Category:

tax

Advancing Abolition Is a Must — Abolition Means Transformative Wellbeing and Prevention

Policing is a settler colonial creation to control native populations and is exported aboard to teach other empires how to do the same. In 2007, the FBI found that cops averaged roughly four hundred “justifiable homicides” every year, whereas nearly eighty cops were murdered in the line of duty. These disparities have only further developed, where since 2014, cops averaged nearly one thousand homicides each year, and the number of cops killed in the line of duty remained around forty-eight. Policing and prison systems are premised on punishment, rather than transformative healing, health, and prevention. Thus, as stated in Decriminalization Is Not Enough, Abolition Is a Must, resources and funding which are currently given to our present system of policing and prisons should be reallocated to tools that actually serve the community, rather than on incarceration.

Justice is a means through which people can discuss, decide, and create environments that encourage them thrive and it involves the people who are most impacted by those conditions. In that vein, abolition will look different in each community. The goal of abolition should be prioritizing the needs of each community by allowing the community control and ultimate decision-making ability. Abolition allows each community to communicate, prioritize, and enact methods and means that will make that community the best environment for its members. As Dereka Purnell wrote in Becoming Abolitionists, “activists or abolition-curious people will often ask me, ‘What does abolition look like to you?’ My answers change all the time during conversation, especially since I believe that the dreaming and practicing should happen together. This is what I’m thinking about today as I’m writing the conclusion to this book. Every neighborhood would have five quality features: a neighborhood council; free twenty-four-hour childcare; art, conflict, and mediation centers; a free health clinic; and a green team.” Upon community needs, discussion, and approval, funds currently spent on police and prison systems should be reallocated to education, housing, health care, and public spaces. 

The Tax Consequences of NFTs

The popularity of NFTs has been rapidly increasing over the past year, but regulations and guidance relating to the tax consequences of buying and selling NFTs has been slow to keep up. Despite also living on the blockchain, NFTs and cryptocurrencies are not created equally in the eyes of the IRS. The IRS has addressed the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies and published guidance for crypto-investors but has not yet published any specific guidance for NFTs. This leaves many investors in a position of uncertainty regarding the tax consequences of their investments.

Stablecoins: Tying Cryptocurrencies to Other Assets

Cryptocurrency has an air of mystery about it. It seemingly burst onto the scene a decade ago, and while some of the stories about it may seem outlandish, many of them are true. The first known Bitcoin purchase was for two pizzas and prices can fluctuate wildly based off of tweets. With the origins of such a thing being the subject of internet humor and its value being so volatile, what level of attention and care is due to it?

Regulating Crypto Markets through the Build Back Better Act: Crypto Investors’ Future Compliance with Wash Sale Rules

The Build Back Better Act, which passed through the House of Representatives in November 2021, has been stalled in the Senate for several months. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has insisted that Democrats will work until the bill is passed. Within the Build Back Better Act, cryptocurrencies are shifted from being treated like property to being treated more like traditional securities, subjecting all digital currencies to wash rules under Section 1091. With cryptocurrencies collectively evaluated at upwards of $3 Trillion in 2021, crypto investors under the Build Back Better Act would be subject to the regulatory anti-abuse rules that currently apply to both stocks and bonds. This move by Democrats is for taxing purposes, but ultimately will call into question the IRS’ ability to regulate certain crypto transactions and asset disclosures. Additionally, questions have been raised as to the future regulation of cryptocurrencies and what that will mean for one of the most volatile trading markets.

Treasury’s Proposal Aimed at Limiting Tax Evasion by The Wealthy, May End Up Harming Everyone Else

In May of 2021, the United States Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) introduced its revenue proposals for the 2022 fiscal year. One of the proposals that garnered significant attention was the Comprehensive Financial Account Reporting to Improve Tax Compliance; under this proposal, financial institutions will be required to report to the Treasury the total amount of inflow and outflow on bank, loan, and investment accounts for accounts that hold at least $600 a year. Since its introduction and after serious political push-back, this amount has since been increased to accounts that hold at least $10,000 a year.

If the reporting requirement is implemented, the Biden Administration proposes to raise the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) funding by $80 billion to finance the cost of additional auditors and equipment. However, the Biden Administration, with the proposal’s implementation, expects a payoff of $460 billion over ten years in additional revenue. Although this proposal is intended at limiting wealth tax evasion, this proposal misses the mark. Specifically, it does not adequately address businesses that are able to cheat tax codes by stretching the current law, and instead scrutinizes small businesses and individuals while it exponentially increases the personal data held by the Treasury.

Should the United States Government Continue Subsidizing the Fossil Fuel Industry?

In his proposed American Jobs Plan, President Biden has stated that if the United States wants to achieve its decarbonization targets and get climate change under control, cutting off government support to the fossil fuel industry is a crucial first step. Eliminating government subsidies for fossil fuels is the most logical step in fighting back against climate change, but Biden is facing an uphill battle to get his American Jobs Plan passed through Congress.

Reining in Tax Havens

Shortly after Bristol Myers Squibb filed to create an offshore subsidiary in Ireland, the IRS took notice. The large drug manufacturer’s actions would now allow them to attribute some of its patent rights and medications to the subsidiary, and therefore subject to a twelve and a half percent Irish corporate tax rate, which is far less than the current twenty one percent rate in the United States. Additionally, while Bristol Myers had maximized the write offs and deductions for their products in the United States, the Irish deductions would now offset the U.S. taxes.

Crypto Confusion Leads to Legislative Action: Multiple Bills Introduced to Clarify Federal Regulation of Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have often been associated with illegal activities due to the fact that they allow users to remain relatively anonymous. This anonymity is possible because, when transacting with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you can see where funds are being sent but not who sent or received them. However, there are signs that the use of crypto for unlawful purposes may be falling with illicit activity accounting for just 0.34% of all crypto transactions last year – down from roughly 2% a year earlier. Despite this improvement, cryptocurrency regulation appears to remain a top priority for federal lawmakers. One such example of this is the proposal of an anti-money laundering rule which would require people who hold their cryptocurrency in a private digital wallet to undergo identity checks if they make transactions of $3,000 or more. But Congress does not appear to be stopping there. As cryptocurrencies surged in value in recent days, lawmakers jumped to introduce two new bills aimed at advancing regulation of these precarious digital assets.

The Problem With Financial Transaction Taxes: When It Pays to Leave, Instead of Comply

Chicago has a number of nicknames and “Derivatives Capital of the World” is one of them, as the city is home to CME Group and CBOE, two major U.S. exchange operators. The city risked this title in 2020 with the push for the LaSalle Street Tax, a financial transaction tax (“FTT”) that would impose a tax on trades made by Chicago exchanges. This tax was an attempt to fill the city’s billion dollar 2021 budget shortfall, but failed in large part because the evolution of trading has made these operators incredibly mobile. In a Chicago City Council meeting, Terry Duffy, CEO of CME Group, made it clear the imposition of the LaSalle Street Tax wouldn’t result in more revenue for the city, but a great deal of empty office space instead. For now, the LaSalle Street Tax is off the table in Chicago, but other governments, like New Jersey, are considering similar taxes. States considering FTTs ought to look at the pushback in Chicago and understand that mobility is the inevitable defense to such a tax.

The Cash Crop King: How U.S. Federalism Makes It Difficult to Insure the World’s Most Lucrative Crop

On June 25, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, legalizing cannabis for adult use in Illinois. Cannabis is the most lucrative crop globally and the cash-making abilities of cannabis have been proven true in Illinois. Sales in the state exceeded $1 billion in the first full year of legalization, resulting in a $205.4 million tax windfall for Illinois. This success, however, is no small feat for cannabis companies considering the banking and insurance obstacles they must overcome to start this type of business. Federalism is at the heart of many of these hurdles.