Trump asks Supreme Court to block New York State's subpoena for his tax returns. He is making a claim that a sitting president is immune from any investigations by any authority. His argument has been rejected by a a district court judge and an appeals court. His claim is especially bold since it applies to his activities before he became president and the subpoena is for information held by a third party--the firm Mazars.
In other Trump tax return news... A three-judge appeals court panel said Congress can subpoena the president’s tax records, and this week the full US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit declined to revisit that ruling. The appellate court gave Trump seven days to file an appeal to the US Supreme Court and the president’s lawyers are preparing to do just that. Fasten your seatbelts.
The IRS is making fewer criminal referrals. No, it’s not because taxpayers are more honest. Politico quotes a top agency official saying the IRS sent about 800 criminal cases to the Justice Department over the past year, down from about 1,200 in prior years. The reason: The IRS criminal investigations staff is down from 3,500 to about 2,000.
New Jersey sends Uber a $650 million tax bill. The rideshare platform had been classifying its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. But New Jersey disagrees and sent the firm a bill for $650 million in unemployment and disability taxes. About $523 million represents four years of back taxes and the remaining $119 million is interest and penalties. Uber will challenge New Jersey’s determination.
Personal Foul: Taxing college scholarships. TPC’s Howard Gleckman makes that call against Sen. Richard Burr. The North Carolina Republican tweeted that he’ll introduce a bill to require college athletes to pay federal income taxes on their scholarships if they “cash in” by accepting payment for commercial use of their likenesses or names. Gleckman explains why Burr is wrong to tax the only financial reward the vast majority of college athletes receive: A free education.
In Germany: The solidarity tax is nearly gone. Since 1991, two years after Berlin Wall fell, Germans have been paying a 5.5 percent income tax to fund projects and infrastructure in the former communist East. Now, living standards and average income is up in those areas. Starting in 2021, 90 percent of Germans will no longer pay the tax, 6.5 percent will pay a reduced rate, while 3.5 percent of the wealthiest Germans will continue to pay the full rate.
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