Fix The Tax Code Friday: State Tax Policy Versus The Feds

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court struck down Maryland’s personal income tax scheme as unconstitutional because it discriminated against interstate commerce “without regard to the tax policies of other States.” A great deal of the opinion hinged on the notion of the dormant Commerce Clause, which, as spelled out in the opinion, prohibits “certain state … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: What Should We Do About The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

Warren Buffett was in the news again for suggesting that rather than raise the minimum wage, we should tackle the income gap through tax policy. Specifically, Buffett recommended modifying (likely expanding) the earned income tax credit (EITC). The EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit targeted to low to moderate income working individuals and … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: NFL, Money & Tax Exempt Status

Earlier this week, the National Football League (NFL) announced that it would voluntarily give up its tax exempt status. The NFL has been tax exempt since 1942 under section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code which grants tax exempt status to organizations with a goal “to promote the common business interest” with activities “directed to … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: Should We Repeal The Federal Estate Tax?

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to kill the federal estate tax with a vote of 240-179 in favor of H.R. 1105. This week, the bill headed to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. What is certain is that the federal estate tax is unpopular. It’s consistently ranked at the top of … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: Delaying Tax Refunds To Stop Fraud

Tax fraud was in the news a lot this tax season. Many taxpayers kept asking why the bad guys were able to steal so much money so quickly. Part of the answer may be complicated, involving sophisticated hacking schemes. But part of the answer isn’t so complicated: our tax system practically invites fraud because of … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: Time To Ditch Itemized Deductions?

I do a lot of radio and other interviews this time of year and inevitably I’m asked why doing your taxes is so complicated. My answer is predictable, “The Tax Code is too complicated.” Of course, that’s easy to say. And the proof is easy to find. The National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson agrees, … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: Should IRS File Your Return For You?

(Author’s note: It’s back! My former “Fix The Tax Code” feature encouraged you, as the reader, to chime in. After a brief hiatus, it’s back. I hope you’ll play along.) Each tax season, as taxpayers struggle over do-it-yourself returns and grumble about the costs of hiring a tax professional, there are calls to make returns … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: Buffett’s Tax Advice

It’s Fix the Tax Code Friday! This week, Warren Buffett continued to be all over the news for his statements about taxes for the very wealthy. In case you’ve missed it, Buffett has amped up the rhetoric on tax reform by suggesting that those in higher brackets benefit disproportionately from existing breaks in the Tax … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: Tinkering With The Gas Tax

This week, from Bachmann to Obama, the focus has been on prices at the pump. It’s been suggested that a steep drop in gas prices would kick start an economic recovery. If that’s true, the question is how to make that happen. Realistically, the U.S. government only has so much control over the price of … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: Lesser Of Tax Evils?

This month, Philadelphia voted to raise property taxes rather than impose a controversial sales tax on soda and sugary drinks, while New York won another round on its efforts to collect excise taxes from cigarettes sold by Indian nations. Other cities and states have struggled with similar questions when it comes to raising revenue. So today’s … Read more