Find the latest episode of "The Uncertain Hour" here. Listen

Tax hikes prompt hunt for new tax shelters

Stacey Vanek Smith Jan 3, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Tax forms from previous years are displayed in Oakland, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Tax hikes prompt hunt for new tax shelters

Stacey Vanek Smith Jan 3, 2013
Tax forms from previous years are displayed in Oakland, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

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.

News and information you need, from a source you trust.

In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.

This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.

Stand up for independent news—become a Marketplace Investor today with a donation in any amount.