Tax News & Views Oscars Roundup

February 10, 2020

Oscars contender ‘Joker’ benefited from NJ film tax breaksKay Bell, Don’t Mess With Taxes

 Hidden behind big business deals are often Federal, State, and Local tax breaks, with movies being no exception!

 “Entertainment tax breaks continue to be a controversial way to try to spur economic development.  And while some states swear by them, others opt out of the programs. They come, they go, they come back.”

Language in Extinguishment Clause in Deed Dooms Conservation Easement Deduction – Ed Zollars, Current Federal Tax Developments

 Careful with your words…they can cost you a $16M deduction.

 “The Tax Court also found that a declaration of intent by an officer of the charity that the language reflected the charity’s intent to be in full compliance with all IRC provisions for this donation also is not relevant.  The Court notes the key issue would be the donor’s intent, not that of the charity, and even if it is also the donor’s intent, the deed itself fails to conform to the requirement.” 

 A Wealth Tax Could Make Rich People More, Not Less, Powerful – Joseph J. Thorndike, TaxNotes ($)

 “It’s intuitively obvious that rich people have outsize influence in politics. And there’s evidence to support that intuition, with social scientists demonstrating a clear link between wealth and public policy.”

 But will a wealth tax address such concerns?  Potentially just the opposite, with wealthy individuals feeling forced to spend money now versus save, where that money could flow more into politics.

 On The Heels of AB 5, Congress Proposes Bill to Overturn ‘Right To Work’ States – Michelle Mears, California Globe

 “House Democrats have proposed a new law, which many compare to California’s Assembly Bill 5, to favor labor unions by implementing sweeping “Right to Work” laws. Authored by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and called The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (Pro Act), the bill is backed by labor unions which have lost members, money and political influence the past ten years.”

The bill was passed by the House Thursday, February 6th despite efforts to derail but is speculated to stall from there. 

 Farm Machinery and Equipment Subject to Sales TaxWashburn School of Law

 “The State Department of Revenue disagreed on the basis that the exemption only applied when the purchased machinery and equipment was used exclusively and directly in farming activities to produce food and fiber as a commercial business. As such, the items were personal property subject to state sales tax.” 


Monday Motivation: "All progress takes place outside the comfort zone." - Michael John Bobak

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