Some bits and pieces from here and there:
- Marijuana has been decriminalized, at least to some extent, in many jurisdictions in America. This has brought the industry above-board, and has exposed it to taxation. Under federal law, businesses involved in the marijuana trade cannot deduct their business expenses from their gross profits when figuring their income tax. This is a result of the great piling-on of the Just Say No era, when politicians were falling all over themselves to come up with new ways to stick it to dope smokers. This puts above-ground marijuana vendors in a bind, as “it is conceivable that [this law] could require [such] a business to pay more in tax than its total profits for the year.” Tax professor Benjamin M. Leff has a possible solution: organize as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. Meanwhile, marijuana purchasers should be aware that the federal government is making a big profit on anything they purchase in the above-ground market, and should for that reason prefer to purchase from the same underground dealers they’ve trusted for years.
- A number of American churches want to keep their tax-exempt nonprofit status without heeding the legal ban on political endorsements that accompanies it. 1,600 of them backed up this opinion with civil disobedience — defiantly making overtly political stands from the pulpit, and sometimes even recording them and turning the recordings over to the IRS. So far the agency has done nothing in response, and many are speculating that it feels that in a churches vs. IRS battle, the IRS is most likely to end up with a black eye, no matter what the law says. But now the Freedom From Religion Foundation is forcing the issue. The Foundation has filed a lawsuit asserting that the IRS is illegally permitting religious non-profit groups to engage in political activity it forbids to non-religious non-profits.
commissioner sent a memo to agency employees about the expected impact of
“sequester” budget cuts. Excerpt:
We will continue operating under a hiring freeze, reduce funding for grants and other expenditures and cut costs in areas such as travel, training, facilities and supplies. In addition, we will need to review contract spending to ensure only the most critical and mandatory requirements are fully funded.
Despite current and planned efforts to cut expenses, our greatest expense, by far, is employee pay. As our budget is reduced for the remainder of the fiscal year, it appears a number [5–7 per employee this year] of furlough days will be necessary given the size of the anticipated budget cut to the IRS.