A new analysis of Trump’s tax plan uncovers a tax hike. The analysis, by Lily Batchelder of the New York University School of Law (and a Tax Policy Center visiting scholar) concludes that 8 million middle-income families would see a tax increase under the GOP nominee’s plan. As The Washington Post reports, “A middle-class family of five — two parents, three children — would gain $17,000 for their standard deduction but lose $20,250 in personal deductions. Their remaining income would be taxed at 12 percent, not 10 percent.” The Trump campaign disputes Batchelder’s findings. Batchelder is a former senior tax aide to Senate Finance Committee Democrats and the Obama Administration.
Maybe all elected officials should release their tax returns. Tax Analysts’ Joe Thorndike, director of the Tax History Project, knows of no members of Congress who regularly disclose their tax returns. And Maine’s Portland Herald reports that the state’s congressional delegation rejected the paper’s request to release copies of their 2015 tax records. In a joint statement the lawmakers said their financial disclosure forms are sufficient, though one, Senator Angus King, did release his return when he ran for Senate in 2012. Thorndike says, “I think more disclosure from our elected officials is better than less disclosure.”
Will Congress temporarily fund the government and avoid a shutdown? The Senate may vote as soon as tomorrow on a bill to fund the government until early December, and the House may vote soon after. The continuing resolution would fund government agencies at a slightly lower rate than the current fiscal year (0.496 percent less). Under the bill, Tax Analysts reports, the IRS would be barred from setting permissible levels of political activity for tax-exempt organizations. Without a funding bill, much of the federal government would shut down after September 30.
Ecuador’s foreign minister calls for an international “political battle” against tax havens. Ecuador estimates an amount equal to 30 percent of its gross domestic product is stashed in tax havens. “It's time for the U.N. to take a much stronger stance against tax dodging in general, tax havens in particular and in favor of the broad issue of tax justice,” said Foreign Minister Guillaume Long.
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