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Supreme Court Case Could Change our Taxing System? – Episode 437

Adam Talks

On this episode of Adam Talks, Adam Bergman, Esq. discusses a Supreme Court Case that may change the future of our tax system because of a possible wealth tax and the taxation of appreciation of an asset.

Supreme Court Case Could Change our Taxing System?

On this episode, Adam Bergman discusses a tax court case, Moore v. United States, involving a couple who invested in a foreign company and faced a tax bill under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The case questions the constitutionality of taxing appreciation of assets without an actual event triggering the tax liability, such as a sale or income receipt. The couple argues that the tax provision goes beyond the 16th Amendment, which grants Congress the right to tax income. The Supreme Court’s ruling on this case could have significant implications for potential wealth taxes and the government’s ability to tax asset appreciation without realized income.

The discussion delves into the potential broader impact of the Supreme Court’s decision, highlighting concerns about a slippery slope where taxing asset appreciation without an event could lead to expanded wealth taxes on various income levels. Senator Wyden’s proposed billionaire tax and President Biden’s budget hint at similar concepts of taxing asset values for high net-worth individuals without requiring an actual sale or income event. This case could set a precedent for expanding such taxes beyond billionaires, potentially affecting a wider range of taxpayers in the future.

The argument presented by Bergman emphasizes the distinction between realized income and asset appreciation, questioning the fairness and constitutionality of taxing individuals based on asset value growth without corresponding income realization. He points out the potential consequences of allowing such taxation, expressing concerns about the government’s increasing need for tax revenue and the possibility of broadening wealth taxes to include more taxpayers over time.

Bergman also addresses the financial implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling, highlighting the significant amounts of tax revenue collected under the 2017 tax provision in question. The potential cost of refunding taxpayers if the provision is deemed unconstitutional raises concerns about the government’s financial burden. The discussion underscores the delicate balance between tax policy, constitutional principles, and the government’s need for revenue to address growing deficits.

Bergman’s apprehension about the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the government due to the financial stakes involved is evident. The potential ramifications of the decision extend beyond this specific case, with implications for future tax policies and the government’s authority to tax asset appreciation without realized income events. Bergman underscores the importance of this seemingly minor tax court case in shaping the future landscape of taxation and the range of options available to the government for generating tax revenue.

In conclusion, Bergman emphasizes the significance of the Moore case in challenging the traditional understanding of income taxation and raising questions about the government’s authority to tax asset appreciation without corresponding income realization events. The potential expansion of wealth taxes based on asset values could have far-reaching implications for taxpayers across different income levels, prompting concerns about fairness, constitutionality, and the broader implications for tax policy and revenue generation in the face of growing deficits.


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