Wednesday, September 01, 2021

New Beginnings: Administering Taxes Democratically?


When you are broken, you run. But you don't always run away. Sometimes, helplessly, you run towards.

… The Women

more than the men, even. The ones who looked / like I looked.

Taxes are both the lifeblood of the state and a major power of the state. Thus, the issue of democratic values intersecting with taxation is one of cardinal import.

This week, Blaine Saito (Northeastern) reviews a new work by Clint Wallace (South Carolina; Google Scholar) & Jeff Blaylock (J.D. 2019, South Carolina), Administering Taxes Democratically?, 94 Temp. L. Rev. __ (2022).

Can Benford’s law can help the IRS detect tax evasion just by looking at the first digit of figures entered on tax returns?

Benford’s law — also called the Newcomb–Benford law, the law of anomalous numbers, and the first-digit law — is an observation about the distribution of first digits in unmanipulated numerical data sets. Benford’s law states that the first digit in naturally occurring collections of numbers is more likely to be small than large

Can Benford’s Law Detect Tax Fraud?

Cisco executive of Indian origin, sentenced to 36 months for tax fraud

From January 2012 to June 2016, Gomez and Lumucso submitted more than 16,000 false federal returns, which resulted in nearly $25 million in fraudulent refunds.

Ali Jaafar, 62, and Yousef Jaafar, 28, both of Watertown, and Mohamed Jaafar, 30, of Watertown and Waltham, and were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and multiple counts of filing false tax returns.

The tax commissioner has bucked an order from the Senate to produce documents revealing which companies received jobkeeper wage subsidies because treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, made a public interest immunity claim over the documents.

The tax commissioner Chris Jordan had until 4.30pm today to comply with the order spearheaded by independent Rex Patrick.

Frydenberg wrote to the Senate president, Scott Ryan, on Thursday explaining the basis of the immunity claim was made “on the grounds that the disclosure of individual taxpayer information would harm the public interest by undermining public confidence in taxation laws and taxation administration.”

Frydenberg said companies provided the Australian government with information in confidence to receive support, and the order would retrospectively reveal their identity. One wonders why the government didn’t make it a requirement of the scheme that the companies claiming money be published in the first place.

Jordan, who has made his own public interest immunity claim, wrote that he was in an “unprecedented situation” of the Senate demanding the documents while they are subject to another claim from the government.

Jordan noted if the Senate accepted the government’s claim, it would relieve him of an obligation to provide the documents, so the Senate will have to decide that first before he decides whether to disclose or not. Looks like a bit of a game of chicken is developing here.

Patrick said:


Australians have a right to know which large employers have received taxpayer money and how much they received.

The information the Senate asked for is not related to an employers’ business or taxation information, it is related to the amount of public money they were provided. It is no different to grant money or the total amount of money received under a government contract, which is already published information.

Rex Patrick on Senate - producing documents