Monday, October 21, 2019

Best Small and Medium Workplaces

“To determine the Best Small & Medium Workplaces of 2019, Fortune partnered with global people analytics firm Great Place to Work to analyze feedback representing more than 127,000 U.S. employees. Take a look at the best small workplaces…

When Democrats Used to Indict Plutocrats and Monopolists Matt Stoller. The MSNBC interviewer is just vile. Matt’s response when she made the abjectly false claim that the corporate tax cuts went to R&D wasn’t the best (although it wan’t bad), but it’s hard to swat back lies that are so out there that they’re unexpected. It’s hard to muster it, but the best would have been to start laughing and then shellack her. 

'Unstoppable trailblazer': NSW's first female judge, Jane Mathews, farewelled

The life of Jane Mathews, the first woman to be appointed a judge in NSW, was celebrated with a state memorial service at the Sydney Opera House.

Daniel Hemel (Chicago) & David A. Weisbach (Chicago), The Behavioral Elasticity of Tax Revenue:

This article presents a new measure of the efficiency consequences of tax policies and explains how this new measure can shed light on a wide range of tax law debates. We build upon the “elasticity of taxable income” approach pioneered by public finance scholars over the last quarter century and extend that approach to address complex tax systems with multiple rates, multiple bases, and administrative and compliance costs. The resulting measure — the behavioral elasticity of taxable income, or BETR — captures the change in real resources available to society caused by any marginal change in tax rates, the tax base, or tax enforcement. We argue that the BETR can serve as a guide to a wide range of tax policy issues, and we illustrate the BETR’s utility by applying it to questions such as the proper treatment of mixed personal/business expenses, the appropriate aggressiveness of efforts to address tax shelters, and the optimal mix of audits, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and penalties.

Frustrated that many Australians don't believe big companies pay their tax, business has blamed politicians, the media and "deeply ingrained misunderstandings" for broad public scepticism.
The Tax Office's latest corporate tax estimates shows the net income tax gap for large corporate groups was $2 billion for 2016-17 – meaning about 4 per cent of potential revenue hasn't been paid. . .

The ATO says the major    firms' compliance rates are among the world's best.

A scientist who worked on the 1976 Viking mission to Mars: "I'm Convinced We Found Evidence of Life on Mars in the 1970s"

The US military is trying to read minds MIT Technology Review 
CISA’s Request for Subpoena PowerLawfare. DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Google exec says Nest owners should probably warn their guests that their conversations are being recorded Business Insider  Never, ever buy a device that’s marketed as being “smart.”
Germany’s cyber-security agency recommends Firefox as most secure browser ZDNet – “Firefox is the only browser that received top marks in a recent audit carried out by Germany’s cyber-security agency — the German Federal Office for Information Security (or the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik — BSI). The BSI tested Mozilla Firefox 68 (ESR), Google Chrome 76, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge 44. The tests did not include other browsers like Safari, Brave, Opera, or Vivaldi. The audit was carried out using rules detailed in a guideline for “modern secure browsers” that the BSI published last month, in September 2019. The BSI normally uses this guide to advise government agencies and companies from the private sector on what browsers are safe to use. The German cyber-security agency published a first secure browser guideline in 2017, but reviewed and updated the specification over the summer…” [Note – as a long term user of Firefox, be prepared to encounter regular warnings about insecure sites when you open embedded URLs from emails, articles and reports. Users are given the option to continue – I resist the urge to do so and often use the strategy of searching DuckDuckGo for alternative, safer links with the same/similar information.]

 Performance of the Inspector-General of Taxation (Transcript of Evidence Friday 18 October 2019)

Make Tax Crimes Great Again Caps for Sale

I am offering for sale the "official" cap -- Make Tax Crimes Great Again (see image at right).

I offer them for a per unit cost that covers my costs of purchase, tax and mailing.  Here is the breakdown, with the costs depending upon the number purchased by me which I will then pass on.
Number Ordered
My Per Cap Cost
Your Price

As you can see, I am not really looking to make money on the sale of caps.  I suspect that the difference between my purchase price and sales price is just a bit more than the cost to mail the caps, but not much.

Let me know if you are interested by emailing me at After I determine the number interested, I will set the final Purchase Price and then advise where to send the check and provide the delivery address for the caps.  Keep in mind that the caps are not yet made.  I am told that the time to make and deliver the caps to me is about 2 weeks.
In an industry that’s in the midst of a major disruption, law students are demanding that schools prepare them not just for the rapidly changing job market, but for new ways of practicing law.
Students starting law school this fall will graduate into an industry that’s very different from the one of generations past. Gone are the days when practicing law meant spending hours behind an imposing wooden desk in an office overflowing with paper.

Free FileThe Internal Revenue Service’s partnership with private firms to provide free tax preparation to millions of filers has serious flaws but also appears to provide substantial benefits, according to an outside review commissioned by the IRS [Independent Assessment of the Free File Program (Oct. 3, 2019)]
The study, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, responded to intense criticism of the public-private partnership, called the Free File Alliance. In theory the alliance is designed to provide free online tax-prep by a dozen companies to about 100 million filers who currently earn about $66,000 or less. Members include industry leaders such as H&R Block and Intuit, the maker of TurboTax.
But in recent years, Free File has been used by fewer than 3 million filers annually. Both the National Taxpayer Advocate and members of Congress have charged that the low usage rates signal that the program isn’t working well. Stories last spring by the nonprofit news site ProPublica drew more attention to the program’s workings. ...