IRS thaws tax treatment of Cuba, allows ‘credit’ on Cuban taxes paid, but embargo limits benefits
By Karen Lapekas , 07/06/2016

The following was published on on 3/14/2016 (

Author: Karen J. Lapekas Date: March 11, 2016

Will Trump’s Plan Remove the Promised 75 Million Households from the “Income Tax Rolls”?
By Karen Lapekas , 07/06/2016

Trump’s tax plan is getting more than its share of attention. But let’s face it. Debating Hilary’s plan just isn’t as much fun. It isn’t radical enough to feel like real “reform” and it lacks the excitement attendant to wondering how the government will cover 9.5 trillion in lost tax revenue over the next 10 years. [1] Let’s dig into Trump’s “Tax Plan"... His very first explanation as to how he will provide tax relief for middle class Americans will make you wonder whether you or he were sick with the chicken pox in second grade during the Base 10 Number System lesson. Because with so many 0’s that just don’t add up, someone missed the concept. Trump’s plan states

“If you are sin [...]

Will Trump’s 15% Corporate Tax Rate Kick-Start the Economy? He Says, “Yes.” History Says, “No.”
By Karen Lapekas , 06/29/2016

Trump’s tax plan calls for cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%. Between the corporate tax rate cut and the cuts to individual taxes, his overall plan would reduce tax revenue by $9.5 trillion over 10 years.[1] But what's $9.5 trillion when, by "cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%,"  America will be able to "compete with the world and win"[2] Trump promises:
“These lower rates will provide a tremendous stimulus for the economy—significant GDP growth, a huge number of new jobs and an increase in after-tax wages for workers.”[3]

Want to talk intelligently about Trump and Clinton’s Tax Plans? Here’s help:
By Karen Lapekas , 06/23/2016

It’s officially summer and the election season is officially hot. Hilary is officially the Democratic nominee and Trump is still only “presumptive.” But unless Republican delegates conduct a successful coup d’etat (isn’t anything possible this year?) he will soon be an official nominee as well. For those who take sides primarily on economic—rather than social—issues, understanding the candidates’ tax plans is critical. And lest you add even more hot air to the debate, to understand a tax plan you must understand the numbers. There are myriads of ways to analyze a tax plan. But most of us just really want to know:
  • Who will more?
  • Who will pay less?
  • Will the Treasury collect more? and
  • Will the federal deficit increase [...]

Who Benefits from Homeownership Tax Subsidies?
By Karen Lapekas , 09/26/2014

Setting aside special interests, there are generally two commonly-accepted reasons tax subsidies are passed: (1) to encourage asset-building behavior, especially within the middle-class (through higher education, investment, or saving); and (2) to pad the Federal Treasury through “trickle-down” economics. Among the low and middle-classes, personal residences are usually the primary wealth-building assets. So wouldn’t encouraging home ownership through tax incentives (e.g. the mortgage-interest and real estate tax deductions) benefit the middle class the most (and thus benefit the national fisc because, when the middle class makes more, the middle class pays more)? According to a September 2014 report from the Tax Policy Center
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