Tax hikes prompt hunt for new tax shelters

Tax forms from previous years are displayed in Oakland, California.

There are, perhaps, three certainties in life: Death, taxes and people trying to get out of paying taxes.

"There's an unending drive for tax loopholes," says Bill Frenzel, a tax policy expert at the Brookings Institution. According to Frenzel, higher taxes will increase that drive.

"Most of the loopholes have very aggressive lobbying programs," says Frenzel.

And not very aggressive regulation, says David Cay Johnston, a professor at Syracuse University.

"Your chances of being prosecuted are about the same as winning the mega millions jackpot. This encourages people playing games with the tax system," says Johnston.

For companies, new legislation made the loophole situation is even worse, says Johnston.

"In fact, it added some additional favors," he says, for things like motor car raceways and green energy. Johnston says tax loopholes for individuals and corporations cost the U.S. government trillions of dollars a year.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.
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Marketplace, Miss Smith:

understood you are a liberal media which believes and espouses doctrines of socialism, limitations of personal freedom and self-responsibility. yet repeating the statement: "tax loopholes for individuals and corporations cost the U.S. government trillions of dollars a year" without appropriate commentary, reinforces a large accounting inaccuracy by any reasonable standard and goes beyond typical liberal undermining of both american and individual social morality

unrealized revenue or unrealized income is not a cost. it may be considered a lost opportunity. and for you to state that the government owns the dollars, which you imply with the word "cost", before it has realized the revenue implies that the government owns the source of production. perhaps you may remember the slavery this country practiced in which the source of production was owned

a little higher education in freshman accounting and political science would be appropriate. sloppy journalism at best

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