As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax returns with the highest reported income in 2013. The media widely reported the surprising news that these highest-income taxpayers saw their average tax rate jump to 22.9 percent in 2013, up from 16.7 percent in 2012.
Throughout the fall, Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, has been courting Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox. Pfizer was not attracted by Allergan's wrinkle-free face or full lips, but by its Irish citizenship.
The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acted last week to make corporate inversions more difficult for companies looking to swap their American address for a lower tax rate.
Corporate inversions allow U.S. corporations to register as a foreign corporation in order to lower the taxes they owe. But the transaction occurs largely on paper— meaning the location of many of a company’s employees, the markets the company serves, and the products themselves are unlikely to change significantly.
The Tax Justice Network has released the largest ever survey of global financial secrecy. The United States ranks third—only Switzerland (#1) and Hong Kong (#2) pose larger threats to financial transparency efforts, according to the index.
Voters in Maine, Ohio, and Seattle approved statewide pro-democracy ballot initiatives last week. The successes of these ballot initiatives echo an increasing public interest in the negative role big money and influence can play in politics across the country.
Each state’s initiative took a different approach to protecting our democracy.
Roughly two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for more than half of their income. In stark contrast, a new report we co-published last week with the Institute for Policy Studies found that the 100 largest CEO retirement accounts contain $4.9 billion—more than 41 percent of Americans families have saved for retirement, combined.
This week, Rep. Paul Ryan found himself in a very unique bargaining position with his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives. He held all the cards—they desperately needed him for his leadership, his determination, and his political prowess. For anyone who’s ever negotiated on salary, it was a dream situation. Republicans were basically reduced to pleading: Please, Paul, take the promotion! Just let us know your price!