Fix The Tax Code Friday: Averting A Shutdown

It’s Fix The Tax Code Friday! Earlier this week, Forbes contributor Stan Collender boosted his estimate of the chance that there will be a government shutdown from 67% to 75%. Those odds might have gone up even more. Today, Speaker John A. Boehner’s (R-OH) announced that he would step down at the end of October, … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: Letting Go Of Tax Deductions

It’s Fix The Tax Code Friday! One of the points that was stressed repeatedly in the presidential debates is the complexity of the Tax Code. Almost all candidates agree that some kind of tax reform is needed but there are differing views of what that reform should look like (you can see a brief overview … Read more

Fix The Tax Code Friday: Structuring

It’s Fix The Tax Code Friday! This week, there has been a lot of focus on structuring following several high profile cases that made news, including charges against former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Structuring occurs when large transactions are broken into smaller ones in order to avoid bank reporting requirements which kick in … Read more

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