I’M OK WITH DUNKIN' AS LONG AS THEY KEEP MAKING THE DONUTS (AND THEY SAY THEY WILL)
You’ve probably already heard about it, and it is off topic, but I can’t resist commenting on the biggest news of the week: Dunkin’ Donuts is officially dropping “Donuts” from its name. Their press release reassures fans like me, however, that Dunkin’ will “remain sweet on donuts.”
Wait, you thought the biggest news of the week was something else?
Constitution Day was September 17. It marks the day that the U. S Constitution was completed. As always, the Cato Institute is a good source of information on this event. Here’s a link to their blog post, which has links to other informative materials.
My September newsletter is in the works. I’m going to address an estate planning topic that comes up regularly: will a trust shield your assets from future liabilities?
I’m also going to briefly discuss what assets are, under Arizona law, exempt from the claims of your creditors. Note that I said under Arizona law, because the rules are different in other states.
In the meantime, here is a link to a newsletter I wrote a while back about Arizona law on how one particular type of property, your homestead, may be exempt from claims of creditors. I have heard that there’s no limit to the homestead exemption in some states, but that’s not the case in Arizona.
Wow, there is sure a lot of discussion about the limit placed on the deductibility of state and local taxes by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the related regulations recently issued by the IRS. I wrote about those regulations on August 30, pointing out that the regulations will limit or disallow federal deductions for payments for which the taxpayer receives a state or local tax credit. The effect will be to undo measures put in place by certain states that would treat otherwise non-deductible state and local tax payments as charitable contributions.
If you want to read some scholarly analyses about how all this works or doesn’t work, and how it should or should not be changed, here are some links:
And here’s a link to a report on what I would call a decidedly non-scholarly, political attack on the proposed regulations:
As you can see, the links are all from the TaxProf Blog. Of course, you can go and read the source papers, if you’re so inclined.
IN OTHER WORDS, THE VAT WAS DEFEATED BY THE POLITICAL PROCESS. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?
It seems that many more enlightened countries have a national consumption tax. Such taxes are also known as value added taxes or “VAT” and are more colloquially described as national sales taxes.
In a discussion about why there is no national consumption tax in the United States, I learned something I hadn’t heard about before. According to the scholar who researched the question, in the 1970s and 1980s, American lawmakers supported such taxes, but those lawmakers either abandoned the idea or were ”ousted from political office.” That wording suggests that those lawmakers’ support of a national consumption tax resulted in electoral defeat for those lawmakers. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, should it?
BAR APPLICANT SEZ: I HAVE A DISABILITY THAT PREVENTS ME FROM BEING TRUTHFUL, BUT THAT SHOULDN’T PREVENT ME FROM BEING ADMITTED TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW
The parodies write themselves, don’t they?
Actually, I can’t say it any better than the Supreme Court of Georgia did (their decision is linked in the ABA Journal article linked above):
“[The applicant] essentially asks for a waiver of certification, or an accommodation from being subjected to an examination of his character and fitness, based on an alleged inability to be truthful, accurate, and forthcoming in his bar application disclosures and his professional dealings.”
Via TaxProf Blog.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.