Week In Insights: Winning Doesn’t Mean Getting Ahead of Others

Sept. 5, 2021, 2:01 PM

It’s official: As football season gears up, the Houston Texans are clear winners. The Texan’s TORO was named the 2021 NFL Mascot of the Year at the NFL Mascot Summit.

TORO, the Texans’ mascot, photobombs a wide shot of the field during a timeout during the football game at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Yes, the mascot summit is a real thing. Every year, all of the NFL mascots get together and vote on the mascot of the year.

But there were no somersaults or dabbing in person this year: This year’s summit was held virtually due to the pandemic. As a result, the mascots reviewed submissions in various categories—like stunts and social media—online.

It sounds like fun and games, but there’s a real purpose—beyond bragging rights—for the mascot summit. The reason they get together each year is to share best practices and begin preparations for the upcoming season.

That sounds a lot like what tax professionals all over the country aim to do through conferences, social media groups, and collaborative projects. Working together and sharing what’s new, trending, or changing is a win for all of us. And that’s what we aim to do this week, as always, with the latest federal, state, and international tax analysis.

The Exchange… It’s where great ideas intersect.

—Kelly Phillips Erb

Quick Numbers Trivia

This week, a Watertown, Mass. family was charged with defrauding the government after they cashed in several winning lottery tickets over the past decade. How many tickets did they cash in?
(Answer at the bottom.)


This week, our experts touched on a wide range of topics, from cannabis to M&A. To help keep you ahead of the game, here’s our roundup:

Legalizing cannabis in some states is a big win for some, but stumbling blocks still remain at the federal level. In Federal Taxation of Cannabis Under Proposed Legislation, Greg Kaufman of Eversheds Sutherland outlines the key provisions of draft legislation that would remove cannabis from the schedule of controlled substances under federal law and provide for federal taxation of cannabis products. He urges lawmakers to consider data collected at the state level to get it right.

Student-athletes won big at the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision that allows them to be paid for their names, images, and likenesses. Young adults who may still be learning how to manage a checking account will be facing significantly larger financial questions. In Student-Athletes Can Make Money Off Their Names, Images, Likenesses—What Now?, Andrew Dana, Alonzo Llorens, and Jeff Morris of Parker Poe outline the evolving tax issues.

Philadelphia Eagles mascot ‘Swoop’ poses before the game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photographer: Brett Carlsen via Getty Images

Investor interest in alternative investments—investment classes other than conventional equities, fixed income, or cash—has made big gains with global assets under management topping $11 trillion in 2020. Vinay Kapoor, Sherif Assef, and Brett Fieldston of KPMG LLP, and Anthony Brown of KPMG Canada explore the evolution and current state of transfer pricing for alternative investment firms and funds in a two-part article. In Navigating Transfer Pricing in the World of Alternative Investments—Part 1, the authors discuss the transfer pricing issues at the management company level. In Part 2, the authors examine transfer pricing at the fund level, as well as how certain changes in the transfer pricing environment are leading to an evolution in how we view and price intercompany transactions in the alternative investments sector.

Companies are finding that effective business restructuring strategies such as mergers and acquisitions can help them remain competitive. In Mergers and Acquisitions in Nigeria: Tax Considerations, Aimée Dushime and Okechukwu Onyenyeonwu of KPMG look at the relevant tax considerations for companies involved in mergers and acquisitions in Nigeria.

What does it take to beat back evasion? In Tackling Tax Evasion—Transparency and Exchange of Information, Alfredo Collosa looks at the role of tax transparency and exchange of information in tackling tax evasion, corruption, and other financial crime, and discusses the progress and success of ongoing global initiatives.

Scoring guidance from the IRS helps tax practitioners move forward. The IRS released helpful guidance on the definition of “carbon capture equipment” for the purposes of Section 45Q. In Taxpayers Get Answers on 45Q Questions With IRS Guidance, Elizabeth L. McGinley and Don J. Lonczak of Bracewell explain the guidance, which clarifies the ownership of carbon capture equipment necessary to claim the Section 45Q tax credit.

Is the OECD’s two-pillar plan a win for everyone? In BEPS 2.0: a Middle East and Africa Perspective—Part 1, Parwin Dina, Varun Chablani, and Rubeena Dina of Global Tax Services provide an overview and an analysis of Pillar One and Pillar Two, which make up BEPS 2.0, with a focus on the potential impact on multinationals operating in the Middle East and Africa, including an illustration of how Pillar Two could apply to a Middle East jurisdiction.

Student Writing Competition Winners

This week, we published the three winning submissions in our first Bloomberg Tax & Accounting Insights & Commentary student writing competition. The contest highlights the very best of student writing.

Our process began in April when we posted our call for submissions. After that, a panel of judges from the Bloomberg Tax & Accounting team reviewed the entries and scored them on points from organization to voice and style. Our three winners—from schools around the globe—represent the best new talent in the tax profession.

Check out our winners:

Opinion and Commentary

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hoping for another election win this fall. Trudeau would reject claims that his leadership style is similar to that of former U.S. President Donald Trump or British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. But Michael R. Strain, in Trudeau’s Populist Pose Is Bad News for Canada, writes that in at least in one respect, the comparison is getting closer to hitting its target.

Columnists & Contributors

Win big at home by planning ahead. September is National Preparedness Month, and the IRS is encouraging taxpayers to create or update an emergency preparedness plan. In Protect Tax and Other Financial Records Before Disaster Strikes, Kelly Phillips Erb offers tips to get you started.

Listen In

Workers across the U.S. hope to score big with new job opportunities that offer better pay, benefits, remote work, and other flexibility. The trend, which some have dubbed “The Great Resignation,” raises many questions about 401(k) and health savings accounts, jurisdictional taxes, and other tax-related issues. In the most recent episode of Talking Tax, Bloomberg Tax reporter Jeffery Leon spoke with Eric Bronnenkant, the head of tax at investment advice company Betterment, about why the Great Resignation is happening and the retirement and investment considerations that job seekers should consider when looking at new opportunities.

San Francisco 49ers mascot Sourdough Sam performs at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
Photographer: Thearon W. Henderson via Getty Images

It was a big win for Michael Jackson’s estate when a court ruled that Michael Jackson’s image and likeness at his death were worth considerably less than the IRS estimated. How this happened, and what it means for other estates, became a big question mark in the tax world. In a recent episode of the Taxgirl podcast, Scott Weingust and Aaron Stumpf from Stout discuss intellectual property and estate valuation upon death.


Mark Gallegos, CPA, MST, once beat some amazing odds: He was bitten by a shark. Gallegos, a tax partner on Porte Brown’s accounting and consulting services team in Elgin, Ill., is in the Bloomberg Tax and Accounting Spotlight this week. Gallegos has more than 20 years of experience providing tax advice and has recently focused on assisting taxpayers with Covid-related relief.

Quick Numbers Answer

Ali, Mohamed, and Yousef Jaafar have been accused of cashing in more than 13,000 winning lottery tickets worth nearly $21 million over the past decade. Prosecutors allege that the Jaafars conspired to purchase winning lottery tickets from the actual winners for cash at a discount typically between 10-20% of the ticket’s value—a scheme commonly known as “ten-percenting"—to help the winners avoid reporting the winnings on tax returns.

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More Great Tax Content

This is a weekend roundup of Bloomberg Tax Insights. For a full archive of articles, browse by jurisdiction at Daily Tax Report, Daily Tax Report: State, Daily Tax Report: International, Transfer Pricing Report, and Financial Accounting.

You can also follow Bloomberg Tax on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

And, now we have a dedicated LinkedIn group for The Exchange where our authors, contributors, and readers can share tax-related stories and exchange ideas. It’s also a great place to stay on top of the latest news, check out upcoming events, and network with other tax professionals. We hope you’ll join the conversation!

What Did You Think?

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To contact the reporter on this story: Kelly Phillips Erb in Washington at kerb@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at jharrington@bloombergindustry.com

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