* First and foremost – Joe Kristan of the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG reminds us what today – October 15th – is in his post “It Tolls For Thee”.
* Pete Pappas of THE TAX LAWYER’S BLOG gives us some first-hand examples of how the IRS is not always as “kinder and gentler” as they would like you to believe in “Horrifying Tax Tales”.
* Pete also has begun a 10-post series on the 2 full opinions and 8 Memorandum opinions issued by the Tax Court through October 10, 2008. He begins with Patrick S. Arnold v. Commissioner in the post “Tax Court Update - October 2008”.
* TAX GIRL Kelly Phillips Erb provides a good overview of the tax treatment, old and new, of mortgage debt forgiveness in the appropriately-titled post “Foreclosures, Debt Forgiveness and Mortgage Losses Explained”.
* The Tax Foundation has set up a special page on its website titled TAX FACT CHECK. As the Foundation explains –
“Tax talk is filled with statistics, and everyone knows the old Mark Twain saying about the three types of lies: ‘lies, damned lies, and statistics.’ Taxpayers, voters, the media, and even elected officials often have a difficult time sorting through all the information—and misinformation—on taxes that circulates on the internet, in the media, in political speeches, and in election debates and ads. Tax policy is a complicated, often confusing subject, and it's no wonder that so many people have trouble understanding it.
The Tax Foundation helps sort through the facts, lies, nuances, and half-truths with its Tax Fact Check publications, blog posts, and podcasts. Tax Foundation scholars analyze political speeches, debates, campaign advertisements, websites, and other sources to separate the tax facts from the falsehoods and help taxpayers understand and evaluate what they read and hear.”
Be sure to check out this page tomorrow morning to discover the tax-related factual FUs from tonight's final Presidential debate.
* I just came across the October 3rd “Friday Tax Quote” from the TAX LAW FORUM blog written by attorney Rob Teuber (the highlight is mine) –
“My father has a great expression: ‘The capital gains tax has created more millionaires than any other government policy.’ The capital-gains tax tends to make investors hold longer. That is almost always the right decision.” Chris Davis
Something for those who call for the repeal of the special capital gains tax rates to think about.
* Kay Bell of DON’T MESS WITH TAXES quotes former Bush Treasury official Bruce Bartlett in her post “Another Stimulus Package? Say It Ain’t So”, who, after the first rebate was approved in January, wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece (the highlight is mine) -
“In short, there is virtually no empirical evidence that tax rebates are an effective response to economic slowdowns. The increased personal saving doesn't help the economy because the federal budget deficit, which can be thought of as negative saving, offsets all of it in the aggregate. The main benefit of a tax rebate would seem to be political -- giving politicians a way of appearing to be doing something about the nation's economic problems that is superficially plausible.”
* When will they ever learn? Kay follows up the above post with a report that the Democrats, led by candidate Obama, want more rebate checks. Their thinking – find an idea that doesn’t work and keep doing it! In her post “Second Stimulus Plan in the Works” Kay states –
“In announcing his new economic policy plan today, the Democratic presidential nominee called on Congress ‘to pass a plan so that the IRS will mail out the first round of [Obama's proposed] tax cuts as soon as possible.’ Yep, that's the second rebate, which I argued against just this morning.”
I recently saw a musical about dorm life in which the college kids sang that Democrats are idiots and Republicans are evil. While I do not believe that all Republicans are evil (just Cheney and George W’s other advisers) it looks like Democrats may indeed be idiots!