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Christopher Bergin
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Entries by Christopher Bergin

Tax Analysts v. Internal Revenue Service

(1) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 9:30 AM

About a week ago I wrote a post, which noted that although Tax Analysts has been involved in various litigation with the IRS for more than 40 years, we were not founded to sue the IRS. Well, we just sued the IRS. Hypocritical? Not at all.

As I...

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The IRS: It's Bad Enough

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 11:54 AM

When is it not silly season in Washington, D.C.? Congress is apparently having a ball with the latest misery of the IRS. Some Republicans are saying that the scandal goes straight to the White House. Where's the proof? Some Democrats are insinuating that taxpayers who use dangerous words like "patriot"...

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Scandal, Scandal, Scandal

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 1:08 PM

To paraphrase John Wayne in McClintock: Now, let's all calm down. In Washington, they throw the word scandal around with such abandon it's hard to know at any given time what it means. (According to dictionary.com it is a disgraceful or discreditable action). Well, look on...

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Dilemma -- the Earned Income Tax Credit

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 1:57 PM

Earlier this week, Max Baucus, the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, announced that he will not run for reelection in 2014. Baucus is currently working on tax reform with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp.

Immediately, some began to assert that Baucus' announcement meant the...

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When Tax Avoidance Crosses the Line

(9) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 1:53 PM

As we mark the 100th anniversary of the income tax this year, most taxpayers won't be celebrating. Instead, they will continue to loathe a tax system that's so complex, unfair, and riddled with loopholes that average taxpayers have little idea what they actually owe. It's a system so riddled with...

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A State of Uncertainty

(12) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 3:25 PM

Taxpayers woke up New Year's Day to headlines proclaiming the news that President Obama and Congress had averted the fiscal cliff and relieved the fiscal uncertainty that has overshadowed our shaky economic recovery for many months. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the recent negotiations...

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Washington State Department of Revenue Should Make More of Its Tax Rulings Public

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 10:32 AM

Navigating the state and federal tax codes is hard enough for taxpayers as policymakers load them up with ever-more-complicated credits, deductions and write-offs that they can take as well as increasingly burdensome requirements that they must follow.

Now imagine what life would be like for taxpayers if guidance on those...

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The Other Cliff (Hint: It's in Your Tax Return)

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 9:20 AM

The IRS is an interesting organization to observe. For one thing, it mostly tries to fly under the radar. I think this is caused by several factors. Among them, the IRS is a professional operation that goes about its business and is very good at doing what it is assigned...

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Fiscal Myth

(1) Comments | Posted September 14, 2012 | 4:11 PM

Just when I think that our politicians can't act any more irresponsibly, they up the ante. And this one is a doozie. Republican House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that he is "not confident at all" that a deal can be reached to deal with the so-called fiscal...

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North Carolina's Missing Transparency Ill Serves State's Taxpayers

(0) Comments | Posted September 7, 2012 | 5:38 PM

With President Bush's big tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 all due to expire at year-end, and with the two parties locked in combat over whether to extend all or just some of them, federal taxpayers are left to wonder what they will owe the IRS next year and how...

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Changing Society One Tax at a Time

(11) Comments | Posted July 15, 2012 | 4:19 PM

Recently, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act by defining the individual mandate as a tax. The ruling focused on a technical explanation of the individual mandate, with Chief Justice Roberts noting in his opinion: "... it is reasonable to construe what Congress has...

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Taxmaggedon Looms

(6) Comments | Posted June 13, 2012 | 7:13 PM

History may well remember 2012 as the year our leaders finally drove the United States off a fiscal cliff due to their disastrous tax and spending policies. America's economy teeters on the brink of a media-dubbed "taxmaggedon," a ticking time bomb of policy triggers that, together with deep spending cuts...

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Apple Sidesteps Taxes -- What's Wrong With That?

(33) Comments | Posted May 1, 2012 | 10:19 AM

A front-page article in Sunday's New York Times entitled "How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes" is getting quite the buzz.

A couple of things about the article.

While the Times piece recognizes that there is nothing illegal about the techniques that Apple uses to minimize its taxes, it...

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Why Congress Should Increase the IRS Budget

(17) Comments | Posted April 17, 2012 | 12:28 PM

"When all is lost," a comic once said, "ask the IRS -- they'll find something." That's easier said than done these days, however, because three in ten people who call the IRS for guidance this tax season will have their questions go unanswered. But, rather than blame the agency, frustrated...

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A Time Bomb of a Tax Code

(3) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 1:16 PM

There's a lot of serious news out there -- tragedy, health care, a nuclear Iran. It seems the news of the day roars at us.

But if you turn down the sound, you can hear it: tick, tick, tick. What is it, you say? It's the federal tax system, and...

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Payroll Tax Cut Extension: Just Another Quick Fix

(4) Comments | Posted March 26, 2012 | 3:28 PM

Policymakers of both parties may be hailing the recent bipartisan extension of the current payroll tax cut, but it's really just one more example of the short-term tax fixes to which lawmakers have grown addicted -- and that are making our tax code an increasingly undecipherable patchwork of temporary provisions.

...
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