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Category: Taxes



  • Reform the Tax Code to Spur New Energy Industry Expansion

    David Williams on September 25, 2014

    oil

    This article orginally appeared on Pennlive.com on September 18, 2014

    The U.S. economy has gained real steam in recent months. Last quarter, the groos domestic product grew at a very solid 4 percent. And, the most recent jobs report shows that the job market added nearly 210,000 positions in July. The energy industry is a major contributor to this revival. American oil and natural gas businesses are in the midst of an unprecedented blossoming. In fact, the United States recently surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the number one energy producer in the world. Federal lawmakers need to be wary of undermining this success. Destructive policies can stifle energy industry expansion and choke off the creation of new employment opportunities and general economic growth.

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  • TPA Reacts to New Rules from U.S. Treasury on Tax Inversions

    Michi Iljazi on September 24, 2014

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    On Monday, the Obama Administration and the United States Treasury Department took executive action towards the practice of tax inversions. Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) President David Williams released the following statement today in reaction to the move by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew:

    “The Obama Administration has once again shown that they don’t understand the real problems of tax policy in the United States, and more specifically the corporate tax. The executive action announced by Secretary Lew on Monday aimed at punishing companies who engage in tax inversions is not only the wrong move for the private sector, but it continues the willful ignorance of the federal government to fix our corporate tax structure. It’s been more than two years since the United States surpassed Japan in reaching the highest effective corporate tax rate in the world, and in those two years we’ve seen nothing but demonizing of the private sector from the Obama Administration and their allies in Congress. There should not be new rules and regulations that will make it more difficult for companies to compete in the global economy. There should be drastic reform of the corporate tax rate to reduce the cost of doing business in America so that jobs can be created and companies can be rewarded for their innovation. If President Obama is serious about keeping U.S. businesses in the U.S., he should support comprehensive tax reform, and specifically call for an immediate reduction in the corporate tax rate.  TPA will continue to press for bipartisan, bicameral action from Congress on reducing the corporate tax, and in turn fixing the real problem that is plaguing business.”

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  • A Reality Check On Inversions

    Stephen Adkins on September 22, 2014

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    (Stephen Adkins is a research fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.)
    In July President Obama noted that, “I don’t care if it’s legal, it’s wrong. It sticks you for the tab to make up for what they’re stashing offshore.” This was said to a crowd of supporters at a Los Angeles area technical college. After defending the record of his administration, emphasizing the challenges posed by the financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession, Obama then turned his attention to the growing phenomenon of tax inversion (American businesses engaging in cross-border mergers in order to escape heavy corporate tax rates here at home).  In a July 24th speech Obama declared that, “stopping companies from renouncing their citizenship just to get out of paying their fair share of taxes is something that cannot wait.” While being careful to refer to this practice as “tax avoidance” (not to be confused with its illegal cousin “tax evasion”), Obama railed against so-called “corporate deserters,” whining that American businesses require a renewed “economic patriotism.” In other words, American businesses’ primary responsibility is not, as one might think, to maximize shareholder value, but instead to stay put and let the Internal Revenue Service bleed them dry.  And that, is somehow patriotic.

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  • TPA Releases Statement on House Passage of Continuing Resolution

    Michi Iljazi on September 17, 2014

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    Tonight, the House of Representatives passed yet another short-term spending bill to keep the government open, by a vote of 319 to 108. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a statement saying, in part: Tonight, the United States House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 11, 2014 and the legislation is on its way to the Senate for likely passage and then to the President for his signature. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is extremely disappointed in this latest half-measure to fund the government that not only ensures continued protection for the crony Export-Import Bank, but also leaves in doubt whether or not taxpayers will be able to be protected from Internet Access taxes in the long-term. TPA has several issues with this continuing resolution but there are a few that stand out. First, the extension of the Export-Import Bank that is included in the CR is a troubling development on a fight that has been taking up a great deal of debate on Capitol Hill over recent months. The extension goes well into 2015, leaving the possibility that a long-term extension for Ex-Im may be in the works. TPA opposes extension of the bank because it is a major enabler of the worst kind of corporate welfare that leaves taxpayers at risk, costs American jobs, and undercuts the very idea of free-market principles in a global economy. Second, the bill includes only a mere five-week extension to the moratorium on Internet Access taxes. The moratorium was originally set to expire on November 1, 2014; now it is slated to expire in early December. This sets up yet another debate on the issue and TPA is very concerned there will be an attempt to couple a permanent extension with passage of an Internet Sales tax. The two issues are separate and should not be handled in a lame duck session of Congress, when politicians are unlikely to be held accountable.

    To read the full statement, click 'read more' below » Read More
  • TPA Joins Coalition Urging Opposition to Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act

    Michi Iljazi on September 16, 2014

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    Congress is set for a final week of business and unfortunately we still have yet to see an extension of the Internet Access tax moratorium. What is worse is that a short-term extension into December is in the works, but there are legitimate fears that this minor extension is a precursor to a renewed push to merge a long-term extension of the Internet Access tax moratorium with the harmful Internet Sales Tax, otherwise known as the Marketplace Fairness Act. TPA has continued to voice our opposition for any legislation that puts these together. With that in mind, TPA signed a letter sent by the R Street Institute and cosigned American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Campaign for Liberty, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Center for Individual Freedom, Citizens Against Government Waste, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Digital Liberty, FreedomWorks, The Heartland Institute, Heritage Action for America, Institute for Policy Innovation, Less Government, and National Taxpayers Union urging Congress to oppose S. 2609, the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act. The legislation merges both the issues of Internet Access taxes and Internet Sales tax in an attempt to confuse and disguise bad policy by acting as though both should be resolved at the same time in the same bill.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter » Read More
  • TPA Joins Broad Coalition Urging Senate to Stop Internet Access Taxes

    Michi Iljazi on September 8, 2014

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    The clock is ticking for taxpayers as there are only slightly more than 53 days left until the moratorium on Internet access taxes expires, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is helping to keep the focus on making sure the moratorium is extended permanently. Congress returns to Washington, D.C. after a more than month-long recess and this issue is something that they must address in the limited working time they have remaining this session. Last week, Americans for Tax Reform and Digital Liberty sent a coalition letter to the hill urging Congress act and imploring the Senate to follow the lead of the House and pass a bill that will extend the moratorium on Internet access taxes. In the letter, TPA, along with many state and national organizations praise the House for passing H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA); and urges the Senate to pass S. 1432, the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (ITFFA), sponsored by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). TPA hopes the Senate will act soon so that millions of Americans can continue to utilize the web without the threat of added Internet taxes looming over them.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter » Read More
  • The Federal Government Should Keep It's Hands and Taxes Off the Internet

    David Williams on September 4, 2014

    obama

    This article orginally appeared in Townhall.com on August 28, 2014

    Most people don't associate the concept of restraint with a federal government that's spending taxpayer dollars at a rate of $7 million a minute and passing so many new regulations that the Code of Federal Regulations is now over 175,000 pages, and growing. But give credit where credit is due. The Feds have shown remarkable restraint and foresight when it comes to not burdening the Internet with unnecessary regulations and taxes. Ever since the Internet emerged as a consumer tool in the early 1990s, politicians and regulators recognized that the technology was developing in ways they couldn't predict. Instead of legislating yesterday’s Internet, they decided to let it evolve with minimal government intrusion into the Internet we have today. Washington has held to this "light touch" approach and the benefits speak for themselves: the web has transformed the way we live, work, and play. America is the undisputed Internet creativity capital of the world with companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter being household names the world over.

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  • TPA Releases Report on Congressional Pay and Benefits

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on August 29, 2014

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    This week the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), in partnership with Our Generation, released a report detailing the costs of congressional compensation and the sobering figures of how much the taxpayer is paying when it comes to pay, and benefits for elected officials. The report, “Are Members of Congress Overpaid? An Analysis of Congressional Compensation” (which you can read here) shows that in addition to a salary of $174,000 per year, which by itself puts DC representatives among the highest-paid 5 percent of US workers, members of Congress also receive more generous benefits than typical employees, with total congressional compensation including benefits adding up to $286,000 per year.  The report also reveals that members of Congress make 3.2 times more than the average full-time American worker. With a $17.7 trillion debt and budget deadlines nearing, there is something to be said about the quality of work being done by Congress in comparison to their compensation. The report details specific attempts made in the past year to scale-back pay for Congress, even as some members say they are “underpaid.” TPA encourages everyone to take a look at the report so that more attention can be brought to this very underreported issue. » Read More
  • TPA Releases Report on Congressional Pay and Benefits

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on August 26, 2014

    capitol

    This morning the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), in partnership with Our Gerneration, released a report detailing the costs of congressional compensation and the sobering figures of how much the taxpayer is paying when it comes to pay, and benefits for elected officials. The report, “Are Members of Congress Overpaid? An Analysis of Congressional Compensation” (which you can read here) shows that in addition to a salary of $174,000 per year, which by itself puts DC representatives among the highest-paid 5 percent of US workers, members of Congress also receive more generous benefits than typical employees, with total congressional compensation including benefits adding up to $286,000 per year.  The report also reveals that members of Congress make 3.2 times more than the average full-time American worker. With a $17.7 trillion debt and budget deadlines nearing, there is something to be said about the quality of work being done by Congress in comparison to their compensation. The report details specific attempts made in the past year to scale-back pay for Congress, even as some members say they are “underpaid.” TPA encourages everyone to take a look at the report so that more attention can be brought to this very underreported issue.

    Click 'read more' below to read the full report » Read More
  • SUMMER READING: CORPORATE TAX REFORM

    Michi Iljazi on August 22, 2014

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    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) continues its Summer Reading series with yet another issue that Congress should address when they return from their month-long recess, reforming the corporate tax structure. Corporate tax reform is an issue where there is unique bipartisan, bi-cameral, and multi-branch agreement in Washington.  The reason for this unprecedented agreement is that the United States, with a 39 percent corporate tax rate, has the highest corporate tax rate among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. It is long past due that Congress and the White House come together and fix what has become a major ailment to a still struggling economy. Corporate tax reform has taken on a great deal of importance in the last several months. The economic driver, corporate investment, has taken a hit and our high corporate tax rate is responsible for much of that burden. In the spring of this year, retiring House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) put forth his plan for overhauling the tax code, which included lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, something that would be welcome news for small businesses all over the country. TPA supported Congressman Camp’s efforts to even take this issue on at a time when not much of anything is getting done in Washington.

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  • SUMMER READING: DEATH TAX REPEAL

    Michi Iljazi on August 15, 2014

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    Last week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) began the Congressional recess Summer Reading series with an update on internet access taxes and what Congress (specifically the Senate) must do when they return from vacation and prevent tax increases on millions of Americans across the country. This week, the Death Tax takes center stage and there’s much work for Congress to do.  The good news is the momentum is building for some positive developments that could occur in a matter of weeks. The first time the government imposed a form of the Death Tax was back in the late 1700s with the Stamp Act.  Then the tax was used to help finance the Civil War (as an inheritance tax).  And then again in 1916 when the Revenue Act became law (ushering in income tax), the estate tax came with it. Like before, when conflict arose in World War I (WWI), the tax became the vehicle for revenue generation. However unlike the previous two, the post –WWI Death tax was not repealed and is the foundation for what is in the current tax code. Today, per the fiscal cliff deal, the federal estate tax exemption is $5 million per person ($5.34 million in 2014), and the 40 percent tax rate applies to any amount over the exemption.

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  • SUMMER READING: INTERNET ACCESS TAXES

    Michi Iljazi on August 8, 2014

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    When school ends for many children, their teachers assign summer reading to help them to be prepared for the next school year.  In that spirit, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) will be assigning crucial summer reading for Congress so that they are prepared when they return from their five-week summer recess. With not much time left between now and the November midterm elections (less so this year since Congress is only scheduled to be in session from September 8 to September 23), the clock is even more limited than usual. The first installment of our ‘Summer Reading’ series centers on internet access taxes. Congress took a major step earlier this year in making sure that internet access taxes would end for good when they passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (view the House bill here) on a voice vote. TPA urged every member of the House of Representatives to vote YES on the legislation.  The passage of the legislation was a welcome development in what has been a very long battle. However, the work is only halfway done as now the Senate must take action and pass their version (view the Senate bill here).

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  • VICTORY! US HOUSE PASSES PERMANENT INTERNET TAX FREEDOM ACT!

    Michi Iljazi on July 14, 2014

    This afternoon, Congress took a major step forward in stopping Internet access taxes for good by passing the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (see House bill here) on a voice vote. Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged all members of the House of Representatives to vote YES on the measure and we are pleased that the bill can now move forward and have the Senate take action on their own bill (here is the Senate version) . TPA, and the Internet Tax Freedom Act Coalition (ITFA) have been working hard to focus on the importance of keeping the internet tax free. With November approaching and the tax moratorium set to expire, it is imperative that Senate follow the House's lead and take action and pass bipartisan legislation to prevent Internet access taxes from becoming a reality.  Americans must be assured they will never be taxed just for going online. Just a few weeks ago, TPA's Michi Iljazi was on the National Mall interviewong folks from all over the country and this point could not be more clear: Americans do not want new taxes on the Internet. Watch the video here and read this bipartisan letter below the video from a wide number of organizations urging Congress to pass the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. TPA is thrilled with this news and now implores the Senate act!



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  • TPA Coalition Letter Urges Congress to Act on Comprehensive Tax Reform Without Shortcuts or Gimmicks

    Michi Iljazi on July 8, 2014

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    The clock is running out on the legislative calendar for 2014, with the August recess fast approaching and the midterm elections around the corner there isn’t much time left for Congress to act on important issues facing the country. One such issue is tax reform, but not all the talk has been welcome news for taxpayers. Though leaders on Capitol Hill have had discussions as well as some substantive proposals, including one from House Ways & Means Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), there’s still not much taxpayers are seeing out of Congress on comprehensive tax reform. Keeping that in mind, TPA led a coalition in sending this letter to leaders on both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee urging them that any tax reform Congress decides to do should be done in a way that benefits taxpayers, as opposed to any minimal changes to the tax code (corporate or otherwise) that would be used to pay for special projects. Tax reform shouldn’t be a vessel for politicians to find more ways to spend taxpayer dollars, it should be done to broaden the base and save individual taxpayers money across the board. TPA was joined by American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Center for Individual Freedom, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Frontiers of Freedom, Hispanic Leadership Fund, Independent Women's Forum, Independent Women's Voice, Less Government, Log Cabin Republicans, National Taxpayers Union, R Street Institute, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and Taxpayers for Common Sense in telling Congress to stay away from attempts at tax reform that would simply be done to give Washington more money to spend and we urge all taxpayers to tell their representatives in both chambers of Congress the same.

    To see the full letter, click 'read more' below » Read More
  • TPA Asks Taxpayers to Declare Their Independence From Internet Access Taxes!

    David Williams & Michi Iljazi on July 3, 2014

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance, and the Internet Tax Freedom Act Coalition (ITFA) has continued to focus on the importance of keeping the internet tax free.  With November approaching and the tax moratorium set to expire, it is imperative that Congress take action and pass bipartisan legislation (House version, Senate version) to prevent Internet access taxes from becoming a reality.  Americans must be assured they will never be taxed just for going online. With that in mind, and the July 4th holiday upon us, TPA spoke to visitors to the nation’s capital where we asked them how they would feel about this new tax, and if should Congress act so that all Americans could declare their independence from Internet access taxes!  Click here to view the video.



    Click Here to the see the video » Read More
  • July Brings New Changes for Many Taxpayers in Different States

    Michi Iljazi on June 30, 2014

    The first of July marks the start of the fiscal year for many states, and as with many other years, it also brings the start of changes to the tax code for many individual states. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has kept a close eye on tax increases over the past year, including efforts to raise taxes on e-cigarettes in New JerseyOhio and Rhode Island. Last July TPA highlighted exactly what would change in several states across the country. Now, that time of year is once again upon us so here is a brief summary of how the tax code will change for taxpayers in selected states.  Even though an increase in the minimum wage is not a tax increase, it is important to note exactly where minimum wages have been increased as Congress continues to debate the issue.  Fortunately for taxpayers, not all the news is bad, there are some tax decreases.

    Click 'read more' below to see the list of changes across the country.

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  • Plastic Bag Banners Rebuked In New Study

    David Williams on June 26, 2014

    This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller, on June 23, 104

    A new study from the Reason Foundation has again proven what we’ve known for a while now: plastic bag bans don’t help the economy or the environment. The only result of plastic bag bans is the government filling their coffers with more money to be wasted.The study examined bag bans generally, ultimately finding that legislators “who are genuinely concerned about reducing litter and other environmental problems should focus their efforts on solutions that have been proven to work.” Specifically, it found that banning or taxing plastic bags, in all that regulatory excess, equates to a “minimal impact on litter.” There’s no evidence in waste reduction or collection and, worse still, bag bans are actually shown to harm the environment. It’s well-documented that reusable bags take more energy to be produced and are less likely to be reused. This was reinforced by the Reason study. Reusable bags are bacteria-laden and shown to increase health risks when not properly washed. Given the radical lot pushing these bans, it’s not ridiculous to envision a vicious cycle of even more bag regulations coming if the plastic bag eradication is allowed to continue. After all, it doesn’t make sense to them to go back to what was working perfectly fine in the first place. Not only does the study show a negative environmental impact, but bag bans do damage on the economic front also. The costs of implementation wind up falling mostly on the poor than anyone else, all for the sake of a system that uses more energy and drains resources from the economy.

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  • E-Cigarettes the New Target for Gov. Kasich in Ohio

    Michi Iljazi on June 20, 2014

    Recently, TPA wrote about the ridiculous tax increase offered by Gov. Chris Christie on e-cigarettes (click here).  This week we continue the series with Ohio, where Republican Governor John Kasich has proposed new taxes on E-Cigarettes. One of the motivating factors for this is that revenue from traditional cigarette taxes is declining. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has written extensively about how estimated tax revenue from tobacco taxes never materialize (file that under: we told you so!).  This type of phenomenon, that TPA calls “Fool’s Gold,” can be seen in several states, and internationally. The Ohio proposal is a part of the Governor’s Mid-Biennium Review (MBR) and Will Upton with Americans for Tax Reform detailed the specific pieces where Kasich is aiming for tobacco and e-cigarettes. The simple fact is that selectively targeting products and industries with tax increases eventually drives consumers out of the market, eventually harming businesses and taxpayers. If prior examples are any indication of what to expect, the revenue generated will not hold up and will not solve the problems that the state may have in filling their budgetary gaps and priorities in the future unless taxes are increased.

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  • E-Cigarettes are the New Target for Tax Increases in New Jersey

    Michi Iljazi on May 27, 2014

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    The fight against new and higher taxes is one that never seems to stop. The  Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) fights tax increases at the federal and state level to ensure that elected officials aren’t given more money to waste.  States and the federal government should cut wasteful spending to balance their budgets, not increase taxes. Tobacco has been a favorite tax increase for many states to generate revenue.  The problem is that the revenue generated tends to be Fool’s Gold, not bringing in the expected revenue. In New Jersey, Republican Governor Chris Christie wants to tax e-cigarettes, the alternative to traditional cigarettes.  E-cigarettes provide a legitimate alternative to traditional cigarettes providing the user with nicotine without the burning of tobacco.  The New Jersey state Senate is using Governor Christie’s attempt at an increase on e-cigarettes to try and implement a slew of new tax increases on tobacco. The New Jersey Star Ledger details Senate Bill 1867 (which just passed the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee) and the additional tax increases. TPA has written how selectively targeting tobacco harms consumers and taxpayers, and gets politicians nowhere on fixing real financial problems a state may face. One instance with e-cigarette taxation has already shown how these new revenue streams can dry up in just a matter of time.

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  • Six Months Away, Six Reasons Why Congress Must Stop Internet Access Taxes

    Michi Iljazi on May 1, 2014

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    Today marks a very important moment for Internet access fees. Six months from now, the moratorium on Internet access taxes will expire. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) recently signed onto a bipartisan letter sent to members of Congress asking them make the moratorium on Internet access taxes permanent before the ban expires in November. According to the letter sent last month, "While the Internet was a nascent technology when the current moratorium was established in 1998, it has become the economic engine driving innovation and growth in our 21st century economy. Throttling that engine at a time when our economy is struggling hurts not only those trying to invest in America’s future, but also those who can least afford it and have the most to gain from the Internet’s potential…By establishing tax policies that will help keep access to the Internet affordable and Internet commerce free from multiple and discriminatory taxation, more and more citizens of all economic levels will be able to participate in today’s digital economy." Congress has the power to act.

    Click 'read more' below to see the list!

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