All posts tagged taxes

→ Amazon to stop paying Minnesota bloggers for sales traffic

Minnesota E-Fairness legislation, signed by Gov. Mark Dayton on May 23 and going into effect July 1, classifies independent bloggers and online reviewers as a physical presence of a business in the state. This means online companies who pay these people to generate new sales must collect tax not just on those sales, but on all sales in the state.

Amazon’s response? They simply cut Minnesota bloggers from their affiliates problem.

You would think state legislatures would have learned the law of unintended consequences by now.

→ It Didn’t work in Denmark, but I am Sure it Will Work Here

People who push for these European-style reforms should have to spend 5 years living in Europe to see how much they damage countries.

→ Thomas Sowell Explains Capital Gains Tax

How are capital gains different from ordinary income?

Ordinary income is usually guaranteed. If you work a certain amount of time, you are legally entitled to the pay that you were offered when you took the job. Capital gains involve risk. They are not guaranteed. You can invest your money and lose it all. Moreover, the year when you receive capital gains may not be the same as the years when they were earned.

If a country wants investors to invest, it cannot tax their resulting capital gains at the same rate as the incomes of people whose incomes were guaranteed in advance when they took the job.

It is really quite simple1.


  1. If you want more of Dr. Sowell’s explanations of economics, I highly recommend Basic Economics (Affiliate Link). 

Warren Buffet’s with a Bit of Tax Hypocrisy

Warren Buffet made headlines with his op-ed in the New York times calling for higher taxes on those he defines as rich. The most direct criticism of Mr. Buffet’s claim that the rich are being “coddled” is that while the effective tax rate on the rich has hardly changed since the 1980s, those in the lower income quintiles pay dramatically less taxes from that time. Additionally, Mr. Buffet’s claims that the middle class pays a larger share of their income has also been shown to be wrong.

The latest criticism that cuts away at Mr. Buffet’s argument is his clear hypocrisy in making the claim.

But if he were truly sincere, perhaps he might simply try paying the taxes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says his company owes? According to Berkshire Hathaway’s own annual report — see Note 15 on pp. 54-56 — the company has been in a years-long dispute over its federal tax bills.

According to the report, “We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years at the IRS Appeals Division within the next 12 months. The IRS has completed its examination of our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2005 and 2006 tax years and the proposed adjustments are currently being reviewed by the IRS Appeals Division process. The IRS is currently auditing our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2007 through 2009 tax years.”

Maybe Mr. Buffet should take a good look in the mirror before asking other people to pay what he things is their fair share.

(via NetRight Daily h/t TaxProf)