March 09, 2007

Two Tax Thoughts

by PG

1) If the IRS is short on warm bodies to draft rules, why not enlist tax professors instead of practitioners? The federal government can wave its money stick and threaten to pull funds from law schools that won't count working on government publications for professors' tenure reviews. (Writing a ruling has gotta be a good way to get cited, anyway.) UVA students, note the Mortimer Caplin shout-out.

2) I've heard that the Democrats won't do well politically by talking about the "tax gap" (the difference between the taxes owed and the taxes actually paid), yet citing the annual per-taxpayer surtax of approximately $2,000 to subsidize noncompliance -- compliant taxpayers paying about 17 percent more in taxes to subsidize those who do not pay the taxes they owe -- seems like a good sell to the law-abiding American electorate. Since bringing back the good ol' days of armed raids won't work, I wonder if the Democrats might want to push for an overall reform of tax law and enforcement. This would include not only a crackdown on people getting paid in cash who don't report the income, but also an attempt to make hiding income more difficult for the wealthy: changes in laws governing trusts, deferred compensation, in-kind transactions, etc., so this wouldn't be seen as solely an attack on the poor guy who mows the lawn, pockets the cash and never quite reports it to the IRS.

March 9, 2007 03:50 AM | TrackBack
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