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Category: Taxes

  • TPA's Tricks and Treats for 2016

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on October 24, 2016


    Halloween is almost here! Families across America will soon be ready to celebrate with candy, costumes, and fun! The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is preparing for the “scary season” in a much different way by watching what government has done to spook taxpayers this past year. You guessed it, it’s time for TPA’s annual Taxpayer Tricks and Treats! This year, there’s no shortage for taxpayers to be terrified by with wasteful spending, missed opportunities, and the frightening prospect of lawmakers returning for some last minute scares!  Not to worry, there were some treats. They weren’t easy to find, but we found some. And, we wrapped up the list with items that were tricks and treats.  ENJOY!!

    Click 'read more' below to see the 2016 Tricks and Treats!

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  • Tax Reform Turns 30 — Celebrate by Doing It All Over Again

    David Williams on October 21, 2016


    This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on October 19, 2016

    Thirty years is a long time, especially considering how much can happen in that time span. For example, the phrase “iPhone” was just poor grammar and “tweeting” was exclusively for birds. Yet, with all the changes and advancements in the world and in the United States, taxpayers are saddled with a tax code that hasn’t been overhauled since 1986. Comprehensive tax reform and bipartisanship is possible. On October 22, 1986, Congress and the White House came together in a rare display of bicameral, bipartisan cooperation to pass comprehensive tax reform. Republican President Ronald Reagan worked with a split Congress (Republican Senate and Democrat House) to accomplish the largest overhaul of the tax code in the United States. The anniversary of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 provides a perfect opportunity to make the case once again for a major overhaul of our tax system.

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  • 30 Years is Too Long to Wait For Tax Reform – Part IV: A Look Back At Tax Day 2016 and TPA's Hill Briefing

    Michi Iljazi on October 20, 2016


    In just a few days, it will be the 30th anniversary for the last time comprehensive tax reform was passed. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has used this week to highlight individual and corporate tax reform (click here and here), and new Treasury regulations and the Death Tax (click here). Today, TPA presents a look back at two videos focused on tax reform with the 2016 Tax Day "Man on the Street" video and the Hill Briefing on Tax Reform from July.

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  • 30 Years is Too Long to Wait For Tax Reform – Part II: Corporate Tax Reform

    Michi Iljazi on October 18, 2016


    This week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is focusing on the 30th Anniversary of the last time comprehensive tax reform was passed.  We started the series with a look at tax reform for individuals (click here).  With a corporate tax rate exceeding 39 percent (the highest in the developed world), reforming the corporate tax code is essential to strengthening the economy and keeping businesses from leaving the United States. The high corporate tax rate is having a devastating effect on the ability of the United States to compete in a rapidly changing global economy. At nearly 40 percent, the corporate tax rate has been the highest in the developed world since April of 2012. The worldwide average is just below 23 percent.  So, not only does the U.S. hold the dubious distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate, that current rate is well above the global average making it more difficult to compete with other nations.

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  • 30 Years is Too Long to Wait For Tax Reform – Part I: Individual Taxes

    Michi Iljazi on October 17, 2016


    Saturday October 22nd marks three decades since the last time comprehensive tax reform was passed. Throughout the week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) will be using the anniversary to remind lawmakers on Capitol Hill, as well as the Presidential candidates, that tax reform is important and long overdue. Any serious talk about tax reform has to start with individual tax reform. The complexity of the tax code is a major issue for individuals as the tax code has increased from 409,000 words in 1955, to 2.4 million words today.  The increasing complexity costs taxpayers billions of dollars and hours each year as compliance takes up time and money. A recent analysis from the National Taxpayers Union found that the time spent on 1040 form individual filings amounted to nearly 2 billion hours, totaling $64.6 billion in lost productivity.

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  • The EU's Dangerous Quest for Tax Harmonisation Ignores That Corporation Tax Itself is Obsolete

    Alex Wild on October 3, 2016


    Alex Wild is the Reasearch Director at The TaxPayers' Alliance. This article was originally published in City A.M. on August 30, 2016

    Most governments would love to get their hands on an extra €13bn (£11.1bn) from a multinational company. But the Irish government will likely be wrangling in court for many years at what will surely be considerable expense in a somewhat unusual bid to avoid collecting tax. The European Commission has ordered what is by far the largest recovery order in EU history by deciding that Ireland gave Apple tax benefits illegal under EU state aid rules. Essentially, it has concluded that two rulings by the Irish tax authorities, in 1991 and 2007, endorsed an allocation of profits within two of Apple’s Irish subsidiaries that had “no factual or economic justification”. The Commission believes these advantages were not available to all companies in Ireland.

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  • New Treasury Rules Could Mean Windfall for Big Banks

    David Williams on September 12, 2016

    United States Treasury Department (Washington, D.C.)

    With only a few weeks left until Congress once again goes on hiatus, there is quite a laundry list of items members must tackle before September 30th. However, there is one item in the pipeline that may seem like “inside baseball” to the average taxpayer but should become a top priority for lawmakers this month, as it could have serious consequences for the U.S. economy and taxpayers Late last week, InsideSources highlighted the unintended consequences of the Treasury Department’s new proposed rules aimed at industrial corporations as part of an aggressive effort by the Obama Administration to fight international tax avoidance. While the new rules have been a point of contention for quite some time, the article published by the investigative news source actually introduces the argument that this rule could not only hurt American business, but “end up benefiting large banks on Wall Street and elsewhere in the world.”

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  • The Facts Behind CFR Tax Claims That Would Actually Hurt the U.S. Economy

    David Williams on August 31, 2016


    This month, the Council on Foreign Relations released a new report calculating the impacts of removing three standard business tax deductions from America’s oil and gas industry – or as they claim instituting “tax reform.” However, careful review of the study shows that many of the arguments are seriously flawed, especially when it comes to the characterization of these tax provisions and their actual impacts on America’s secure energy future. Here are the three facts behind some of the claims made by CFR.

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  • Back to School for Many, Back to Tax Increase Proposals in California

    Michi Iljazi on August 16, 2016


    Growth of government continues to be a problem not just at the federal level but also in many states around the country. Some of the worst growth in government is usually paid for through excise taxes on products like soda, tobacco, and alcohol. These taxes are harmful to the middle class because they never raise the projected revenue.  And, in the case of tobacco taxes, illicit activity increases when taxes are high. Proposition 56 (Prop 56), a $2 per pack cigarette tax increase in California, will be on the ballot and could be a fiscal and legal nightmare for the state.  Proponents of Prop 56 claim the new tax will help public safety and raise revenues. In reality however, it is nothing more than a $1.4 billion tax increase meant to fund more government bureaucracy and provide a bailout to specific industries while subverting existing law in the state and neglecting the real problems that Californians face.

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  • Philadelphia Creates New Taxpayer Funded Position After Creating Soda Tax

    Michi Iljazi on August 2, 2016


    Excise taxes are among the most harmful taxes imposed on lower and middle- income people.  And, unfortunately, state and local governments have a strong penchant for implementing these burdensome taxes. In addition to disproportionately affecting people, they also harm small businesses, and rarely (if ever) generate the projected revenue that many of the proponents say they will.  Knowing all of these concerns, these taxes still frequently pass in cities all across the country, including Philadelphia, Pa. where a new soda tax was passed. The new Sweetened Beverage Tax, will impose a 1.5 cents-per-ounce tax on more than 1,000 beverages and will go into effect on January 1, 2017. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) strongly opposed the tax as it was being debated.  TPA was part of a broad coalition that urged the city council not to adopt Mayor Kenny’s new tax. In fact, the coalition (led by Capitol Allies) sent a letter to the city council before the vote laying out all the problems that the tax would place on families all across the city of Philadelphia.

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  • Tax Reform Blueprint Sets the Stage for 2017

    David Williams on July 15, 2016


    This article originally appeared in Morning Consult on July 14, 2016

    Today, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will hold a public hearing where multiple stakeholders will give their input on Treasury’s recently proposed rules and their potential impact.  For those unfamiliar, Treasury announced early this spring that, in an effort to combat corporate inversions, it would propose that under Section 385 of the Internal Revenue Code, related intercompany debt could re-defined as equity, changing the tax consequences of the transaction. Business groups along with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have warned Treasury about the broad reach of the rules, which will sweep up even companies with no intention to move abroad.  The groups and Congress also warned about the consequences of increased business costs and that the new rules would be an obstacle to job and economic growth.

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  • TPA Hosts Bipartisan Tax Reform Hill Briefing

    Michi Iljazi on July 8, 2016

    House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) 

    Yesterday, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) held a briefing on Capitol Hill on comprehensive tax reform titled “Independence Day 2.0: Freedom from our outdated tax code.”  There was a lot of interest in the event which is not surprising because tax reform is one of the largest policy discussions happening today. While everyone has a different opinion on how it should be accomplished, there is one thing that nearly all of us can agree on and that is that comprehensive tax reform is long overdue. The event began with opening remarks from TPA President David Williams and a short clip of TPA’s 2016 Tax Day Man on the Street video (you can see the full version here). The video showed attendees and members of Congress that working Americans are frustrated and Congress to fix the broken tax code. Two distinguished members of Congress, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), spoke at the briefing. Chairman Brady laid out specific details of the tax reform blueprint that he released just a few weeks ago. Chairman Brady stressed the key components of the blueprint including simplifying the code, reducing the corporate tax rate, reforming the IRS, and repealing the death tax.  Rep. Flores (R-Texas) discussed the need for comprehensive tax reform and introduced one of the panelists, Rebecca Boenigk.

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  • TPA Urges Both Political Parties to Unite and Pass Tax Reform

    David Williams on July 7, 2016


    This article originally appeared in The Hill on July 7, 2016

    For the last 30 years, the American people have had to endure a tax system that is overly complicated and stifles the growth and opportunity for workers, business owners, and entrepreneurs. If the United States plans on continuing to be the predominant global economic power, the tax code needs a complete overhaul with new ideas that simplify the entire process and lowers rates across the board so we can unburden taxpayers and allow citizens to live the American Dream. Simply put, we need comprehensive tax reform and we need it as soon as possible.

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  • Blueprint from Chairman Brady Gives Needed Momentum on Tax Reform

    Michi Iljazi on June 24, 2016

    House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas)

    Comprehensive tax reform is long overdue.  In fact, the last time there was comprehensive tax reform (1986) Ferris Bueller's Day Off was the number one movie in the United States.  Tax reform is not only long overdue, but it is also an important component to jump starting the economy. A terrible jobs report, rising costs, stagnant wages for working families, and a Congress that seems to be paralyzed with inaction much of the year give credence to the message that elected officials need to come together and fix the broken tax code. There is a plan to fix to tax code.  House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) unveiled a tax reform blueprint (click here) that will serve as the platform for a meaningful conversation on tax reform. The goal is to get the ideas for how tax reform can be done in Congress on the table, and keep the discussions going this year.  And then, in 2017, lawmakers can put a real, bipartisan plan together that the House and Senate can send to the White House. Some of the important components of the tax reform blueprint include: a fairer and simpler code for individuals and small businesses, lowering the corporate tax rate, and repealing the Death Tax.

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  • Coalition to Philadelphia City Council: No New Soda Tax!

    Michi Iljazi on June 8, 2016


    Today in Philadelphia, lawmakers will take a crucial vote on an important issue for taxpayers and consumers. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has always been a staunch opponent of regressive and excessive taxation, and espeically when it comes to targeted tax increases that will harm the middle class. The plan from  Mayor Jim Kenney would impose a 3 cents-per-ounce tax on more than 1,000 beverages. The plan is bad idea for taxpayers, consumers, and local businesses and TPA opposes the proposal and urges the city council to reject such a harmful tax increase on Philly resiodents. Yesterday, led by Capitol Allies, a broad coalition of taxpayer and free market groups (including TPA) sent this coalition letter to the Philadelphia City Council asking them to vote no. TPA will keep a close eye on this imoportant vote, hoping that local elected officials do the right thing for taxpayers. 

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter
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  • Taxes, Regulations, and the Emergence of the Sharing Economy

    Morgan Reed on June 1, 2016

    Morgan Reed is the executive director for ACT | The App Association

    Last week, I testified before the House Small Business Committee at its hearing, “The Sharing Economy: A Taxing Experience for New Entrepreneurs.” The discussion focused on how labor laws and tax policy should evolve to better reflect the American workforce of today. As executive director of ACT | The App Association, I represent the interests of more than 5,000 app makers and connected device companies across the country. Our members leverage the connectivity of smart devices to create innovative solutions that make people’s lives better. Some of our members are part of the growing sharing economy, which is characterized by peer-to-peer exchanges of goods both digital and physical.

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  • Jeopardizing U.S. Jobs with Tax and Environmental Policies

    David Williams on May 9, 2016


    This op-ed orignally appeared in Inside Sources on May 3, 2016

    The court battle over the Environmental Protection Agency’s “breathtaking expansion” of its powers with the Clean Power Plan also means a renewed spotlight on the Obama administration’s tax and environmental policies and the chilling effect they will have on American jobs and growth. The CPP, the administration’s “signature” climate change policy that regulates power plant carbon emissions, has been challenged by West Virginia and dozens of other states. Although she subsequently disavowed her own statement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton best articulated the aim of that policy when she said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Forced to comment on the Clinton assessment, EPA chief Gina McCarthy declined to repudiate it, asserting awkwardly, “It’s certainly not good for anybody to be out of work in an economy. … I do not agree that anyone in the United States of America should go without a job.” It’s a statement marinated in irony, considering McCarthy and the Obama administration advocate continuously for tax and environmental policies that will crush American energy industry jobs, inflate the already swollen ranks of the unemployed, and raise energy costs for the entire nation.

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Urging Congress to Make Free File Program Permanent

    Michi Iljazi on May 6, 2016


    Now that Tax Day 2016 is over, taxpayers can relax for at list a little while. However, before you know it, tax season will creep up once again and everyone will be looking to make sure they are checking all the right boxes when they file their tax returns. Tax complexity has been a major issue and it has cost taxpayers time and a great deal of money, as evidenced by a recent study from the National Taxpayers Union. One current program, the Free File program, has been able to save taxpayers time and money through a public-private partnership that makes filing taxes a great deal less stressful for tens of millions of Americans. As Senator Elizabeth Warren attempts to hand tax-filing services entirely to the Internal Revenue Service (what a great idea that would be), the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) joined Americans for Tax Reform on a coalition letter urging Congress to make the Free File program permanent.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • Tax Day Is Over, But the Public’s Desire for Tax Reform Remains

    David Williams on May 2, 2016


    This article appeared in Inside Sources on April 20, 2016

    Whew! Another Tax Day has come and gone. Even though Americans had three extra days to finish their taxes, that added time didn’t do much to alleviate the stress of filling out taxes. Even when you are expected to get money back from the government, it seems like the entire process is a continuous series of hurdles that people are being forced to jump over in order to get their own money back. And, as this tax day gets further behind us, the need for tax reform continues to grow and people from all walks of life and political persuasions agree that tax reform is critical.

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  • TPA Joins Legal Battle Over South Dakota Internet Sales Tax Law

    Michi Iljazi on April 29, 2016


    Taxpayers Protection Alliance Joins NetChoice/ACMA Amicus Brief Against Internet Sales Tax Law in South Dakota
    TPA Signs Onto Legal Challenge Calling SB 106 “Blatantly Unconstitutional”

    (Washington) – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) was proud to be a part of a new legal challenge to South Dakota’s Internet sales tax law, SB 106, signed into law on March 22, 2016 by Governor Dennis Daugaard (D). The Amicus Brief, filed this morning by NetChoice and the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), asserts that Internet sales tax mandate in SB 106 forcing out-of-state sellers to collect South Dakota sales tax is, “an unconstitutional expansion of state tax powers and directly conflicts with precedent set by the Supreme Court of the United States.”

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