Accounting News Roundup: Arguments Against the VAT; PwC Donates $500k to Expand Diverse Talent Pipeline; Tax Documentary Needs a New Name | 04.21.10

Conservatives and the VAT [TaxVox]
Howard Gleckman at TaxVox explains that the two main arguments that conservatives have against a Value Added Tax (“VAT”) is that 1) it will put trillions into the Treasury that liberals will spend with reckless abandon. Plus the American people would not realize that they were paying so much to the Feds and 2) that it’s “too efficient.”


Re: #1 he essentially says (and we agree) “how is this different than the current situation?” and Americans are already clueless about how much they pay in taxes:

Americans seem entirely unaware of how much they pay in income taxes. The Tax Policy Center estimates that a typical American remits less than a dime in income tax for every dollar he or she earns. Ask the next 10 people you see how much of their income they paid in taxes just a week ago and I suspect none of them will get it right.

As far as #2 is concerned, he cites the idea “tax law distorts economic decision making,” and explains that “the worst possible tax system is good because it will punish the economy to the maximum possible extent.” That is, some argue that a complex system prevents more wasteful spending (chew on that for awhile).

He concedes that it wouldn’t be a perfect system but in case you haven’t heard, our government has a revenue problem (yes, he says spending needs to be cut too) and raising income taxes is about as popular as Al Gore at an Oil Barons Ball.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Announces $500,000 in Grants to Expand Diverse Talent Pipeline [PR]
PwC will shell out $150k to Bryant University, The University of Southern California and Wake Forest University and $50k to Florida International University to help spread the good word of tax careers to minorities, “[The Universities] will use the funds for scholarships and hands-on career exploration programs for students from groups that have historically been underrepresented in the accounting field, including African-Americans/blacks, Latinos and Native-Americans.”

An Inconvenient Tax: Philadelphia Premiere! [Tax Girl]
While this looks like a moderately interesting documentary, the title is terribly unoriginal.

An Inconvenient Tax – Trailer from Life Is My Movie Entertainment on Vimeo.

Conservatives and the VAT [TaxVox]
Howard Gleckman at TaxVox explains that the two main arguments that conservatives have against a Value Added Tax (“VAT”) is that 1) it will put trillions into the Treasury that liberals will spend with reckless abandon. Plus the American people would not realize that they were paying so much to the Feds and 2) that it’s “too efficient.”


Re: #1 he essentially says (and we agree) “how is this different than the current situation?” and Americans are already clueless about how much they pay in taxes:

Americans seem entirely unaware of how much they pay in income taxes. The Tax Policy Center estimates that a typical American remits less than a dime in income tax for every dollar he or she earns. Ask the next 10 people you see how much of their income they paid in taxes just a week ago and I suspect none of them will get it right.

As far as #2 is concerned, he cites the idea “tax law distorts economic decision making,” and explains that “the worst possible tax system is good because it will punish the economy to the maximum possible extent.” That is, some argue that a complex system prevents more wasteful spending (chew on that for awhile).

He concedes that it wouldn’t be a perfect system but in case you haven’t heard, our government has a revenue problem (yes, he says spending needs to be cut too) and raising income taxes is about as popular as Al Gore at an Oil Barons Ball.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Announces $500,000 in Grants to Expand Diverse Talent Pipeline [PR]
PwC will shell out $150k to Bryant University, The University of Southern California and Wake Forest University and $50k to Florida International University to help spread the good word of tax careers to minorities, “[The Universities] will use the funds for scholarships and hands-on career exploration programs for students from groups that have historically been underrepresented in the accounting field, including African-Americans/blacks, Latinos and Native-Americans.”

An Inconvenient Tax: Philadelphia Premiere! [Tax Girl]
While this looks like a moderately interesting documentary, the title is terribly unoriginal.

An Inconvenient Tax – Trailer from Life Is My Movie Entertainment on Vimeo.

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