Lunch Links: Debating Small, Progressive Taxes vs. Larger, Less Progressive; More Blowback on Brownback’s Kansas Tax Policy; Plea Agreement Reached by Tax Court Judge

October 25, 2016

Today is October 25, the 135th birthday of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), the famous painter. Picasso’s art pops up in estate tax controversies, beginning with his own death, when France took its death duty in the form of art from his collection (now housed at the Musée Picasso). In 2009, after the death of collector Bernice Newberger, her estate disputed the valuation of her Picasso with the IRS: a 2010 auction priced the painting at $12,297,874, but the estate said art prices were lower in 2009 during the recession and filed an estate tax return with a price of $5 million. The Tax Court went with a revised IRS price of $10 million.

Here are some interesting links I came across:

Trump-Clinton Tax Plans Calculator: Put in your details and see how the candidates’ tax plans will affect you. (Tax Foundation)

AEI Debates Tax-Equality Tradeoff: American Enterprise Institute scholars Alan Viard and Sita Nataraj Slavov say that for the U.S. economy to work, U.S. taxes can either be small and progressive, or bigger and less progressive. “A larger tax system would provide the revenue needed to avoid deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Making the tax system less progressive would keep its larger size from choking off economic growth.” (American Enterprise Institute)

New Jersey Gas Tax Increase Just One Part of the Story: My colleague Jared Walczak sums up the recent New Jersey transportation package. (Tax Foundation)

Washington State’s Ambitious Carbon Tax Proposal: The New York Times talks up I-732 on the November ballot, which would impose a $15 per ton tax on carbon emissions and use the money to reduce other taxes. Read about it and other tax-related ballot initiatives here. (The New York Times / Tax Foundation)

Indiana Releases Combined Reporting and Transfer Pricing Studies: The studies were requested by the state legislature and are good primers on both topics. (Leverage SALT)

More Criticism of Kansas: Bloomberg has a biting piece entitled “Kansas Ends Bad Economic News by Not Reporting It.” (We’ve criticized the Brownback tax policy since the beginning.) (Bloomberg)

Tax Court Judge Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion: Former judge Diane Kroupa reached a plea agreement with prosecutors over her reporting personal expenses as business expenses (including rent, utilities, home repair, decorating, Pilates classes, massage fees, jewelry, wine club fees, and vacation costs). As Joe Kristan notes, you would expect tax crimes committed by a Tax Court judge to be more exotic than a rather simple misuse of Schedule C. (Roth & Company)

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