• Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    09-16-2018, 01:47 PM
    Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code contains two special rules for clergymen: (a) if a clergyman is provided housing, its rental value isn't included in his gross income, and (b) if he is provided a cash allowance as part of his compensation it's not included in his gross income to the extent he uses it to rent or provide a home. The amount excludable under (b) can't exceed the fair rental value of the home, including furnishings and utilities.* Section (b) was recently declared unconstitutional as a violation of the Establishment Clause. See Gaylor v. Mnuchin, 278 F. Supp. 3d 1081 (W.D. Wisconsin 2017). https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20171006zb43 The case is currently on appeal to the Seventh Circuit. * The fair rental value limitation was enacted to place a cap on the amount of the cash allowance that is excludable. But it doesn't place a cap on the value of the house. Accordingly, a televangelist could build a $10 million residence and have his church pay him an allowance sufficient to defray the mortgage payments. To compound the unfairness of this preferential treatment for clergymen, they can deduct the interest component of mortgage payments, even though interest incurred in connection with tax-exempt income is generally nondeductible.
    9 replies | 648 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-31-2018, 08:32 AM
    Probably Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution.
    21 replies | 453 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-28-2018, 11:37 AM
    From the material at the link: There are several problems with this approach. First, the case may be such that it's necessary to get one of the witness's co-defendants to testify, and you're back to square one -- you need to cut a deal with someone in order to get him to testify against the witness. Second, even if you're able to get a conviction of the witness, he may appeal and by the time his appeal is finally determined the statute of limitations may have run against the person against whom the government wants him to testify. Keep in mind that the defense counsel will do his best to impeach a government witness who's been given a deal and to persuade the jury that the witness is lying. It's up to the jury to determine whether the witness is telling the truth, and they don't automatically have to believe him.
    17 replies | 546 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    08-22-2018, 01:13 PM
    Astrology is bunk. For example, the astrological signs are based on the relative positions of the Earth, Sun, and constellations as they existed 2200 years ago. Today, however, the signs are off by almost an entire month. See https://www.livescience.com/4667-astrological-sign.html
    37 replies | 1094 view(s)
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We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
Erwin N. Griswold

Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
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