Financial Regulatory Forum

Companies to disclose iffy tax estimates – IRS

By Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – U.S. tax authorities will soon demand that corporations reveal much more detailed financial information about tax shelters and other complex structures when they file their income taxes, the top U.S. tax official said on Tuesday.

Under new draft guidance, the Internal Revenue Service would require companies to report which tax positions they take that could be “uncertain” or challenged by the IRS.

“These taxpayers would be required to annually disclose uncertain tax positions in the form of a concise description of those positions and the maximum amount of U.S. income tax exposure if the taxpayer’s position is not sustained,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in remarks prepared for a speech to lawyers in New York in announcing the plan.

The initiative comes amid an increased emphasis under Shulman and President Barack Obama on collecting taxes previously evaded by the wealthy and big corporations.

Companies, which have been bracing for the change, fear it could lead to more complicated tax filings and expose them to greater liability.

EXCLUSIVE – U.S. revenue service hires “hundreds” for high-wealth tax cheat unit

By Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – A new U.S. Internal Revenue Service unit set up to catch rich tax cheats hiding their wealth in complex business entities is rapidly taking shape with the hiring of hundreds of employees.

The IRS high wealth unit, part of a broader effort to combat international tax evasion, is focusing on “the entire web of business entities controlled by a high wealth individual,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told a tax conference this week.

Another IRS official told Reuters “hundreds” of people have already been hired to staff the new unit, including some from within the agency.

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