Revenooer Rants: What will they tax next?
May 12, 2014
Probably whatever they darned well please! Check out the latest — Obama recently suggested states collect tolls on interstate highways to raise cash for payment of roadway repairs.
According to The Washington Post, the proposal was contained in a $302 billion White House request for a transportation bill. Interstate tolls have generally been prohibited for a long time.
"We believe that this is an area where the states have to make their own decisions," quoth Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "We want to open the aperture, if you will, to allow more states to choose to make broader use of tolling, to have that option available."
Nice. So what happened to the Federal gas tax which was supposed to pay for highway maintenance? We guess it's just not sufficient, so we need a new "aperture."
And what will be the next "aperture?"
By the way, another nugget contained within Obama's latest tax initiative would be an increase in the fine an automaker could face for a safety violation from the current $35 million to a modest $300 million.
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Just another "aperture."
And for all you gentlemen farmers out there, check out the Tax Court's recent decision in the Merrill C. Roberts case for some ideas of how to beat a hobby-loss challenge when raised by the Revenooers.
The Court found that notwithstanding the horse breeder's rudimentary record-keeping system and history of significant losses, other factors in the picture were indicative of a true intent to actually make money, including:
• Liquidation of the breeder's old, unsuitable facility, and replacement with a new one on which he built a premier training facility
• Hiring of an assistant trainer
• Making informed business decisions from his accounting records, such as they were
• Consultation with bloodstock agents and respected trainers
• Responding to the requests of peers that he run for leadership roles in professional horse racing organizations
• Lobbying for horse racing interests
• Expending substantial time in conducting the business
• Succeeding in prior business ventures
The bottom line (whether you're breeding race horses or making widgets)? Be able to show that you actually know what you're doing, and are taking your business seriously. Hit that target, and the IRS should leave you alone.
CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER – This article contains general information about various tax matters. Consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.