Lunch Links: New Senate Tax Staffer; Alabama Special Session; Two Get Jail for Thousands of Fraudulent Tax Returns

July 21, 2016

Today is July 21, which would have been author Ernest Hemingway’s 117th birthday. Hemingway said much on taxes, so much that his foundation has an entire article on his tax quotations. He once complained to his tax attorney that “[t]his time I have really wonderful stuff to write but now when I should be writing I am chasing receipts and writing letters like this” and said it was “bad luck” that he “worked hard all my life and made a fortune at a time when whatever you make is confiscated by the government.”

Here are some interesting links I came across:

  • Territorial vs. Worldwide: My colleagues Anton Aurenius and Gavin Ekins summarize (there’s a map too!) which countries have a territorial tax system (taxing income earned within the country and not income earned in other places). 91 countries currently have territorial, including most of the industrialized world. The U.S. still has a worldwide system. (Tax Foundation)
  • New Senate Tax Staffer: Victor Fleischer, who wrote an influential paper on the taxation of carried interest, will join the Senate Finance Committee’s Democratic staff. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Excise Taxes by State: Vermont leads the nation in special taxes only on certain products, collecting $1,029 per person from excise taxes. Wyoming is the lowest, at $285 per person. (Tax Foundation)
  • Alabama May Call Another Special Session: Gov. Bentley (R) says the state needs an additional $15 million, and a number of revenue increase options could be on the table. No decision is announced yet. (Alabama Public Radio)
  • Pennsylvania Vapor Store Closes, Citing New 40 Percent Tax: Scottie Freeman in Erie says he’ll be just the first to close. The new tax took effect July 1. (Your Erie / Tax Foundation)
  • Two Get Jail for Thousands of Fraudulent Tax Returns: Austin Ray of Denver faces 10 years in prison and Anne Rasamee faces 22 months after they pled guilty to defrauding the government of more than $1 million over five years. Among the things they bought was a used Maserati for $140,000 in cash. (Denver Post)
  • Municipal Bond Interest: My colleague Scott Greenberg asks why we exempt municipal bond interest and what other alternatives there are. (Tax Foundation)



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