President Trump's taxes: Losses and avoidance. The New York Times obtained two decades' worth of tax return data for President Trump. The data show that Trump faces hundreds of millions of dollars of debt and an IRS audit that could cost him more than $100 million. The Times reports that because of his financial losses, he paid no federal income taxes in ten of the years between 2000 and 2015. It reports that in 2016, he paid $750 in federal income taxes. In a press conference yesterday, President Trump disputed the Times' reporting but did not say how much he paid in federal income taxes. He said, "I paid tax."
Stopgap spending bill, coronavirus relief still up in the air. Tomorrow, the Senate may take up a continuing resolution keep the government funded past Wednesday. The measure, already approved by the House, would run through December 11. Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats and the White House are still looking for agreement on additional coronavirus relief.
With no relief bill, half the states have run out of federal funds for added unemployment benefits. Currently 26 million people across the country receive unemployment benefits. Congress approved a weekly increase of $600 in the spring, but it expired in July. In August, President Trump ordered that funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) be used to boost the federal benefit by $300. Twenty-five states have used up those FEMA funds while ten states have not yet distributed their first payment. .
Tomorrow, State of the Cities 2020: Leading through a Pandemic. The Urban Institute and TPC’s State and Local Finance Initiative host a virtual event on how cities are responding to the pandemic. Current and former city leaders and policy experts will discuss how large and small communities are coping and what that could mean for services, jobs, and an inclusive economic recovery. Learn more and register here for Tuesday’s event; it starts at 1:30 pm.
Wyden and Warren ask TIGTA to review IRS’ criminal investigative unit’s use of a commercial database. In a letter to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Sens. Ron Wyden and Elizabeth Warren wrote “The IRS is not above the law and the agency’s lawyers should never provide IRS-CI investigators with permission to bypass the courts and engage in warrantless surveillance of Americans.” The IRS purchased a commercial database and searched it for information collected on Americans’ cellphones. It did so with the approval of its own lawyers but without a court order.
Tune in to The Prescription on Thursday. The next guest featured on TPC’s online conversation on policy responses to the COVID-19 economy will be Reed College economics professor Kim Clausing (@KClausing). The author of Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital will talk with TPC senior fellow Howard Gleckman about the pandemic’s influence on corporate and international tax reforms, and its effects on the US economy, the federal debt, and global trade and capital flows. You can register here to watch on October 1 at noon Eastern Time.
European Commission to appeal Apple tax ruling. The EC plans to appeal the European Union’s General Court ruling in July that there was no evidence that Apple broke tax rules in Ireland. The EC has argued that Apple avoided $15 billion in Irish taxes, though Ireland said Apple followed regulations. EU executive vice-president and competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager maintains, "If member states give certain multinational companies tax advantages not available to their rivals, this harms fair competition in the European Union in breach of state aid rules."
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