Tag Archives: taxes

John Tilman, “Do you really want to vote for an even bigger Illinois tax burden?”

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are joined by John Tilman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, on Illinois’ Governor’s race. Specifically, the policies propose from J.B. Pritzker and his income tax bill idea.

John Tilman wrote an article in the Chicago Tribune covering how this will affect families in Chicago.



Bill Cameron: “I put it at 3% that [Rahm Emanuel] won’t run again”


In for Big John and Ramblin’ Ray is Lauren Kohn and John Kass, they talk with Bill Cameron, from Connected to Chicago, about Mayor Emanuel and the chances of running for office again, plus Chicago’s pensions and taxes. As well as talking about his guest this weekend where they’ll be talking about CPS Schools.

Listen to Bill Cameron on Connected to Chicago, Sunday nights at 7 pm.


Trump campaign grapples with tax bombshell

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Donald Trump’s campaign is grappling with the fallout of a New York Times report that revealed he may have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years.

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Why Trump tax revelation is stunning
By Edward McCaffery
Editor’s note: Edward J. McCaffery is Robert C. Packard trustee chair in law and a professor of law, economics and political science at the University of Southern California. He is the author of “Fair Not Flat: How to Make the Tax System Better and Simpler.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
The revelation by the New York Times that Donald J. Trump was showing a tax loss on his 1995 tax returns of nearly $1 billion is stunning.
As a tax lawyer, academic and commentator, I have a pretty good sense of what is coming: a few articles, some denials and retorts–including one from Trump that came after the story appeared–and lots of complexity from talking heads.
True believers in Trump will come away still convinced of their great leader’s genius and acumen. Hillary Clinton’s followers will fume that yet another piece of evidence showing their opponent is a selfish, unprincipled con artist has come forth without finally ending this thing.
The rest of us — and the remaining undecideds — will come away confused, in large part because stories about billion-dollar tax breaks tend to be confusing.
Here, then, are a few simple points:
– A $916 million tax loss is a big deal. It means that Trump could have earned income of almost a billion dollars over a period of up to 15 years after 1995 without paying any federal income tax. Nice work if you can get it. Trump got it.
– It is wrong to assume that Trump’s nearly billion-dollar loss came from his own money. Trump is the self-proclaimed “king of debt.” Much of sophisticated tax planning has always involved getting tax breaks from “other people’s money,” a phrase of which Trump is fond. Banks, other lenders or investors could well have put up the money generating the losses that Trump is claiming on his own tax returns.
– To truly understand the underlying source of the tax loss, we would have to see Trump’s tax returns. It is certainly fair to assume that the loss came largely from other people’s money, and fair for us to expect Trump to rebut such a claim …. by showing us his tax records.
The argument that “Trump is really smart, the king of tax loopholes, and that we should elect him because he alone can fix the tax system” is extremely weak, for at least two reasons.
1. There is no evidence whatsoever that Trump, himself, understands the tax laws benefiting him. The New York Times article indicates Trump’s own tax accountant found him inattentive, and nothing that Trump has said in public has revealed a deep knowledge of the tax code. Trump does, on the other hand, have a frequently revealed fondness for debt, or using “other people’s money.”
2. Trump’s own tax proposals would actually close down none of the remaining tax “loopholes” benefiting debt. Indeed, Trump’s plan would greatly encourage and reward debt. Trump’s impulsive last-minute decision to continue an interest loan deduction in his otherwise standard trickle-down tax du jour plan was a $1.2 trillion dollar “whopper” — an expense nearly five times higher than the campaign’s view of the cost of Trump’s child care tax plan.
Trump’s continued preference for tax benefits for debt is reckless. Trump’s tax policies would greatly increase taxpayer abilities to use other people’s money to generate tax breaks for themselves.
Whatever happens in the sea of complexity about to be sent forth, we should all remember this: A tax loss of nearly a billion dollars is a very, very nice thing to have, especially if it came from other people’s money.
The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Homer Glen tobacco shop operator charged with tax fraud

(HOMER GLEN) The operator of a southwest suburban tobacco store has been charged with defrauding the state of Illinois out of more than $400,000 in sales taxes.

Mazen M. Nassar, 38, is charged with felony counts of sales tax evasion of over $100,000, money laundering of over $10,000, wire fraud and filing a fraudulent sales tax return, according to a statement from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office.

Nassar is accused of underreporting more than $5.8 million in sales between January 2011 and February 2014 from Smokers Expo, 12330 W. 143rd St. in Homer Glen, prosecutors said. His underreporting defrauded the state out of more than $465,000.

Nassar, of Orland Park, was previously convicted in 2012 of conspiring to purchase contraband cigarettes without tax stamps on them, the attorney general’s office said. He was sentenced to a year in prison.

“This defendant once again sought to evade tax laws at the expense of the state and Illinois taxpayers,” Madigan said in the statement. “We will continue to hold these offenders accountable.”

The various charges against Nassar are punishable by sentences ranging from two to 15 years in prison, prosecutors said. He was ordered held on a $550,000 bond.

Illinois may increase income taxes on wealthy

By John Dempsey, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO) Illinois House Democrats are considering a plan that would increase state income taxes on the wealthy.

The plan would scrap the state’s current flat income tax of 3.75 percent, and increase the rates 9.75 percent for those earning more than $1 million.​

Downers Grove Republican State Representative Ron Sandack told “The Big John Howell Show” on WLS the plan is a bad idea that will drive citizens out of Illinois.

Listen to Representative Sandack with Big John Howell on WLS-AM 890:

“Why would a high earner want to stay in Illinois if they could ply their trade over the border in Wisconsin or Indiana?  We can’t keep taking more money from a diminishing population and expect prosperity to follow.”

The plan is expected to be brought up for consideration in the Illinois House on Wednesday.

The proposal would change the Illinois Constitution so people would be taxed based on their earnings.

Democrats hold majorities in both the Illinois House and Senate.

@2016 WLS-AM News

Ex-Congressman Mel Reynolds, facing tax charges, gets locked up

CHICAGO) Mel Reynolds, the ex-Congressman accused of tax crimes, was taken into federal custody Wednesday after he failed to find a place to stay in the Chicago area where he could under electronic monitoring, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Reynolds faces only misdemeanor tax charges at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, but his case has been filled with drama.

On Wednesday, Reynolds told the court he is no longer being represented by prominent defense attorney Richard Kling and rather will represent himself.

U.S. District Judge John Darrah had given Reynolds several days to find a permanent place to stay where he could undergo home electronic monitoring, but Reynolds came up empty Wednesday and was taken into custody.

The issue came to head after Reynolds was arrested last week at the Atlanta airport when he failed to meet the judge’s deadline to return to Chicago from South Africa.

Darrah called Reynolds a “bad flight risk” when Reynolds finally appeared in Chicago. Reynolds said he had remained overseas, despite the judge’s instructions, to tend to his ailing daughter. Prosecutors have questioned the extent of her illness.

Reynolds also visited Zambia last year without a judge’s permission. But he has argued he’s not a flight risk because he has returned to Darrah’s courtroom after leaving the United States. He was also overseas when prosecutors filed their indictment.

Last July, Reynolds had to scramble to find a place to live because of lifetime restrictions on his residency stemming from his conviction decades ago for having sex with an underage campaign worker. His attorney said at the time that Reynolds “doesn’t have a lot of money.”

Kling also said that could help Reynolds as he fought the federal charges.

“You have to have an income in order to be required to file,” Kling said in July 2015. “I’m very serious. He has a defense, as to whether he had an income.”

Now Reynolds’ trial, set for June 20, could pull two prominent Chicago businessmen to the witness stand. Real estate developer Elzie Higginbottom and onetime-mayoral candidate Willie Wilson separately hired Reynolds to do consulting work involving Zimbabwe on their behalf in recent years.

–Chicago Sun-Times

© Copyright 2016 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Emanuel Budget to Hit Renters

By Bill Cameron, WLS News

(CHICAGO) On the day before the aldermen vote on the mayor’s bad-news budget, one group of opponents is talking about how the property tax increase will hit a group that’s been overlooked.

Landlords will pass the mayor’s big property tax increase onto renters. Diane Limas of Communities United says the working poor just can’t take this anymore.

“You ask us to do a little bit. You ask the working family, the working person, to do a little bit. We do it every year, every year, every year,” Limas said. “Well, now we’re at the point where the straw is going to break the camel’s back. We can’t do it anymore.”

One solution being suggested is for the mayor to reduce the size of his property tax hike by using more of the property tax surplus set aside for developers.

Listen to Bill Cameron’s report got WLS radio news:

@ 2015 WLS News 


Rauner made $58 million in 2014, tax return reveals

(CHICAGO)  Business is still booming for Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana, who reported more than $58 million in income in 2014, according to a joint tax filing released by the governor’s office on Friday.

The Rauners reported $58.3 million in total income on their federal return, the Sun-Times is reporting. Their adjusted gross income was $57.5 million. They paid $15.2 million in federal taxes and $2.8 million in Illinois taxes, according to the filing.

The governor’s office did not release the schedules for the filing, which provide information on interest income, mortgage interest and charitable deductions. But in a news release, the governor’s office said the Rauners made $3.3 million in charitable contributions.

Last October, Rauner’s office released four pages of his 2013 tax return, also without the accompanying schedules. That filing revealed the Rauners took in $60.8 million in income, up from the $53.4 million they reported making in 2012. In 2011, Rauner reported $28.1 million in income and in 2010, $27.1 million.

In October 2014, Rauner was in the midst of a contentious campaign against former Gov. Pat Quinn. Quinn’s campaign at the time questioned why Rauner didn’t release his entire tax return to the public.

TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau picking a fight with receiver over taxes

(CHICAGO) TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau claims he is being put in a “trick box” and is picking a fight with the receiver a federal judge put in charge of his assets nearly two years ago, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Trudeau, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year after a contempt conviction, complained through his attorneys in court papers last month that the receiver had not filed tax returns for Trudeau, his wife or 19 of Trudeau’s purported businesses.

The receiver countered that Trudeau had refused to turn over control of those businesses, claiming “he either lacked control over them or the entities were empty shells with nothing to turn over.” Rather, the receiver pointed to claims that they were part of a scheme to put Trudeau’s assets beyond the reach of the Federal Trade Commission.

But Tuesday, Trudeau’s attorneys said the receiver had complete access to his records for nearly two years.

“By now, it is too late for the receiver to complain about its apparent inability to do its job,” they wrote. “The bottom line is the receiver has failed to identify any specific Trudeau assets that have not been turned over to the receiver.”

They said Trudeau is faced with the choice to either violate his legal obligation to pay taxes or violate a court order preventing him from personally paying money to the IRS.

The squabble is expected to spill into U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman’s courtroom May 21.

Prosecutors have accused the self-improvement guru of brazenly defying Chicago’s federal courts for more than a decade. As he handed down Trudeau’s 10-year sentence in March 2014, U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman called Trudeau “deceitful to the very core.” He pointed to a litany of previous fraud and contempt charges and convictions cited by prosecutors.

But Trudeau said at the time he’d undergone a “personal transformation.”

“I have been stripped of all ego, arrogance, defiance and pride and for this I am very thankful, as it has made me a better person,” Trudeau said.

— Chicago Sun-Times

Officials: 65 percent of tax preparers violating city ordinances

(CHICAGO) Nearly two-thirds of tax preparation businesses visited by city investigators were not in compliance with city ordinances, a recent investigation found.

The undercover operation by the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection investigated 409 tax preparers, targeting predatory businesses that dip into taxpayers’ refunds with misleading fine print, according to a statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.

Of those, four businesses received cease-and-desist orders; 13 others were ordered to correct their limited business licenses; and 147 others will have to appear at administrative hearings, where fines range from $50 to $10,000, officials said.

The businesses were cited for operating without a license, failure to provide a consumer bill of rights, operating illegally or without state approval and failure to provide written discolsure, officials said.

The city could pocket between $94,000 and $340,000 if the fines are approved, according to the statement.

Residents who thinks they might have been bilked by a tax preparer can notify the city’s consumer protection department by calling 311 or visiting taxprepchicago.org.

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC