The IRS as Political Tool

It’s not the tax collection agency it’s made out to be. We all recall, for instance, the IRS’ Lois Lerner-run Exempt Organizations Unit targeting Conservative tax-exempt organizations, slow-walking or outright denying those organizations tax-exempt status purely for political reasons, without consideration of how well they met statutory criteria for the status.

It’s also been well-publicized that the IRS has been funded for next year to hire 87,000 agents for the ostensible purpose of increasing audits of the Evil Rich, and the agency is buying ammunition and hiring agents who are willing to use lethal force in the course of their “duties.”

Arizona Has a Chance to Lead the Way

This fall, the good citizens of Arizona will be voting on, among other things, a State constitutional amendment that would make it more difficult to increase State taxes.

If passed it would amend the state constitution to require a 60% majority to raise taxes through any future referendum. Current law requires a two-thirds majority to raise taxes through legislation but only a simple majority to do so by plebiscite.

State Representative Tim Dunn (R), who led the effort to get this onto November’s ballot:

When you have something that you can’t change without going back to the voters, I think we should have overwhelming support.

Windfall Taxes

With rising (finally) interest rates in Europe, European governments are starting to hatch what they’re pleased to call windfall tax plans.

European banks have started to reap higher profits from rising interest rates—and governments are already starting to clamp down on them.
In Spain, the government has laid out plans to tax lenders on their rising income and use the money to alleviate higher living costs for the population. Hungary has imposed a similar measure, and the Czech Republic, where inflation is above 17%, is also considering such a move. In Poland, where mortgages carry variable rates that are quickly rising, the government placed a moratorium on repayments to help borrowers.

Just the News Has a Question

The news outlet ran a poll over the weekend. The question was this:

How concerned are you that additional IRS funding through the Inflation Reduction Act will lead to more audits for typical taxpayers?

As of Sunday morning, the enormously unscientific poll—consisting solely of JtN readers—was running 96% Extremely concerned.

Keep in mind that the IRS has been targeting Conservatives and conservative organizations at least since early in the Obama administration (if not sooner; that’s just when it became exposed).

Chamber of Commerce and the Progressive-Democratic Party

The US Chamber of Commerce decided in 2020 to endorse a number of first-term Progressive-Democratic Party Congressmen on the theory that Party would control Congress after the elections and in the expectation, tacitly agreed to if only by their silence, by those Party endorsees. Fifteen of those twenty-three first-termer endorsees were reelected.

So, how’d they do regarding Chamber of Commerce wishes and expectations?

Every one of the 15 voted for the $1.9 trillion spending bill in March 2020, despite Chamber opposition to sweeping jobless benefits that stoked labor shortages and stimulus checks that fed inflation. They also voted for the PRO Act, a radical pro-union rewrite of labor law.

Lies of the Progressive-Democratic Party Politicians

Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) and President Joe Biden (D) tout the just passed (I ass-u-me; I’m writing this on Sunday morning) Build Reduced Back Act as not raising taxes on Americans with incomes less than $400k per year. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D, AZ) agrees with that by her relative silence on the matter.

However, their very own Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation demonstrates the lie of that claim.

Just the News aggregated those data:

Tax Compliance and Pressure

This time, pressure on another nation to comply with a global minimum tax regime. The Biden administration is unhappy with Hungary for standing in the way of the EU’s agreeing a global (or at least Western World) regime that would contain a minimum tax level. That minimum level was designed to eliminate tax rate competition among nations.

On Friday the Treasury said the US is withdrawing from a 1979 bilateral tax treaty with Hungary.

Eliminating that nearly 45 year agreement actually is a boon to Hungary, though, rather than pressure, since Yellen and the Biden administration have withdrawn a tool for pressuring that nation.

Scofflaw Blue States

And guess who gets to pick up the tab. You get three, and the first two don’t count. Here are the scofflaws:

At least four Democratic-led states with budget surpluses this year have chosen not to fully repay the federal government for money borrowed to fund unemployment benefits, a move that will impose increased charges on businesses to help make up the difference.
California, Connecticut, Illinois, and New York have directed surplus funds to social programs and taxpayer rebates, among other causes, leaving unpaid debts to the federal government ranging from tens of millions of dollars to more than $15 billion.

A Small Tweak and a Large…Tweak

In his Wednesday Wall Street Journal op-ed, Travis Nix reminds us of this tidbit regarding IRS private letters that’s buried in President Joe Biden’s (D) latest budget proposal:

IRS private letter rulings—the agency’s written answers to individual taxpayers’ questions, which the IRS itself says cannot be relied on as precedent.

Here’s a small tweak: make the IRS stand by its rulings by making those rulings binding on the IRS, applicable to all taxpayers, and precedential. And require the IRS to answer the question that was asked—to issue its letter ruling—within 30 days of the question being asked, or failing to do so authorizes, as a matter of tax law, the questioner to answer the question (formally, via its tax return) in its own way.

More Tax Credits?

Now consumer companies are looking to get in on the Federal climate tax credit scam, this effort centering on “clean” energy claims.

More than 40 companies, including consumer brands such as Airbnb Inc, Lyft Inc, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, and IKEA, are calling on Congress to adopt federal energy legislation to provide additional financial incentives for clean-energy projects such as wind turbine farms and solar installations.

And

They called for federal tax credits for developers and suppliers of major wind, solar, nuclear, and energy-storage projects, as well as for electric vehicles and charging-station tax credits, which could benefit company-run fleets.