[A McClatchy-Marist] poll reported that roughly two out of three registered voters — 64 percent — would be in favor of increasing taxes on annual income over $250,000. President Obama reiterated in his deficit-reduction speech last week that he favored allowing taxes to rise on families in that income level. Independents favored that plan of action at roughly the same percentage as the country at large, with more than eight in 10 Democrats also behind the idea. A majority of Republicans, 54 percent, opposed it. The poll was conducted both before and after Obama’s Wednesday speech, with support for higher taxes on wealthier Americans picking up afterward. Meanwhile, fully four in five registered voters oppose cutting Medicare and Medicaid. The House GOP’s fiscal 2012 budget, largely crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), makes fundamental long-term changes to both health entitlement programs, converting Medicaid into a block grant and turning Medicare into a type of voucher system. [The Hill, Earlier]
- Caleb Newquist
- September 20, 2011
By now, you’re probably heard about President Obama’s new plan for reducing our nation’s deficit. It involves raising taxes on the wealthiest of citizens including this new thing called the “Buffett Rule” which would force anyone making $1 million a year to pay a tax rate that is at least as high as the one paid by middle-income taxpayers. Predictably, Republicans have not warmed to the idea and are reacting on cue. Congressman Paul Ryan (WI) got feisty, saying the Buffett Rule was an example of “class warfare.”
The President, not always thrilled with criticism, sees it as slightly more complicated than that:
“This is not class warfare — it’s math,” Mr. Obama said from the White House Rose Garden, addressing GOP critiques of his plan head on.
Yeah Paul Ryan, Mr. Chairman of the House Budget Committee. If you’re not willing to get all nerdy about it, the President doesn’t want to hear it. Come back when you’ve got a blackboard filled with equations.
Tax Court: “…religious, charitable, scientific…literary, or educational purposes…” Doesn’t Mean “Sex with Kids.”
- Joe Kristan
- January 27, 2010
Private charitable efforts are as American as can be. Toqueville noted our vigorous civil society back in the early days:
Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations. They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools. If it is proposed to inculcate some truth or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society.
The tax law recognizes this all-American tendency in Sec. 501(c)(3), which grants a tax exemption for associations with the proper purpose, like those in the headlines.
So along comes Eddie C. Risdal from Iowa. Eddie wanted tax exemption for a cause dear to his heart, “Mysteryboy Incorporation”:
MENBERS SHALL NOT PROMOOT, BUT WILL NOT DENY THE FACT OF PAST & PRESENT HUMAN HISTORY THAT HUMANKIND FROM YOUTH ON-THROUGH ADULTHOOD HAS IN MAJORITY BEEN SEXUAL ACTIVE WHETHER BE IN PROMISIOUS, DEVENTCY, OR EXPERIMENTATION SEXUAL ACTS, AND MENBERS WILL PROMOOT SAFE SEX EDUCATION AND SAY NO TO ILLEGAL DRUGS USES UNTIL THE EVENT THAT THEY BECOME LEGALIZED, MENBERS WILL PROMOOT FEED THE HUNGARY, SUEICIDE PREVENTION AND ANY AMENDED PROGRAMS AS THE INCORPORATION FINDS SUCH A PUBLIC NEED TO ADD SUCH PROGRAMS THAT WILL BENEFIT SOCIETY AT LARGE.
The IRS somehow found this suspicious and asked a few more questions. They came to this conclusion:
The facts of this case show that Mysteryboy Incorporation was organized and operating primarily for influencing a change in the laws concerning sexual exploitation of children.
The Tax Court found that cause a bit too close to Eddie’s heart (my emphasis):
The activities in which petitioner proposes to engage seek to decriminalize the type of behavior (1) for which Mr. Risdal, petitioner’s founder, sole director, sole officer, and executive director, was convicted and incarcerated and (2) which formed the basis for his having been adjudicated a sexually violent predator subject to civil commitment under Iowa Code Ann. ch. 229A (West 2006).10 On the record before us, we find that petitioner has failed to show that those activities will not provide Mr. Risdal with a platform from which he will seek to legitimize the illegal behaviors in which he has engaged, for which he was convicted, and which formed the basis on which he is civilly committed under the laws of the State of Iowa. On that record, we find that petitioner has failed to carry its burden of establishing that its proposed activities will not further the private interests of Mr. Risdal in violation of section 501(c)(3) and the regulations thereunder.
The moral? Civil society ends where civil commitment begins.
Joe Kristan is a tax shareholder for Roth & Company, a Des Moines, Iowa CPA firm, where he works with closely-held businesses and their owners. Prior to helping start Roth & Company, he worked for two of what are now the Final Four CPA firms. He writes the Tax Update Blog and is available for seminars, first communions, Bar Mitzvahs, etc. You can see all his posts for GC here.
- Caleb Newquist
- August 14, 2009
Why on Earth would someone like MC Hammer have to go and make reassuring claims about his financial situation? The fact that the IRS is hassling him with an illegit, illegit to quit, tax lien has us completely nonplussed (is that the right word?). The man is the poster child for rag to riches to completely over-leveraged riches to bankruptcy to mediocre comeback celebrity.
More on HammerTime’s trubs, after the jump
Hammer is all bent out of shape over a lien that the IRS slapped on him last month for $625k that is related to some damn thing 15 years ago. Right about the time when he was working really hard at going bankrupt.
HammerTime would also like everyone to know that along with a hit TV show, he is a very successful Twitterer with over 1 million followers, so obviously this whole tax lien is a huge misunderstanding because everyone knows that 1 follower on Twitter = $1 in the bank. So if the IRS could just drop it, that’d be great. Thanks.
MC Hammer Raps IRS over Tax Debts [Web CPA]