Tag Archives: corporate interests

“Tax cut” could taste like a Nothingburger for many middle-class taxpayers

Several clients asked me this past week what the Paul Ryan tax proposal announced by House Republicans would mean.

To use a phrase the White House might find familiar: For many taxpayers, it might be just a big Nothingburger.

Ryan says a typical middle-class family could save around $1,200 in taxes. What he doesn’t say is that a family with four children could wind up with a larger tax bill instead of a tax cut. If you have significant deductions for state and local taxes (which would no longer be allowed), property taxes (which would cap out at $10,000), and medical expenses and charitable contributions, your taxes might be higher instead of lower.

Who will definitely benefit: Corporations, which could see their top tax rate slashed from 35% down to 20%, and the wealthiest families, as the estate tax (which now applies to fewer than 6,000 estates annually, or only two out of every 1,000 or so estates) is eliminated entirely–good news if you have a relative who is worth more than about $6 million. Nothingburger for everyone else.

John Cassidy of The New Yorker does a nice job of summarizing the current state of play here, and Jim Tankersley of The New York Times shows how 13 million taxpayers earning under $100,000 would get hit with a tax hike under the Republican proposal.

Stay tuned.

How your tax $$$ subsidize Walmart & McDonald’s

One more reason fast-food and other low-wage businesses are happy with the status quo on minimum wage: Your tax dollars help subsidize their chintzy wages, which often leave their workers on public assistance. As detailed in a University of California study and reported in The New York Times, around half of all home health care… Continue Reading

Corporate Cayman Islands tax shelters rip off U.S. taxpayers

*”Corporations are people, my friend.” –Mitt Romney, August 11, 2011 Statistic of the day: A single five-story office building is the registered address of more than 18,000 companies. How is that possible? Well, the building is in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands, and most of those businesses are registered there only for tax… Continue Reading

Multinationals seek tax heavens, er, havens . . . oh, what’s the diff?

More and more U.S.-based corporations are growing wings and flying away from their U.S. tax obligations. Bloomberg puts it as simply as possible: “U.S. companies looking for lower tax bills are heading for the exits, and Congress is doing nothing to stop them.” The immediate impetus for the story was Pfizer’s proposed purchase of AstraZeneca,… Continue Reading

Delta Airlines pays zero tax on $2.7 billion in earnings in 2013

When people have a bad financial year, they generally don’t get any tax benefit. But when corporations lose money, the losses don’t disappear. For tax purposes, they are carried forward to future years, and can result in companies making billions but still owing nothing. Case in point: Delta Airlines, which, as Bloomberg Business Week explains,… Continue Reading

For privileged corporations, paying state taxes is increasingly becoming a thing of the past

States regularly offer tax incentives (or, depending on your point of view, corporate welfare) to major corporations in exchange for promises of expansion, corporate relocation, retention of old jobs, creation of new jobs, and anything else with the word ‘jobs’ in the sentence. If you think about it, it’s an almost mindless rush to the… Continue Reading

Apple avoids billions in taxes, and it all looks legal; those guys really are smart

Lawmakers are using words like “gimmicks” and “schemes” to describe how Apple Corporation has used a web of subsidiaries spanning the globe to avoid taxes. There are hearings this week at which Congressmen are expected to say they are shocked, shocked, to hear of tax loopholes being exploited. As The New York Times reported, Congressional… Continue Reading

Corporations say DOMA is a big tax hassle

I always say that everything’s about taxes. The current legal wrangling about gay marriage proves it once again. More than 200 companies have signed onto a brief filed with the Supreme Court saying that the Defense of Marriage Act has become an administrative hassle, forces them to discriminate against different classes of married employees, and… Continue Reading

Tax pandering season in high gear

The tax pandering season got into high gear with both President Obama and Presumptive-Nominee-In-His-Own-Mind Mitt Romney coming out with tax reform proposals on Wednesday. As The Washington Post points out, Romney would cut all individual income tax rates by 20%. But beware! Here’s Joe the Tax Guy’s Rule Of Across-the-Board Tax Cuts: Across-the-board cuts favor… Continue Reading

Health insurance: the sand in the gears of the American economy

One bit of good news on the health insurance front: Despite some trial balloon suggestions, health insurance premiums in 2011 will continue to be tax-deductible for all self-employed professionals. That’s the good news. The bad news is, the system of actually getting health insurance is still an unholy mess. And the system forces people into… Continue Reading