Taxes

Federal Government Suing Warren Buffett-Owned Company Over Unpaid Taxes

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Dancing with himself

Not sure what's funnier here, the underlying story, or the way The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin tries to work through the cognitive dissonance:

The United States government, in a little-followed case in Ohio, filed a lawsuit this month against a unit of Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, seeking $366 million in taxes and penalties. The Berkshire division at the center of the suit is NetJets, the private-aircraft company that caters to the nation's wealthiest — the people Mr. Buffett says should pay more in taxes.

It is an odd twist that a company controlled by Mr. Buffett — perhaps the most outspoken businessman in the country in support of raising taxes on the "mega-rich" — is now in a dispute with the government over his company's paying too little in taxes.

Perhaps more important, the case is a remarkable window into the nation's byzantine tax code. It is an arcane dispute that raises questions about the Internal Revenue Service's interpretation and enforcement of its own tax rules. And it shows why even someone like Mr. Buffett would seek to challenge them.

Whole thing here.

Re-read Peter Schweizer's recent but already-classic Reason piece, "Warren Buffett: Baptist and Bootlegger."