Treasury and IRS Make Inversions More Difficult

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.

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Environment, Workers, and Financial Protections Among the Hardest Hit in 2015 Spending Bill

With just two days remaining to avert another government shutdown, congressional leaders released a much-anticipated $1 trillion funding package on Tuesday night, setting spending levels for the vast majority of federal agencies through Sept. 30, 2015. The legislation delivers big blows to critical public protections and the resources we need to make investments in infrastructure and public protections.

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The IRS Isn't the Only Agency with an E-mail Problem

Washington sure does love a political scandal, and no one more than House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa. The story of the missing IRS e-mail provides all the necessary ingredients: an agency accused of abusing its authority, outstanding congressional document requests and e-mail messages from a key IRS employee gone missing. That was all Issa needed to launch a vicious attack on the credibility and integrity of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who appeared before the committee Monday night to explain what happened to the missing e-mail and why. But between Issa’s outrage and Koskinen’s effort to avoid responsibility, not much was revealed.

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Senate Mandates Private Tax Collectors, Despite Past Failures

On April 3, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved a package of tax breaks, heavily tilted to corporations that will cost the Treasury an estimated $85 billion this year. Most of these tax giveaways were part of a package known as “tax extenders” that expired at the end of last year.

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Obama Proposes Exempting IRS Enforcement from Budget Caps

One of the main objectives of President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget request for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is to reduce the "tax gap," the difference between what taxpayers owe each year and what they actually pay. The president’s IRS budget request seeks funding increases for both taxpayer services and enforcement programs. Recognizing that a dollar spent on collecting revenue more than pays for itself, the Obama administration has proposed to exclude some IRS enforcement spending from the budget caps imposed by 2011's debt ceiling deal (known as the Budget Control Act).

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IRS: Tax Gap Stands at Nearly Half a Trillion

Earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released an updated analysis of the tax gap – the difference between the total amount in federal taxes owed by people and businesses, and the total paid. What did the IRS find? In 2006, the most recent year for which information is available, Americans underpaid their taxes by $450 billion. Extended over a decade, this could represent a shortfall of trillions, robbing the country of needed funds for infrastructure and other investments.

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IRS Enforcement Likely to Take Hit in 2012 Approps

The tax mans taken all my dough / and left me in my stately home / lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Reporting last week in a piece titled, "Bipartisanship lives! And it will likely cost taxpayers money," Suzy Khimm of the Washington Post notes that although Democrats and Republicans are battling over the fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget, "there's one big thing that both parties already agree on: cutting funding for the [Internal Revenue Service (IRS)]." This shortsighted move is likely to end up costing the government money (at a time when every penny is needed) because roughly half of the cuts are coming out of the agency's enforcement budget.

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GOP Shields Rich Friends from IRS

I'll take my campaign contributions now, please.

For those that followed the fiscal year (FY) 2011 spending debate, you know that compromise pulled most of the more obnoxious riders, like those aimed at Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), out of the continuing resolution (CR). But House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) succeeded in slipping a few riders into the final budget agreement, including one that bans funding for President Obama's initiative to hire additional Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents to crack down on high income tax cheats.

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White House Unveils Taxpayer Receipt

Today – on what would be Tax Day, had it not been delayed by Washington, DC's Emanicipation Day holiday – the White House released a new taxpayer receipt tool.

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Commentary: GAO Duplicative Programs Report Shows Need for More than Spending Cuts

The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recent report on duplicative federal programs has caused quite a stir in Washington. Conservative lawmakers have latched on to the report as "proof" of the need to cut billions of dollars of federal spending. Whether Congress should make such cuts is debatable, but the tome-like report includes much more than an extensive list of duplicative federal programs. It also provides a list of potential cost savings that involve continued prodding and oversight from Congress and some that may even require additional spending to help reduce waste, fraud, and abuse.

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