Category Archives: IRS

Trump Income Tax Short Form

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Two pages of the 2005 Donald Trump income tax return fell in to the hands of Rachel Maddow last week. On her show she played it for all it was worth. It turns out it was worth about $38 million to Uncle Sam in taxes paid on an income of $150 million. That’s an effective rate of  about 25%. The revelation made The Donald look good compared to accusations that he doesn’t pay any income taxes at all.

It also made him look good compared to Barack Obama’s 2015 effective rate of 18.5%, Bernie Sanders 2014 effective rate of 13.5%, and Mitt Romney’s 2011 rate of 14.1%

Even Van Jones called it a good night for Donald Trump.

The purloined returns showed up in the mailbox of journalist David Cay Johnston. He says he knows nothing. Revealing private income tax information is a felony.

Trump denies that he had anything to do with it.

Government Email Hackers

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Or should I say “hacks”? A federal judge on Friday reopened a lawsuit to force Hillary to turn over more government email from her secret stash. Two weeks ago 6,400 missing emails turned up from Lois Lerner’s crashed computer at IRS.

Tax Hacks

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The IRS is underpaid and overworked. So says Commissioner John Koskinen. Maybe that’s why some employees are fast and loose with your personal tax information.

Bystander President

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Reagan was the Teflon president. He had an easy charm and nothing bad seemed to stick. Obama is the bystander president. He reads about bad things that happen on his watch as if they had nothing to do with him. He’s just like you and me, sitting at the bar madder’n hell. Except he gets to go on TV and complain. At least I get to draw a cartoon.

Economic Patriotism

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President Obama’s favorite billionaire is making a run for the border. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will finance Burger King’s purchase of Canadian donut dynamo, Tim Hortons.

Economic Patriotism

As a Canadian operation, Burger King will still have to pay US corporate taxes on earnings inside the United States. But earnings outside the US will only be taxed at the rate of the country where they occur. US companies have to pay taxes in the countries where they operate and also must pay IRS the difference between those rates and the US rate. The Obama administration calls this economic patriotism.

Burger King’s move is called a tax “inversion”. Matt Levine gives a great explanation in this Bloomberg article.

The US corporate rate, including state and local taxes comes to about 40%. That’s the highest in the world outside the Islamic State jizya. Roberto A. Ferdman provides a nice chart in the Washington Post showing the tax rates of the 34 OECD countries.

The nominal corporate tax rate in the U.S., which combines national, state, and city-level tax rates, is nearly 40 percent—the highest across all 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. Canada’s, by comparison, is just over 26 percent.