Lunch Links: Libertarians Criticize Clinton Tax Plan; Tax Whistleblowers Awarded $17.8M; Nevada Businesses At Odds with State Taxation Dept.

August 4, 2016

Today is August 4, the date in 1967 when the Multistate Tax Compact took effect. The MTC’s originally stated goal was to make state tax systems simpler and more uniform with each other, with the driving motivation being to stop pending federal legislation to set standard threshold rules for state corporate and sales taxes. By all accounts, state taxes are much more complicated and disuniform today than they were in 1967, so the MTC now claims their purpose is merely to propose model legislation. (We recently filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to address this issue.)

Here are some interesting links I came across:

India Passes Landmark Sales Tax Reform: The World Bank ranks India 157th out of 189 countries for tax simplicity, but maybe not for long. The country’s Goods and Services Tax—levied different ways at different rates across the country’s 29 states—will be made uniform under one national umbrella following legislation passed yesterday. All remaining gross receipts tax elements will be converted to value-added taxes, which itself is likely to boost GDP by eliminating distortions. (The Economist)

Nevada Businesses Object to Commerce Tax Implementation: Meanwhile, Nevada’s newly adopted gross receipts tax is giving some businesses headaches. The state Department of Taxation dropped off a package of 3,000 Commerce Tax notices to registered agent Jed Block, expecting him to mail them out to clients. He and others are upset they have to do the government’s work for them. (Las Vegas Review-Journal / Tax Foundation)

Finland Praised for Boosting Productivity with Tax Reform: The OECD says the reforms, which cut business and taxes while increasing property and consumption taxes, have boosted the country’s growth. The Finnish government is now looking to cut income and inheritance taxes. (

Libertarians Criticize Clinton Tax Plan: On a CNN forum last night, Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee Bill Weld criticized Hillary Clinton for proposing to raise taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars. (CNN / Reason / Tax Foundation)

Tax Court Awards $17.8 Million to Pair of Whistleblowers: The unnamed duo helped turn in Swiss Bank Wegelin & Co., which paid $74 million in restitution for helping taxpayers hide money from the IRS. The IRS whistleblower program promises up to 30% of what the government collects, and last year paid out $103.5 million. (The Wall Street Journal)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Proposes Higher Water/Sewer Taxes to Fund Pensions: Bills would go up by about 30 percent to help the city tackle $18.6 billion in unfunded pensions to city workers. I imagine this will not be a popular solution. (Chicago Tribune)



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