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ANR: Adieu to Mortgage-interest Deduction?; Unauthorized Child Credits Gone Wild; The War on Marriage (Through Penalties) | 08.22.12

Tax Reform Skirmish [WSJ]
It doesn't sound like much, but GOP reformers scored a victory this week against a formidable special interest. They managed to beat back an attempt by the real-estate lobby to put an endorsement of the mortgage-interest deduction into the 2012 Republican Party platform. Reformers had scored a bigger triumph on Monday by defeating the pleas and threats by the crowd that gave us Fannie Mae and helped produce the housing boom and bust: The tax reform plank initially left out any mention of the mortgage-interest carve-out. But the housing lobby struck back, and on Tuesday GOP platform writers added a clause saying that if the GOP failed on tax reform it would favor the retention of the mortgage-interest break.

Senate Republican: Unauthorized claims for child credit could hit $7 billion [The Hill]

A top Senate Republican said Tuesday that the federal government could hand out more than $7 billion this year in a refundable tax credit to workers not authorized to be in the U.S. The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration has already said that unauthorized workers claimed $4.2 billion in Additional Child Tax Credits (ACTC) in 2010. Extrapolating from those numbers, the office of Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, projected those ACTC claims would have hit $5.6 billion in 2011 and $7.4 billion in 2012. That would be up from $924 million in 2005, according to figures from the inspector general. Sessions and other GOP lawmakers, like Sen. David Vitter (La.), have pushed to stop unauthorized workers from receiving the ACTC. Tax breaks like the ACTC are called refundable tax credits because taxpayers can receive a cash refund even if they don’t have any tax liability. 
Man pleads guilty to theft from Buffett Foundation [OWH]
Dhaval S. Patel, 38, will be sentenced in November. He faces up to five years of probation or 20 years in prison. Patel made $190,000 a year as a senior program officer – traveling the world as a monitor of charities that the Buffett Foundation supports. Patel doctored several receipts for overnight stays, meals and travel – then requested reimbursement from the charity for those purported “expenses.”
Sixteen States Have Marriage Penalties [TaxProf]
The war on marriage goes on!
AICPA Recommends Changes to IRS Form 990 [AT]
Red Lobster Waitress Attacked For Filling Water Glasses Too Often At St. Louis Location [HP]
Sharrell Evans, Britley Green and Geneen Green were charged with mob action and aggravated battery after allegedly throwing water on a waitress and striking her with their hands and a menu. A witness at the restaurant said the women were upset because the waitress was filling their glasses too often. Ambulance crews gave the waitress a quick evaluation, but she declined further medical attention and went back to work.


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