French financial prosecutors raided Google’s French headquarters yesterday. They’re trying to verify whether the firm’s Irish unit has a permanent base in France, and whether it evaded corporate or value-added taxes by not declaring some activities there. France wants $1.8 billion in back taxes; Google says it has complied with the law.
Belgium wants to ask about Luxembourg’s alleged unwritten tax agreements with multinationals. Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt wants to talk with his counterpart in Luxembourg. If the allegations are true, he says, Luxembourg would be running counter to the European Union’s goal of taxation deals’ transparency.
The Koskinen drama continues. The House Judiciary Committee held its hearing today on whether to impeach IRS commissioner John Koskinen. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Republicans blasted him for "gross negligence, dereliction of duty, and breach of public trust" and for not showing up at the event, while Democrats ripped the GOP for running a partisan witch hunt.
As part of a “sad” Washington narrative. The Koskinen impeachment is just one example of how lawmakers play games with federal agencies that interact with the public, says TPC’s Howard Gleckman. They cut their budgets, then blast them for not doing their jobs, then cut their budgets some more. The IRS has been a favorite target. TSA may be next.
Eight states may raise their minimum wage: How might the increase affect families’ taxes and SNAP benefits? TPC’s Elaine Maag and Kim Rueben use the Urban Institute’s Net Income Change Calculator to find out. Overall, workers still would be better off with a higher minimum wage, though they may lose some Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and have to pay more taxes. You can use the NICC to see for yourself.
Some members of the sharing economy are not sharing tax information. A new American University study finds that in 2014, over 2.5 million Americans earned money though online companies like Airbnb, Etsy, and Lyft. While the firms brought in about $15 billion in revenues and paid out a bundle to drivers, homeowners, and the like, they didn’t withhold taxes on those payments. Those who earned the money, meanwhile, say they are confused about when, whether, and how to report their earnings on their tax returns. The IRS plans to issue guidance to clarify reporting requirements.
Oh, it’s the IRS’s fault that we haven’t seen Donald Trump's tax returns! So suggests a senior aide to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Corey Lewandowski told CBS This Morning’s Charlie Rose, “The notion that you're going to release information that is currently under audit that could change or not change, based on the IRS findings, doesn't make any sense. So get the IRS to finish the work. You guys are the investigative journalists… [G]et it done... and Mr. Trump will release those taxes.”
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