A vote to censure the IRS Commissioner? The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans a vote today to censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The move is part of committee chair Jason Chaffetz’s goal to impeach Koskinen for misconduct during congressional investigations of the IRS. The panel’s top Democrat Elijah Cummings expressed bewilderment at the vote, noting, “The Republican Inspector General found absolutely no evidence that anyone at the IRS targeted any conservative groups for political reasons, and no evidence that Commissioner Koskinen obstructed the investigation.”
Also on the Hill today. The House Ways & Means Committee will mark up proposals to change health care-related tax law. These include a bills to make it easier for people using the Indian Health Service to use Health Savings Accounts and to remove the employer mandate on colleges hiring students and on tribal-owned businesses. A third measure would allow seniors to deduct more of their medical expenses.
McConnell promises the Senate will consider a Puerto Rico workout bill by July. The majority leader says the Senate will consider the House version of the debt resolution bill before the commonwealth faces a $2 billion default on July 1.
The IRS starts to sort out asset seizures. The agency has begun to clean up as many as 700 erroneous asset seizures in so-called structuring cases, where businesses make large cash deposits. The seizures had generated a bipartisan firestorm on Capitol Hill.
California hits a capital gains tax revenue jackpot. LinkedIn’s cofounder Reid Hoffman could owe as much as $370 million to the state, thanks to the $26.2 billion sale of LinkedIn to Microsoft. Hoffman owns 11 percent of the company. Add federal capital gains tax, and Hoffman’s total tax bill could near $1 billion.
While Medtronic may have hit the tax ruling jackpot. The US Tax Court has ruled in favor of the medical device manufacturer in its tax dispute with the IRS. The agency claimed Medtronic owed $1.4 billion more in taxes from its Puerto Rico manufacturing operations than it paid in 2005 and 2006. Thanks to the ruling, Medtronic could access about $3 billion it has been carrying on its books since 2005.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ tax hike gets another look today. The state’s House Ways and Means Committee will consider a bill to reduce a state income tax break based on federal itemized deductions. The measure would raise taxes on about 25 percent of Louisiana taxpayers, most of whom earn more than $100,000 a year, and would generate $117 million in annual revenue.
Sticker shock for Chicago homeowners. Cook County Clerk David Orr reported that the average property tax bill climbed nearly 13 percent this year, thanks largely to the record tax increase pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Bills for businesses have climbed an average 10 percent. Small consolation: Chicago homeowners’ property tax burden relative to their home values remains the lowest in Cook County.
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