State, FBI both working to zap tax evaders
Tax zappers are on the agenda when the Indiana General Assemblys Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy meets next week. Not familiar with tax zappers? Thats because theyre the next new thing in tax evasion.
The zappers are actually software – loaded on a computer flash drive – that will strip or reduce the amount of sales from a cash register or point-of-sale device. The business owner then pays sales taxes based on the reduced amount and pockets the excess taxes paid by consumers.
If it sounds like small change is at stake here, its not – the owner of an Evansville IHOP was indicted in May on charges of concealing more than $1 million in income with the aid of a tax zapper. The Indiana location was one of six Indiana and Ohio restaurants raided by the FBI in 2011.
A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Revenue said the agency has yet to catch a violator, but that it is on the lookout for them.
The falsification of sales tax transmittal or the failure to remit sales taxes is always illegal, agency spokesman Bob Dittmer told the Statehouse File.
At least five states have passed laws making it illegal to possess or use the devices. After next weeks hearing, Indiana lawmakers might want to do the same.
Coping with CO2 divides Hoosiers, activists
A significant majority of Hoosiers believe carbon capture and storage is a great way to deal with climate change.
Unfortunately, most Hoosiers dont quite understand what carbon capturing is.
A study from Indiana Universitys School of Public and Environmental Affairs found a solid majority of Indiana residents think its a good idea to address concerns about climate change by capturing carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants and storing it under ground. But the study also found that most of the residents surveyed didnt know about carbon capture and storage (CCS) before being asked about it by the researchers.
The study also found that Hoosiers opinions about carbon capture were highly susceptible to persuasion from both supporters and opponents of the technique.
Developers of power plants in Edwardsport and Rockport in southern Indiana are proposing the use of CCS to mitigate emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Carbon capture and storage also involves trapping carbon dioxide and moving it to a storage container – usually located deep underground.
The idea is to prevent the CO2 from reaching the atmosphere.
Environmental groups are divided. Some support CCS as a interim measure to help with climate change. Others argue decreasing the nations dependence on coal for energy is a better strategy.
Rush to judgment in NFL
Many football fans are debating whether what happened on the final play in last Sundays New York Giants-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game was good or bad sportsmanship.
For many years, its been accepted that when only seconds remain on the clock and the defensive team has little chance to win, the quarterback will take the snap and drop down on his knee, and there will be minimal – if any – contact between the offensive and defensive linemen. So with a 7-point lead and time for only one last play, Giants quarterback Eli Manning fell to his knee – and the Buccaneers defensive line plowed into the center and went after Manning and the ball.
Its just something you dont see at this level, said Giants lineman Chris Snee. Ive played in a lot of NFL games and really never been around that. Its just one of those things where you have respect for the opposing team.
But the Bucs didnt break any rules, and the NFL has no plans for sanctions. While Giants Coach Tom Coughlin was upset, Greg Schiano, the Bucs rookie coach, was unapologetic and said he would do the same thing again.
Other football veterans and fans lined up behind one or the other.
You got pads and a helmet on, games not over, fight, said Mike Ditka, the former Chicago bears coach.
Its a real good way to get people hurt for no good reason, ESPNs Dan Graziano wrote. You owe it to your own players to know when youre beaten and back off.
Other analysts blamed not the coaches but the Giants offensive linemen, saying they should have seen it coming and protected Manning.