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Federal Tax Law

Income Tax

Report: IRS installment plan hold time was 47 minutes in 2017

Man on phone picture by Photo by on Unsplash

The IRS’ Taxpayer Advocate has released its review of the 2017 filing season (PDF).

While noting that tax filing was relatively hassle-free for those who did not require assistance from the IRS, the Advocate found that “results were mixed” for taxpayers who sought help from the agency. Continue reading “Report: IRS installment plan hold time was 47 minutes in 2017” »

Corporate Tax Research Papers

Paper: A moral view of tax planning

Starbucks photo by Hans Vivek.

A pair of Dutch lawyers have an interesting new article out called “Good Tax Governance: A Matter of Moral Responsibility and Transparency.”

In the article, Hans Gribnau and Ave-Geidi Jallai of Tilburg Law School discuss how aggressive tax planning may disadvantage multinational corporations by causing resentment among consumers.

The professors write that because the public views tax avoidance in moral rather than legal terms, the bad PR associated with aggressive tax planning strategies must be a key consideration for implementing a tax planning strategy. Continue reading “Paper: A moral view of tax planning” »

Estate Tax Federal Tax Law

ProPublica: How real estate developers can avoid gift taxes

Picture of New York City and Rockefeller Center, NY, by Florian Giorgio via Unsplash.

From ProPublica:Here’s How Trump Transferred Wealth to His Son While Avoiding the Usual Taxes.”

Eric Trump bought the two condos on the two top floors of the Trump Parc East building at 100 Central Park South for $350,000 each. Trump Organization filings show that, as of February 2016 — two months before Trump sold the apartments to Eric — the condos were priced at $790,000 and $800,000. A similar one-bedroom condo on a lower floor at the same building sold for $690,000 in 2014.

The transactions illustrate the unique advantages that real estate developers like Trump have when passing down valuable assets between generations.

“Not everyone has the opportunity to avoid gift taxes, just developers with developer units,” said Beth Shapiro Kaufman, an estate planning attorney and president at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C. “The biggest game in gift taxes is valuation issues.”

Continue reading “ProPublica: How real estate developers can avoid gift taxes” »

Daily Federal Tax Law

Gleckman: What Team Trump Didn’t Tell Us About His Tax Plan

Photo: The White House by Srikanta H. U via Unsplash

From Tax Vox:What Team Trump Didn’t Tell Us About His Tax Plan.”

When President Reagan first introduced his version of what would become the landmark 1986 tax reform, his staff kicked off the debate with a phone book-sized description that become known as Treasury I. And for every recent president who proposed tax changes as part of his budget, the Treasury staff described those ideas in hundreds of pages of detail in what’s called the Green Book.

Yet when President Trump proposed what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described as “the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country,” we got one page of bullet points—double spaced.

Continue reading “Gleckman: What Team Trump Didn’t Tell Us About His Tax Plan” »

Income Tax

OECD Report: Income taxes in the U.S. are relatively low

Photo of 20 dollars by Vitaly, Sand City, United States - via Unsplash

Americans love to gripe about income tax rates, particularly in April.

However a new report indicates that U.S. tax rates aren’t that high compared to other developed countries.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its annual Taxing Wages report yesterday. The study finds that the tax burden of U.S. workers is below average on a global scale.

The average single U.S. worker with no children paid a 32 percent overall tax rate in 2016 compared to the OECD aver of 36 percent. Continue reading “OECD Report: Income taxes in the U.S. are relatively low” »