Tag Archives: taxation

India: Police arrest alleged kingpin of US tax scam

Source: Express Tribune [Pakistan]

"Indian police said on Saturday they had arrested the suspected mastermind behind a call center scam run out of a Mumbai suburb that targeted thousands of Americans and netted more than $300 million.
Sagar Thakkar, 24, also known as Shaggy, was arrested at Mumbai’s international airport in the early hours of Saturday after he flew in from Dubai, Mukund Hatote, a police officer on the case, told Reuters. In October, the US Justice Department charged more than 60 people in India and the United States with participating in the huge scam where call center agents impersonated Internal Revenue Service, immigration or other federal officials and demanded payments for non-existent debts." [editor's note: Damn, I was hoping they meant one of the kingpins of the REAL US tax scam, like maybe the head of the IRS! – TLK] (04/09/17)


White House: Trump not considering VAT, carbon tax

Source: US News & World Report

"The White House on Tuesday said it not currently considering a value-added tax and a carbon tax as part of a planned tax code overhaul as it searches for ways to fund a major tax cut. The Washington Post had reported the White House was considering the VAT and carbon tax reforms Tuesday, citing an unidentified administration official and a person briefed on the matter. 'The president's team is hearing input from experts on all sides of the tax reform debate as we formulate what will ultimately be the president's plan to enact the first significant tax reform since 1986. As of now, neither a carbon tax nor a VAT are under consideration,' said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters." (04/04/17)


The US tax code: Welfare for accountants

Eric Schuler

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Eric Schuler

"Each year around this time, Americans go through the unpleasant tradition of gathering up their paperwork, transferring numbers from one set of government forms to another, and answering countless obscure questions — all to determine just how much of their hard-earned money is going to be taken by the government this time around. For most of us, it's an experience that ranks right up there near going to the dentist. (And upon writing it, I fear this comparison might be unfair to the dentists.) Fortunately for us, a whole industry of accountants has sprung up to help us navigate this onerous tax system. Less fortunately for us, these same accountants and companies also lobby to ensure the tax system stays at least as irritating as it is today." (04/04/17)


Mnuchin wants to feed the slimiest creature in the entire swamp

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Brittany Hunter

"Tax Day is only a few weeks away, which means it's that time of the year when the country actually stands united in its hatred of governmental theft for a few weeks, before retreating back to their ideological corners to commence political warfare as usual. Loathing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not an exclusive to libertarians and limited government activists. In fact, the IRS is probably the most hated government agency of them all. And given the long list of disreputable options to choose from, garnering that title is extremely impressive. Unfortunately for the prospects of tax relief, President Donald Trump, the newly elected 'man of the people' who vowed to drain the proverbial swamp of all corruption upon taking up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, nominated a Treasury Secretary who wants to make that swamp a little wider." (04/03/17)


Bad medicine on "carried interest"

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

"President Donald Trump, the great negotiator who couldn’t persuade Republicans to vote for a Republican health-care plan, has suggested that he’ll be teaming up with the Democrats to develop an alternative. On the matter of entitlement reform, he has promised to out-Schumer Chuck Schumer. One is interesting, two is coincidence, and three is a trend, which brings us to the very large tax increase President Trump is proposing — one that many Democrats, notably Hillary Rodham Clinton, have long supported. The 'carried-interest loophole' is a misunderstood and often misrepresented feature of U.S. tax law. To begin with, it isn’t a loophole at all: It is an intentionally designed feature of the tax code functioning as intended — it may be good or it may be bad, but it is the way it is for a reason, and it did not get that way by accident." (03/30/17)


Government spending limits protect against invasion of taxmen

Source: Heartland Institute
by Jesse Hathaway

"No one knows exactly from where they come, but they descend like a horde of locusts, consuming resources people have labored all year to gather. Tasked with serving the 'collective,' they take our resources without providing anything in return and then return from wherever they came. Who are they? They're the taxmen, and they're coming to take your money. Instead of setting the taxmen free to scour taxpayers' wallets for increasingly more money, state lawmakers should limit how much the government can spend and demand accountability." (03/29/17)


Why tax reform isn't going to be any easier

Source: Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner

"Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin insists that tax reform will be easy. 'Health care is a very, very complicated issue,' Mnuchin recently told a group of financial journalists. 'In a way, [tax reform is] a lot simpler. It really is.' Um, no it's not. If tax reform were easy, we would have done it long ago, especially given the widespread agreement that our tax code is opaque, cumbersome, inefficient, and riddled with inequities. Yet, the U.S. has gone more than three decades, encompassing four presidents, since the last time we seriously reformed taxes. There's a reason for that." (03/29/17)


Transforming National Insurance

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Madsen Pirie

"The now-withdrawn proposal to raise National Insurance rates for self-employed people from 9% to first 10% and then 11% has achieved one positive thing. It has drawn attention to the absurdity of the dual system of income tax and national insurance. Dan Hannan's piece in the International Business Times makes the point that the retention of National Insurance is done to conceal how much tax people are paying. He says people would be very angry if they knew that in addition to their basic rate of income tax at 20%, their National Insurance payments took it to a very much higher level. He is correct, but an honest government should let people know what tax they are paying, even if it changes their readiness to submit to tax increases." (03/15/17)


Trump calls tax return release "fake news"

Source: New York Post

"President Trump called the partial release of his 2005 tax return 'fake news' — and used his own Twitter account Wednesday morning to throw shade on the reporter who broke the story and NBC News for promoting it. 'Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, 'went to his mailbox' and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!' Trump said on Twitter. … The form shows Trump made $150 million that year and also paid $38 million taxes." (03/15/17)


Sugar, honey, honey — the weighty problem of obesity and substitution

Source: Cobden Centre
by Colin Lloyd

"In last week's Spring Budget, UK Chancellor, Philip Hammond, introduced a Sugar Tax on fizzy drinks. He confirmed that the tax would be levied in two bands: one of 18p/L for drinks with 5 grams of sugar per 100ml; and a higher band of 24p/L for those containing more than 8g per 100ml. He went on to say that it would be unlikely to raise the initially expected level of revenue because the manufacturers were reducing the level of sugar in these products already in order to avoid the tax. While this may sound like a success story in the fight against obesity it will fail due to substitution." (03/15/17)