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Citi TARP Repayment is a Tax Dodge

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On December 16, 2009 @ 8:30 am In Bailouts,Taxes and Policy | Comments Disabled

“The government is consciously forfeiting future tax revenues. It’s another form of assistance, maybe not as obvious as direct assistance but certainly another form. I’ve been doing taxes for almost 40 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this, where the IRS and Treasury acted unilaterally on so many fronts.”

-Robert Willens, an expert on tax accounting

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The ongoing transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top 1% continues unabated.

The Treasury Department, via the IRS, has made a terrible deal with Citigroup for TARP repayment: They repay $20 billion in TARP money, and in exchange we give them keep $38 billion in tax abatements.

WTF?

The Washington Post has the scoop:

“The federal government quietly agreed to forgo billions of dollars in potential tax payments from Citigroup as part of the deal announced this week to wean the company from the massive taxpayer bailout that helped it survive the financial crisis.

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday issued an exception to long-standing tax rules for the benefit of Citigroup and a few other companies partially owned by the government. As a result, Citigroup will be allowed to retain billions of dollars worth of tax breaks that otherwise would decline in value when the government sells its stake to private investors.

While the Obama administration has said taxpayers are likely to profit from the sale of the Citigroup shares, accounting experts said the lost tax revenue could easily outstrip those profits.

The IRS, an arm of the Treasury Department, has changed a number of rules during the financial crisis to reduce the tax burden on financial firms. The rule changed Friday also was altered last fall by the Bush administration to encourage mergers, letting Wells Fargo cut billions of dollars from its tax bill by buying the ailing Wachovia.”

The looting of the Treasury, begun in panic under George W. Bush, continues in ignorance under Barrack W. Obama.

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Source:
U.S. gave up billions in tax money in deal for Citigroup’s bailout repayment [1]
Binyamin Appelbaum
Washington Post, December 16, 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/15/AR2009121504534.html

See also:
A Tax Break for Citigroup With Payback of Bailout [2]
ERIC DASH
NYT, December 15, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/business/16citi.html


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/12/citi-tarp-repayment-is-a-tax-dodge/

URLs in this post:

[1] U.S. gave up billions in tax money in deal for Citigroup’s bailout repayment: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/15/AR2009121504534.html

[2] A Tax Break for Citigroup With Payback of Bailout: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/business/16citi.html

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