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Federal Court Dismisses Tea Party Groups’ Lawsuits Over IRS Targeting

IRS Building

A Federal Judge has dismissed lawsuits filed by Tea Party groups over the IRS targeting scandal.

Common Sense On The N.F.L.’s Tax Exempt Status

nfl-logo

The idea that the N.F.L. “doesn’t pay taxes” is largely false.

Burger King Should Not Be Condemned If It Moves To Canada For Tax Purposes

Burger King

The announcement of a potential merger between Burger King and Tim Horton’s has led to much moral preening from the usual suspects.

Report: IRS Destroyed Hard Drives With Lerner Emails

Destroyed Hard Drives

Yet more adventures in bad records retention policy at the IRS.

No, It’s Not Time For A New War On Booze

Alcohol Bar

A supposed conservative calls for massive increases in taxes on alcohol.

The Midterms And The Economy: Bad News For Democrats?

us-politics-republicans-democrats-flag

Republicans are winning with voters on the issues they say they care the most about.

George H.W. Bush Receives ‘Profile In Courage’ Award For Breaking ‘Read My Lips’ Pledge

George HW Bush Convention 1988

An award for breaking a campaign promise.

A Legal Argument That Could Bring ObamaCare Crumbling Down

law-gavel-flag

There’s a potentially fatal legal argument looming out there for the PPACA.

Debt, Default, And International Faith In The American Government

United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. Aerial

Would you trust the men and women in this building?

Republicans Ready Their Next Offer On Shutdown, Debt Ceiling

Capitol Building Dusk

The outlines of a possible new GOP proposal are emerging. Can it go anywhere?

All Same-Sex Marriages To Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes

Taxes Adding Machine

The IRS will allow all married gay couples to file joint returns, but that still leaves couples in most of the country with more hoops to jump through.

Philadelphia Politicians Investigating Lap Dances

money-bankruptcy

The Philadelphia “Tax Review Board”  is conducting in depth hearings about lap dances: Philadelphia, in its constant search for revenue, wants to draw bucks from a G-string. The city’s Tax Review Board is trying to decide whether a lap dance is an amusement or legitimate theater. Is a performance over a lap a luxury or […]

Two Excellent Summaries Of Recent IRS Developments

newsman

Looking for a quick overview of recent developments in the IRS Tea Party Scandal? Here are two links to help.

No, IRS Targeting Was Not “Bipartisan”

us-politics

Treasury IG: Liberal groups weren’t targeted by IRS like Tea Party: Liberal groups seeking tax-exempt status faced less IRS scrutiny than Tea Party groups, according to the Treasury inspector general. Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, told Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) in a letter dated Wednesday that the IRS did not use inappropriate […]

IRS “Lookout Lists” Also Included Liberal Groups. So, Was It Bipartisan “Targeting?”

IRS Building

A new round of documents from the IRS, that aren’t really new, doesn’t really change the basic narrative on the IRS “targeting” story.

A New Conspiracy Theory: IRS Tea Party Targeting Helped Win The Election For Obama

IRS Tea Party

A new theory circulating on the right asserts that IRS targeting of Tea Party groups had an impact on the 2012 elections by diminish the Tea Party’s effectiveness. It’s mostly nonsense.

Elijah Cummings Releases A Full IRS Interview Transcript To The Public

IRS Building

When last we left the stand off between the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Republican Daryl Issa, and the committee’s senior Democratic Member, Elijah Cummings over the release of IRS Interview Transcripts, Issa had largely ignored Cummings request to begin to publicly release the full transcripts of recent interviews with IRS employees. Instead, Issa […]

Will Elijah Cummings Release IRS Transcripts Later Today? (Updated)

IRS Building

Today is the deadline for Darryl Issa to respond to a request from Elijah Cummings to defend a decision not to release IRS interview transcripts. What happens if Issa doesn’t respond?

Why Won’t Chairman Issa Release The Full Transcripts Of Interviews With IRS Employees?

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Without full transcripts, the excerpts released by the House Oversight Committee are worthless.

The BOLO List And The Question Of Optics VS Effectiveness

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

The TIGTA audit reveals the BOLO “Tea Party” list was right 81% of the time. But does that change anything?

1/3 of Flagged 501(c)(3)&(4) Applications were from Non-Conservative Groups

EO "Potential Political Case" Breakdown

Tax analyst Martin A. Sullivan finds that 1/3rd of “potentially political applications” approved by the IRS were from non-conservative groups.

The IRS Can’t Locate It’s Own Receipts

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Last night on CNN, Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash did a report on the IRS’s latest scandal about overspending on conferences and revealed the rather amusing fact that the IRS cannot locate its own receipts:

So Far, Issa’s IRS Transcripts Contain A Whole Lot Of Nothing

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Just about all of the substantive information in the excerpts was already revealed in the TIGTA audit.

IRS Spent $50 Million On Conferences For Employees

us-politics

Another example of government waste: The Internal Revenue Service, already under fire after officials disclosed that the agency targeted conservative groups, faces increased scrutiny because of an inspector general’s report that it spent about $50 million to hold at least 220 conferences for employees between 2010 and 2012. The report by the Treasury Department’s inspector […]

When Presidents Used The IRS For Political Purposes

us-politics

The Christian Science Monitor details some instances from history when Presidents, or those under them, have used the IRS to target political opponents. I was aware, of course, of Nixon’s use of the IRS during Watergate. I was surprised by some of the other names on the list. Via Facebook  

Douglas Shulman’s 157 Visits To The White House: Less Than Meets The Eye

White Hosue Daytime

Apparently, some people don’t want to let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

Open IRS/501(c)4 Discussion: Crime and Damages

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

Today on the Rush Limbaugh Show guest host Doug Urbanski asked the following open-ended question about the “IRS Scandal”: “Why has no one been fired or arrested for this clearly criminal activity?” That comment led me to some linked questions that I’m currently working my way through. I thought that OTB readers (in particularly lawyers – […]

The Wetumpka Tea Party and Defining “Potential Political Cases”

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

When does politics become the “primary activity” of a 501(c)4?

Diving Deeper into the TIGTA IRS Audit

TIGTA IRS Audit Wordle

Inside the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration investigation into the IRS scandal.

How Apple Avoids Paying Taxes

apple-taxes

The US Senate wants to know why Apple and other big technology companies are paying so little into the US Treasury.

Criminal Liability Of IRS Workers In Targeting Scandal Unclear

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We’re already hearing politicians talking about putting the IRS employees accused of targeting conservative organizations out of political bias in jail. However, as Aaron Blake notes, it’s unclear whether they actually broke any laws: In short: We don’t know yet. But it’s also quite possible that nobody will ever be convicted of breaking the law […]

501(c)4 vs 501(c)3 vs 527

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Almost no one can confidently explain, let alone define, the specifics of the 501(c)4 designation.

IRS Scandal More About Political Bias Than “Incompetence”

IRS Building

What happened at the IRS looks a lot more like deliberate political bias than simple incompetence.

IRS Released Confidential Data Of Conservative Groups

us-politics

Pro Publica reported last night that the IRS had released to it confidential information consisting of applications for tax-exempt status of several conservative organizations: ProPublica on Monday reported that the same IRS division that targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny during the 2012 election cycle provided the investigative-reporting organization with confidential applications for tax-exempt status. That […]

Obama: IRS Political Targeting “Outrageous”

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Not surprisingly, President Obama was asked about the unfolding IRS scandal at his joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron: Washington (CNN) – President Obama vowed Monday to hold the Internal Revenue Service accountable if reports of political targeting are proved true. “If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that […]

The IRS Scandal Expands

IRS Building

Partisan targeting by the IRS should not be permitted to stand.

IRS Apologizes For Inappropriately Targeting Tea Party Groups

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For several years, Tea Party and other conservative groups have contended that they were being targeted for investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and it turns out that they were right.

Internet Sales Tax Bill Passes Senate, Faces Rough Road In House

money-investing

As expected, the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would permit states to require internet-based businesses to collect sales tax even if they don’t have a physical presence in the state, easily passed the Senate yesterday: The Senate approved a long-anticipated Internet sales tax proposal on Monday, moving the legislation one step closer to enactment and paving […]

Sales Taxes On Internet Purchases Seem To Be An Inevitability

OnlineShopping

The days of tax-free online shopping are coming to an end.

A Conservative Critique Of Paul Ryan’s Budget

us-politics

James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute isn’t too thrilled with Paul Ryan’s new budget plan: [S]ince Ryan’s PTP also serves as the fiscal 2014 budget resolution for House Republicans, the blueprint is far from ideal: 1.  If the GOP’s Medicare reform plan is such a good idea (and budget deficits are such a problem), […]

Poor Pay High Taxes, If We Redefine ‘Taxes’

Taxes Adding Machine

The American tax code contains perverse incentives and barriers to getting out of poverty.

Stealth Tax Hikes

intelligence-spy-vs-spy

The new $450,000 income threshold is a political fiction.

Revenue Problem or Spending Problem?

balanced budget

Kevin Drum argues that, “We Don’t Have a Spending Problem. We Have an Aging Problem.”

Gerard Depardieu Now A Russian Citizen

French actor’s Gerard Depardieu’s tax dispute with his native France have taken an odd turn: MOSCOW (AP) — Gerard Depardieu, the French actor who has waged a battle against a proposed super-tax on millionaires in his native country, has been granted Russian citizenship. A brief announcement on the Kremlin website revealed that President Vladimir Putin […]

The Art Of Compromise

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You can’t always get what you want.

More Fiscal Cliffs On The Way

The December 31st Fiscal Cliff is only the beginning of the “drop dead” dates the economy will face this year: 1. Debt Ceiling: Congress has to raise the debt ceiling soon. Real soon. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner made it official: Federal borrowing has reached the $16.394 trillion debt ceiling. The Treasury Department, which runs the government’s […]

Last Minute Fiscal Cliff Deal Emerging

With less than twelve hours to go before the end of the year, it would appear that agreement is close on a deal that would avoid the largest part of the so-called Fiscal Cliff: Most of the world is counting down to a midnight New Year’s celebration while Congress continues to watch the clock and […]

When Is A Tax Hike Not A Tax Hike? When Grover Norquist Says So

Grover Norquist seems to be engaging in some doublespeak in order to claim that his precious tax pledge won’t be violated by a resolution of the Fiscal Cliff that includes raising tax rates on high income earners: Grover Norquist on Monday expressed confidence that any last-minute fiscal cliff deal would not hike tax rates. “I’m […]

No Sign Of Fiscal Cliff Deal

With the countdown to the Fiscal Cliff now inside of two days, initial reports from Capitol Hill today don’t seem to hold out much hope for a deal: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still haven’t struck a deal to prevent taxes from rising on wage earners in the new year, sources say, as eleventh-hour […]

Obama’s Meet the Press Interview

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Obama shows some spine.

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