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May 30, 2013

How U.S. Treasury’s tax loophole mistake saves companies billions each year

WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) – As the U.S. economy crumbled
in early 2009, President Barack Obama offered a plan that he
said would save American jobs: a crackdown on corporate tax
loopholes that encourage companies to send profits abroad to
avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes each year.

Tax lobbyist Ken Kies was not worried. A decade earlier, he
had led a fight to preserve a key loophole – known in Treasury
Department shorthand as the “check the box” rule – when another
Democratic president, Bill Clinton, had tried to kill it.

May 21, 2013

Apple CEO makes no apology for company’s tax strategy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook made no apology on Tuesday for the iPad maker saving billions of dollars in U.S. taxes through Irish subsidiaries and told lawmakers that his company backs corporate tax reform, even though it may end up paying more.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found that Apple in 2012 alone avoided paying $9 billion in U.S. taxes, using a strategy involving three offshore units with no discernible tax home, or “residence.”

May 20, 2013

Timeline: Events in IRS ‘Tea Party’ scrutiny scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A controversy at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service involving extra scrutiny in 2010-2012 of politically conservative groups is dominating the political agenda in Washington, with congressional hearings set for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here are key events in the scandal, based on a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), IRS statements, news reports and interviews:

May 15, 2013

Watchdog slams U.S. IRS over targeting conservative groups

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. government watchdog faulted the Internal Revenue Service for targeting conservative groups on Tuesday, criticizing senior IRS leaders for poor management of a policy that spun out of control and compromised the tax agency’s political impartiality.

As the FBI mounted a criminal investigation of the matter, the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” when it singled out groups for extra scrutiny based on their names.

May 14, 2013

Senior U.S. tax officials knew of extra Tea Party scrutiny

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – Higher-level U.S. Internal
Revenue Service officials took part in discussions as far back
as August 2011 about targeting by lower-level tax agents of “Tea
Party” and other conservative groups, according to documents
reviewed by Reuters on Monday.

The documents show the offices of the IRS’s chief counsel
and deputy commissioner for services and enforcement
communicated about the targeting with lower-level officials on
Aug. 4, 2011, and March 8, 2012, respectively.

May 14, 2013

Senior U.S. tax officials knew of extra Tea Party scrutiny -documents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Higher-level U.S. Internal Revenue Service officials took part in discussions as far back as August 2011 about targeting by lower-level tax agents of “Tea Party” and other conservative groups, according to documents reviewed by Reuters on Monday.

The documents show the offices of the IRS’s chief counsel and deputy commissioner for services and enforcement communicated about the targeting with lower-level officials on August 4, 2011, and March 8, 2012, respectively.

May 13, 2013

IRS kept shifting targets in tax-exempt groups scrutiny: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When tax agents started singling out non-profit groups for extra scrutiny in 2010, they looked at first only for key words such as ‘Tea Party,’ but later they focused on criticisms by groups of “how the country is being run,” according to investigative findings reviewed by Reuters on Sunday.

Over two years, IRS field office agents repeatedly changed their criteria while sifting through thousands of applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status to select ones for possible closer examination, the findings showed.

May 13, 2013

IRS kept shifting targets in U.S. tax-exempt groups scrutiny -report

WASHINGTON, May 12 (Reuters) – When U.S. tax agents started
singling out non-profit groups for extra scrutiny in 2010, they
looked at first only for key words such as ‘Tea Party,’ but
later they focused on criticisms by groups of “how the country
is being run,” according to investigative findings reviewed by
Reuters on Sunday.

Over two years, IRS field office agents repeatedly changed
their criteria while sifting through thousands of applications
from groups seeking tax-exempt status to select ones for
possible closer examination, the findings showed.

May 12, 2013

Timeline: Events in U.S. IRS ‘Tea Party’ scrutiny scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is under investigation for extra scrutiny it gave to conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status, a practice that elicited complaints from the groups during the 2012 presidential election campaigns.

Following are some key events in the fast-developing scandal that has embarrassed the agency and poses another potential headache for the Obama administration at a time when Republicans continue to raise questions about the administration’s actions related to the deadly assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

Apr 29, 2013

Tax strategy may be key to Verizon Wireless deal

By Kevin Drawbaugh and Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc’s chances of buying the 45-percent stake in Verizon Wireless owned by the UK’s Vodafone Group Plc will hinge, at least in part, on the quality of tax advice it is getting.

Verizon (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the No. 2 U.S. telecommunications company, may have found a way to structure a purchase of the stake so that Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research) can avoid a multi-billion dollar U.S. capital gains tax bill, sources familiar with Verizon’s plans said. The possibility of a huge tax bill has previously been regarded by analysts as a big hurdle to any such deal.