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Press Mentions

June 4, 2014
US business heads fight global tax changes
MSN Money
Martin Sullivan, chief economist at Tax Analysts, said US companies have legitimate reasons to worry about double taxation. "But what we're talking about is profits that aren't subject to any tax," said Sullivan, a former US Treasury official. Businesses are avoiding the real issue at hand, he said: "Are we going to allow profits to be shifted into tax havens where they're exempt from tax? We have to ensure that this income is taxed at least once."
May 30, 2014
Ways and Means backs second batch of tax extenders — Reps to Camp: Remove LIFO repeal — What’s happening in the states?
Tax Analysts has an article out examining a revised OECD transfer pricing discussion draft that has not been officially released to the public.
May 21, 2014
Congress Should Promptly Enact Legislation to Help Close Tax-Driven Corporate 'Inversions' Loophole
The Huffington Post
 "Over the last half decade, Pfizer has put all of its profits outside the United States despite high prices in the United States, more than 40 percent of its sales in the United States, and a heavy concentration of research in the United States," a 2013 analysis by Tax Analysts' Martin A. Sullivan noted.  
May 20, 2014
Credit Suisse pleads guilty to tax evasion, will pay $2.6B — The Senate’s back: What’s on the agenda?
So says Tax Analysts’ Tax Notes editor Jeremy Scott, who writes: “Extenders aren’t great tax policy. There’s a good case to be made that the economy and the tax code would be helped if they could simply expire permanently. But the medical device excise tax isn’t much better. For both parties to hold extenders legislation hostage over a small, poorly designed tax that was part of the hodgepodge efforts to pay for an ill-constructed healthcare law is the height of partisan lunacy in Washington.”
May 15, 2014
How to stop big companies from leaving the U.S.
Yahoo! Finance
 “More companies would do this if they could,” says Martin Sullivan, chief economist with the nonprofit publishing firm Tax Analysts. “If you have large piles of cash trapped outside the United States, you’re likely to be looking for merger partners.”
May 8, 2014
Another corporate moocher skips town
But the nonprofit Tax Analysts calculates Pfizer’s effective U.S. tax rate during those years to be closer to 15%—well below the foreign average. 
May 8, 2014
IRS prepares to crack down on private equity execs?
CNN Money
Then, IRS special counsel Cliff Warren (a onetime KKR exec) said the following during a tax-planning forum in Chicago (according to Tax Notes): The rule "is going to cover every kind of fee waived under section 707(a)(2), but obviously we'll be focusing on managed funds where that activity is common."
May 6, 2014
Overnight Finance: Yellen returns to Capitol Hill
The Hill
Now, Tax Analysts is asking whether Ways and Means broke the law by releasing that information. Republicans on the committee have said Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) acted within his rights, but lawyers contacted by Tax Analysts aren’t so sure.
May 5, 2014
Analyst flails state tax codes
Bloomberg Businessweek
There is a word for how most states, including New Mexico, impose taxes, said David Brunori, a George Washington University professor and deputy publisher of Tax Analysts.That word is "stupid."
April 29, 2014
How Tax Laws Distort the Pfizer Deal
The New York Times
Martin A. Sullivan of Tax Analysts wrote last year that “although Pfizer’s shares of worldwide profits and sales have both been growing, the company’s profits are disproportionately concentrated outside the United States relative to sales.” 
April 29, 2014
The biggest tax breaks in 2014
CNN Money
Also in this group is the new premium assistance offered to low- and middle-income families under Obamacare, worth about $34 billion, according to the analysis, which was published in Tax Notes.
April 25, 2014
Investments That Elude IRS Scrutiny
The Wall Street Journal
The number of comparable corporations, however, grew only 14% for the same period—from just over 19,000 to nearly 22,000—according to an analysis of IRS data by Amy Elliott, a lawyer at Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan nonprofit in Falls Church, Va.
April 18, 2014
New Tax Bug Bites Tech Companies
The Wall Street Journal
"Everyone has payroll, but not everyone has profits," notes Martin Sullivan, chief economist of nonprofit publisher Tax Analysts.
April 10, 2014
States Pursuing Cash That U.S. Companies Stash Overseas: Taxes
Tax-haven measures may similarly spread, said Cara Griffith, editor in chief of Tax Analysts’ state and local publications.“We’re going to see more and more states look at this issue, particularly if one state can show in any respect that they got some money out of it,” she said.
April 9, 2014
There's No Bailout for Puerto Rico
Bloomberg View
All of this is a clear recipe for default: if Puerto Rico can’t repay that $70 billion in debt, then it won’t. The only alternative is a bailout -- but as Martin Sullivan explains, the US government has already extended a back-door tax-code bailout worth some $2 billion per year, and even that is both insufficient andconstitutionally dubious. A more explicit bailout is not going to happen -- not when Detroit is being left to deal with the ravages of bankruptcy on its own.
April 8, 2014
How to Cheat on Your Taxes
This week, news broke that the IRS effectively fails to audit massive partnerships, like hedge funds and private equity funds, even though corporations of the same size are under constant IRS audit. A short video, "Tax Analysts Video Examines Audit-Proof Businesses," explains how partnerships escape audits.
April 8, 2014
IRS: Law 154 levy creditable, for now
Caribbean Business
Martin Sullivan, writing in Tax Notes, said five tax experts contacted by the publication took the view that the tax was “unconstitutional or that its constitutionality was seriously in doubt.”
March 28, 2014
Caterpillar Likely to Get Republican Support on Tax Issue
The Wall Street Journal
The two Senators usually work well together, a spokesman for Sen. McCain said Thursday, but "they disagree on this one." He said Sen. McCain doesn't believe Caterpillar's tax practices are as "egregious" as Sen. Levin does. Tax Notes Today, an online publication, earlier reported that Sen. McCain was "distancing himself" from the report.
March 27, 2014
IRS Decision to Treat Virtual Currencies as Property is a Mixed Blessing
Government Technology
A merchant selling its own inventory would not be required to send you or the IRS a Form 1099 reporting the transaction, although it still could be traceable, says Lee Sheppard, a contributing editor with Tax Notes.
March 25, 2014
Buying with bitcoin gets complicated under IRS ruling
San Fransisco Chronicle
Because there is no exception in the new rules for “de minimis” or tiny transactions, “a bitcoin-cupcake transaction is subject to the same rules as if I went to a barter exchange and said I want to exchange my vacation house for that rare Ferrari,” says Lee Sheppard, a contributing editor with Tax Notes.
March 11, 2014
The real reason Bitcoin is doomed
Tax attorney Lee Sheppard argues convincingly in a recent article in Tax Notes that "Bitcoin is not a currency," despite the protestations of some supporters.
March 7, 2014
Apple pays $193m tax in Australia on $27b revenue as Federal Government vows to capture lost taxes
Yahoo! News
US tax lawyer Lee Sheppard, who specialises in multinational corporations, says companies are exploiting the fact that most of their products' value rests in intellectual property.
March 7, 2014
One way to fund innovation: Apple unit pays 50c tax on every $1000 of income
“What is truly surprising in the Apple case is its brazenness,” high-profile US tax commentator Lee ­Sheppard told the Financial Review from Los Angeles.
March 6, 2014
How Ireland got Apple’s $9bn profit
Financial Review
“We’re not easily shocked by ­transfer pricing practices that the US government accepts, for better or worse,” [Lee Sheppard] wrote last year in Tax Notes International.
March 6, 2014
Apple Siphoned $8.9bn Profits to Ireland Over Past Decade to Avoid Australian Tax
International Business Times
Tax expert Lee Sheppard describes Ireland in this equation as a "way station" for deductible payments: "a kind of tax laundry used to reduce taxable income".
March 6, 2014
US tax lawyer discusses global crackdown on tax evasion
ABC's The World Today
Lee Sheppard was interviewed by ABC Radio's Eleanor Hall.
March 6, 2014
Report shows how Apple moved $8.9B in untaxed profits from Australia to Ireland
Lee Sheppard: "What Apple and companies like it are doing is they are arranging themselves in such a way that the royalties go through Ireland to places like Bermuda where they're not taxed."
March 5, 2014
Obama Budget Seeks to Eliminate Inversions
The New York Times
Tax Analysts was highlighted in the article.
February 28, 2014
Knowing The Rules Keeps Traders Out Of Tax Trouble
A Tax Analysts article was quoted.
February 25, 2014
Report: IBM paid 5.2% tax rate in U.S.
Democrat & Chronicle
“IBM is doing what everybody else is doing and it’s perfectly rational to limit your tax burden,” said Brunori, deputy publisher of the publication Tax Analysts and a research professor at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration
February 24, 2014
Book Reviews
Journal of Economic History
This is an outstanding book. Joseph Thorndike ambitiously summarizes over thirty years of proposed and enacted tax reforms, with particular focus on the policies of Franklin Roosevelt as governor and president.
February 17, 2014
IRS is America’s feared and failing agency
The Boston Globe
Chris Bergin was highlighted as "one of the nation's top observers of the IRS."
February 13, 2014
Is Uncle Sam chasing people out of the U.S.?
San Francisco Chronicle
An informal survey of tax preparers and lawyers by Tax Analysts found that the main reason people are expatriating "is to avoid U.S. information reporting rules," says Jeremy Scott, an editor with Tax Notes.
February 12, 2014
How the 1040 tax form has changed over the past century
“As we try to make the tax system do more and make it a more sophisticated tool for managing the economy, we are invariably going to create more complexity,” says Joseph J. Thorndike, a tax historian with Tax Analysts, a nonprofit that publishes tax information. “And that’s going to add more complexity to the form.”
February 11, 2014
Analysts Fret Over Legality of Puerto Rico Tax
The Wall Street Journal
“If I were holding Puerto Rico bonds, I’d be worried about a lot of things, but this would not be the one I would be (most) worried about,” Mr. Sullivan said. “But it does linger there.”
February 10, 2014
'Backdoor bailout' boosts Puerto Rico's revenues
"This look-the-other-way approach to the credit-ability of the tax may be questionable procedure and policy, but it has furthered the Obama administration's goal of maximizing assistance to Puerto Rico under current law," wrote Sullivan, who first highlighted the growth of Act 154 last month.
February 10, 2014
Careful, You File Taxes Under Penalties Of Perjury, They're Not An Opening Offer
Still, tax crimes are nothing to mess with. The ‘penalties of perjury, not an opening offer’ quip came from famed tax journalist Lee Sheppard.
February 8, 2014
Sounding the Tax Alarm, to Little Applause
The New York Times
Tax Notes was highlighted as "a scholarly chronicle of all things tax."
February 7, 2014
President Francois Hollande Takes Tax Offensive to Silicon Valley
International Business Times
Lee Sheppard, a lawyer and tax expert from Tax Analysts described the situation as an "eye poking contest" between Europe and the US. "The beauty of taxing data for EU countries is that they could get at the mostly American digital economy players without the risk of subjecting their own companies to taxation," she said.
February 5, 2014
For top-notch tax advice, turn to the women
The Washington Post
Griffith’s pieces remind us that the United States is a federal country, and many of our taxes arise at the state and local level.
February 5, 2014
Tax reform dead? Don't tell these corporate groups
“The question I would be asking if I were a shareholder in these companies, is what else have you been doing?” said Clint Stretch, a former congressional tax staffer and longtime corporate tax adviser himself.
February 3, 2014
Why do we have a debt ceiling, anyway?
“It’s really like a stick that Congress uses to beat up on the executive with," says Joseph Thorndike, a historian with Tax Analysts. "And who doesn’t like to have a stick?”
February 2, 2014
Puerto Rico’s solvency may hang on a potentially unconstitutional corporate tax
Last week an excellent explanation of the corporate excise tax was published by Martin Sullivan on The Tax Analysts Blog. Sullivan highlighted the tax’s importance at 20 percent of general fund revenues
January 30, 2014
Hate doing your taxes? Blame Congress, not the IRS
"If you want the tax system to work better, you have to pay for it," Thorndike said.
January 30, 2014
Law 154 seen as U.S. government bailout of Puerto Rico
Caribbean Business
"Given the vital importance of the tax to Puerto Rico…it is unclear why Treasury and the IRS haven't finalized the ruling, if the technical tax experts consider it to be creditable," Sullivan wrote. "It can't be ruled out that Treasury hasn't issued a final ruling because there is serious concern the tax isn't creditable and [Treasury] is under political pressure to let the interim status remain intact until the tax expires."
January 30, 2014
Why the rich can stop worrying about a punishing backlash
Yahoo Finance
There certainly is precedent for too much wealth concentrated in too few hands leading to revolutionary change. Yet those changes usually required a dramatic triggering event, which hasn’t happened in modern times. “I don’t think we’re all that close to a tipping point yet,” says Joseph Thorndike, a historian with Tax Analysts who also teaches tax policy at Northwestern University Law School. “It really takes a crisis to make something happen.”
January 29, 2014
Obama reprises corporate tax proposal in SOTU — The verdict is in and proposals won’t move tax reform needle
Martin Sullivan quoted on tax reform.
January 29, 2014
Bail-out by the back door
The Economist
Martin Sullivan quoted on Puerto Rico's backdoor bailout.
January 28, 2014
How we could get rid of April 15 as Tax Day
Yahoo Finance
Innovation is certainly possible. “It’s technically feasible for the IRS to send a precompleted tax return to the vast majority of taxpayers every year,” says Joseph Thorndike, a historian with Tax Analysts who also teaches tax policy at Northwestern University Law School.
January 28, 2014
Weil on Finance: Rescuing Puerto Rico
Martin Sullivan quoted on the federal government’s backdoor bailout of Puerto Rico.
January 25, 2014
Taxmen are doing whatever they can to squeeze more from online businesses
The Economist
THE international framework for taxing multinationals has been tweaked and refined over several decades under the aegis of the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries. But it remains “a patchwork of national laws and international treaties, frayed by internal and cross-jurisdictional inconsistencies,” laments Ajay Gupta, editor of Tax Notes International.
January 24, 2014
There’s a war over R&D tax credits. And companies keep winning.
The Washington Post
Corporate tax lawyers have enthusiastically embraced the proposed changes. And Marty Sullivan, chief economist for the nonprofit Tax Analysts, called the new rules “a significant giveaway to business.”
January 21, 2014
Newly released training docs keep IRS in the news - The battle over tax-exempt groups hits the omnibus
Chris Bergin president of Tax Analysts, which filed the FOIA suit, said he believes the documents are incomplete, and is worried the IRS is becoming an increasingly paranoid and overburdened agency.
January 17, 2014
IRS Documents Conflict With Prior Statements About Political Reviews
Tax Analysts' receipt of IRS training material under its FOIA request.
January 17, 2014
IRS Training Guidance Doesn’t Appear to Have a Smoking Gun
Government Executive
“If anyone’s looking for a scandal, I don’t think they will find it in the documents we have here,” he said. “These are training materials, which you would think, as a matter of course, would be public. The fact that it took eight months, a lawsuit and a court order to get what we have thus far,” he added, “really tells you the IRS still hasn’t figured out how to deal with its problems.”
January 10, 2014
Tax shock ahead for wealthy
“Congress is afraid of raising people’s taxes,” Stretch said. “So if you can play some games with them” or “if you can do it in a way that people cannot possibly understand what the hell you’re doing,” it is easier to swallow, he said.
January 8, 2014
De Blasio's plan to tax the rich
CNN Money
California voters did, however, reject a proposal to raise state income tax rates on a sliding scale to help pay for, among other things, early childhood programs, according to Cara Griffith, editor in chief of state tax publications at Tax Analysts.
January 8, 2014
The Loopholes In The Volcker Rule
Commentary by Lee Sheppard.
January 8, 2014
Companies Paying the Most (and Least) Taxes
24/7 Wall St
According to Martin Sullivan, chief economist at Tax Analysts, companies producing oil abroad cannot easily avoid taxes imposed by foreign governments, which often tax oil production at a higher rate than the U.S. As a result, such companies are “sitting ducks for high taxes.” ConocoPhillips faced an effective tax rate of more than 50% of pre-tax earnings in 2012.
January 4, 2014
Martin Sullivan's C-SPAN Q&A was highlighted.
January 3, 2014
What Taxpayers Should Watch for in 2014
The Wall Street Journal
"Who wants to say they're going to cut the mortgage-interest deduction in an election year?" says Clint Stretch, senior counsel at Tax Analysts, a nonprofit publisher.
January 2, 2014
If IAM Members Reject Boeing’s Proposal, Various States Hope to Land 777X Program
Bloomberg BNA
‘‘If taxes were all that mattered, Washington’s already given away the store,’’ Brunori said. ‘‘But the labor costs prove that taxes don’t matter as much as other things. In this case, that’s labor cost.’’
Press Mentions From Previous Years