable automatic exchange of financial account information among the tax authorities of each country. That is, no more bank secrecy in Switzerland, an...Show More Summary

Number of Ultra Rich Increased 6% in 2014

Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2014: 12,040 new ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals were minted this year, pushing the global UHNW population to a record 211,275, a 6% increase from 2013. The combined wealth of the world’s UHNW individuals – defined as those with US$30 million and...

95 Percent of Businesses Pay Taxes at Individual Tax Rates

In number of firms, pass-throughs are the dominant business type, with over 30 million tax returns in 2011. Pass-throughs are unique in that all pass-through business income is taxed at individual tax rates. Over the last 30 years, the number of pass-throughs has increased substantially. Show More Summary

Tax Roundup, 11/20/14: ACA and filing season pessimism revisited.

Programming note: The Tax Update will take tomorrow off. I will be in Phoenix tomorrow on a panel on state film tax […]

New Chairs, New Resistance, and Maybe, New Taxes

As expected: Paul Ryan will succeed Dave Camp as House Ways & Means Chair. Representative Kevin Brady removed himself from consideration earlier this week, though he had more committee seniority. The full House GOP conference approved...Show More Summary

Pepperdine/Tax Analysts Symposium Papers: Tax Reform in a Time of Crisis

Here are links to the eleven published papers from the Pepperdine/Tax Analysts Symposium on Tax Reform in a Time of Crisis (Jan. 17, 2014): Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.), Nonprofits and Political Activity: Lessons From England and Canada, 142 Tax Notes 1114 (2014) Joseph Bankman (Stanford) & Paul L. Caron (Pepperdine),...

Sander: The Mismatch Critique of Law School Affirmative Action Programs and Its Critics

Richard Sander (UCLA), Mismatch and the Empirical Scholars Brief, 48 Val. U. L. Rev. 555 (2014): In April 2013, the Valparaiso University Law Review held a symposium on diversity in legal education, commemorating the contributions of Justice Randall Shepard and featuring a number of distinguished speakers. I was invited to...

Seven Companies Spent More on CEO Pay Than Federal Taxes

Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government, Fleecing Uncle Sam: A Growing Number of Corporations Spend More on Executive Compensation Than Federal Income Taxes: Of America’s 30 largest corporations, seven (23 percent) paid their CEOs more than they paid in federal income taxes last year. All seven...

Drexel 3L With Asperger's Syndrome Sues Philadelphia Law Firms For Relying on U.S. News Rankings in Hiring Decisions

Dave Hoffman (Temple) blogs lawsuits by William Hanrahan, a Drexel 3L with Asperger's Syndrome ranked #4 in his class, claiming that three big Philadelphia law firms discriminate against disabled candidates by unduly relying on the U.S. News ranking of a job candidate's law school: I’m not an expert in this...

GAO Report on 'Supersize' IRAs

Following up on my previous posts: The Story Behind Mitt Romney's $100 Million IRA Romney-Sized IRAs Get Scrutiny as Government Studies Tax Breaks Congress, GAO Target ‘Supersize’ IRAs GAO, IRS Could Bolster Enforcement on Multimillion Dollar Accounts, but More Direction from Congress Is Needed (GAO-15-16): For tax year 2011 (the...

The IRS Scandal, Day 560

American Spectator: The Lois Lerner Curve: How Anti-corruption Laws Cause Even More Corruption: Corrupt countries, where the rule of law is weak and political pilfering is common, are poor countries. Entrepreneurs and investors cannot safely start or finance businesses in states that don’t respect property rights and honor contracts, or...

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