Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tales of Two Tax Amnesties

Greece has offered 11 "last chance" tax amnesties since 1978, which has demoralized compliant taxpayers without increasing tax revenue to expected levels, according to Tonia Pediaditaki, a special legal officer for the Greek government's Consumers' & Environment. Greek Tax Amnesties Erode Trust but Don't Dramatically Increase Revenue

Italy to Get $4.4 Billion in Proceeds from Tax Amnesty

India's offshore tax amnesty recovers just $575 mln - government

South Korea Amnesty for offshore tax cheats

Australian Taxation Office's tax amnesty to dig up $4bn stash

Thousands of students will be left in limbo next year after a private Sydney college had its registration cancelled by the federal government Mercedes of Training Colleges AIPE etc

FCT v Donoghue

Verrender how-our tax take has been royally scrooged

Martin Lobel (Lobel Novins & Lamont, Washington, D.C.; Chair, Tax Analysts' Board of Directors), The IRS Is in Crisis and the Tax Community Needs to Help, 149 Tax Notes 1407 (Dec. 14, 2015): We are on the edge of a precipice. Unless those who know the importance of the IRS take action, we are on the verge of losing the respect and, indeed, fear of the IRS that makes it such an effective revenue raiser. And, without sufficient revenue, we don't have a government that can meet our essential needs.

Time and time again we hear that government departments don’t have the data or information that they need to plan or evaluate their activities properly, despite them being responsible for setting up these projects or programmes in the first place
~ Meg Hillier, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee


Robert Wood, #1 Tax Lady Found Guilty Of 27 Tax Felonies, Could Face 131 Years. “#1 Tax Lady” isn’t the same tax lady as former TV IRS debt settlement figure Roni Deutch

Richard Phillips, Tax Wars: 3 Lessons about Tax Policy from the Star Wars Universe (Tax Policy Blog). “The Star Wars universe has problems with corporate tax enforcement and shell companies.”

News from the Profession. Big 4 Firms Still Getting Used to This Whole Regulation Thing (Caleb Newquist, Going Concern)

Jim Maule, You Mean That Tax Refund Isn’t for Me? Really?. Judge Judy deals with a tax refund spent by an ex-girlfriend.

CFO, Socially Responsible Companies Pay Lower Taxes:
A new study debunks the common notion that companies with high CSR ratings do not practice aggressive tax avoidance.
Ireland: Tax expert and high-profile doctors on latest defaulters' list

Jonathan Barry Forman (Oklahoma) & Roberta F. Mann(Oregon), Making the Internal Revenue Service Work, 17 Fla. Tax Rev. 725 (2015)

We warned lawmakers about this renewed plunge into law enforcement for profit, but did they listen? “Congress Orders IRS To Use Private Debt Collection Companies” [Kelly Phillips ErbRobert Wood, both Forbes] Earlier herehere, etc.

Who’s investigating fake Chinese goods?  Fake investigators

Bloggers are right to draw attention to the tax dodging practices of multinational companies (UK tax fraud costs government £16bn a year, audit report says, 17 December). But this staggering sum is dwarfed by the $200bn the IMF estimates developing countries lose to corporate tax avoidance every year.

Expected vs. unexpected innovations

News from the Profession. Don’t Worry Tax People, You Have a Lame Hashtag, Too (Caleb Newquist, Going Concern).

News from the Profession. Not Even ISIS Immune to Shortage of Accounting and Finance Talent (Caleb Newquist, Going Concern)

Wineries that ship to customers nationwide are among the latest targets of a Chicago attorney who has developed a lucrative freelance enforcement niche. Steven Diamond and his firm of Schad, Diamond and Shedden “have filed hundreds of suits against various companies in industries such as cookware, flowers and motorsports” and more recently beverage makers under “an Illinois law that requires businesses to collect sales taxes for the state, not only on what they sell, but on shipping-and-handling charges. A whistleblower rule allows anyone within the state to sue in the name of Illinois and collect any recovered funds.” [Wine Spectator] While a number of other states also tax shipping charges, Illinois authorities, unable to agree on how to interpret a relevant decision by their state’s high court, have given conflicting guidance on when taxes are owed. [Wines and VinesTom Wark, Schiff Hardin,WTAXP.S. Related on the practice of tax farming in the Roman Empire and pre-Revolutionary France, and latter-day parallels, here, here, and here.

Kristin Hickman (Minnesota), Exploring the 'How' of Tax Legislation (Jotwell), reviewing:
Much of tax scholarship—past and present—focuses on the “what” of taxation: the substantive content of the tax laws, and what that content is or ought to be. As Leigh Osofsky recently observed in a delightful series of posts on PrawfsBlawg (see here, here, here, here, and here), a growing trend in tax scholarship considers tax administration, which one might describe as the “how” of taxation, or at least part of it. A separate, but related, strain of tax scholarship concerns the “how” of taxation from a different perspective, that of the tax legislative process. Two recent articles published last year offer interesting insights into this aspect of taxation: Michael Doran’s Tax Legislation in the Contemporary U.S. Congress, and Rebecca Kysar’s The ‘Shell Bill’ Game: Avoidance and the Origination Clause.

*8 Jaw-Dropping Tax Havens of the Filthy Rich