The IRS Dials Up Its Opacity

irs-logoTax Analysts may be the most important magazine publisher you’ve never heard of. Founded in 1970, it publishes Tax Notes, a weekly compilation of tax news and analysis, and an indispensible read to tax practitioners, policymakers, and academics alike.[fn1]

For those of you not steeped in the world of tax practice and policy, that may not seem like such a big deal. But it is: in addition to reporting the news, Tax Analysts has had a real and significant impact on the public’s relationship to the IRS.  Continue reading

The IRS Looked at Bitcoin . . .

bitcoinsA couple months ago, I posted about the problems with taxing bitcoins. In short, we didn’t know if bitcoins were currency or property. Largely, of course, the difference is immaterial: receipt of currency or property constitutes the receipt of taxable income, and using property or foreign currency to acquire goods or services constitutes a taxable realization event.[fn1] The most significant difference is that if bitcoins were property, any gain or loss could be capital, whereas if they were a currency, that gain or loss would essentially always be ordinary.

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Taxing Bitcoin

bitcoinsOver at Slate, Matt Yglesias mentions that, in addition to the existential questions surrounding bitcoin, there are a handful of practical questions that need to be worked out. Specifically, he wants to know if bitcoin transactions should be taxed and, if so, how they should be taxed.  Continue reading

An Addendum to the Prior Note re: Same-Sex Marriage in Utah

simple-chic-wedding-cake-3On Tuesday, I wrote about the tax consequences to married same-sex couples of Utah’s decision not to recognize its same-sex marriages for the duration of the stay. The quick version is, that decision, combined with the federal government’s decision to recognize such marriages, was going to force Utah’s same-sex married couples to prepare dummy returns, substantially increasing the expense of filing their tax returns.  Continue reading