Nanette's Feed
Feb 1, 2013

Little evidence seen of U.S. interstate “tax migration” threat

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – Millionaire golfer Phil Mickelson’s recent musings on leaving California to avoid its high taxes seemed to support the idea, popular in some state capitals nowadays, that Americans will flee high-tax states for low-tax ones.

The threat of ‘tax migration’ is part of debates swirling in some states that are considering big changes to their tax codes. But studies show that interstate tax refugees, or potential ones such as Mickelson, are few and far between.

Jan 29, 2013

U.S. senator takes IRS to task over whistleblowers

Jan 29 (Reuters) – A top Republican on the Senate Finance
Committee said that rules proposed to improve the Internal
Revenue Service’s whistleblower program may not be effective
because they limit awards and discourage informants from coming
forward.

The proposed rules, drafted by the IRS, are an attempt to
clarify for whistleblowers and their lawyers as well as IRS
staff and the public how rewards will be paid to informants and
other general rules such as how to submit information.

Jan 17, 2013
via Tax Break

Essential reading: Facebook’s slump hits California’s budget, and more

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Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

* California budget hurt by Facebook’s stock-price slump. Vauhini Vara – The Wall Street Journal. Facebook Inc.’s disappointing IPO has claimed another victim: California’s budget. Aides to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown last week lowered their estimate of how much revenue the state will get from Facebook’s initial public offering by nearly one-third, to $1.3 billion in the three years ending in June 2014, down from $1.9 billion. Link  

* Advisers give wealthy early attention to taxes. Arden Dale – The Wall Street Journal. Financial advisers are focused on their wealthiest clients as they start to make plans this year with the new federal tax rules in place. Link

Jan 13, 2013

U.S. states flirt with major tax changes

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Reuters) – Hopes for overhauling the federal tax system are fading in Washington, but in some state capitals, tax reform experiments – some far-reaching – are fast taking shape.

Across the South and Midwest, Republicans have consolidated control of state legislatures and governorships, giving them the power to test long-debated tax ideas.

Jan 9, 2013
via Tax Break

Virginia plan to end gas tax quickly panned

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, entering his last year in office, offered on Tuesday a bold plan to finance badly needed road work and transportation expansion in the state.

His plan, to end the state’s 17.5 cent per gallon gas tax and replace it with a 0.8 percent increase in the state sales tax, was quickly booed by tax experts, however.

Jan 4, 2013
via Tax Break

Calendar

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Some important tax and accounting dates in the week to come:

Tuesday, Jan.8

* Panel discussion of the fiscal cliff debate and what is likely to happen on taxes in 2013. 12 noon – 1:30 p.m. ET, Urban Institute. Washington.

* The American Petroleum Institute president Jack Gerard will give a speech on policy recommendations for the new Congress and administration. 12:15 p.m. ET, Andrew Mellon Auditorium. Washington.

Jan 3, 2013

Insight: “Cliff” deal’s retirement plan revenue boost questioned

NEW YORK (Reuters) – One modest way that U.S. lawmakers were able to offset the impact of delaying spending cuts in the deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” was through a retirement plan provision that is supposed to raise $12.2 billion over 10 years.

The only problem is that some retirement and fiscal policy experts doubt whether enough people will take advantage of the provision, which allows workers to move their money from one kind of plan to another, for the government to be able to raise that much money.

Jan 3, 2013

‘Cliff’ deal’s retirement plan revenue boost questioned

NEW YORK, Jan 3 (Reuters) – One modest way that U.S.
lawmakers were able to offset the impact of delaying spending
cuts in the deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” was through a
retirement plan provision that is supposed to raise $12.2
billion over 10 years.

The only problem is that some retirement and fiscal policy
experts doubt whether enough people will take advantage of the
provision, which allows workers to move their money from one
kind of plan to another, for the government to be able to raise
that much money.

Dec 27, 2012
via Tax Break

Accounting for retirement benefits produces “phantom” earnings – report

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The cost of pensions gets plenty of attention, both from the companies that sponsor them and their investors.  Other retirement benefits, including medical costs, don’t garner the same scrutiny.

That’s because under federal law, pensions must be funded at certain minimal levels, while  “other post-employment benefits” (OPEB)  have no mandatory funding, no matter how under-funded they may be.

Dec 26, 2012

Future of state estate taxes hangs on U.S. “fiscal cliff”

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – Falling off the “fiscal cliff” is a bad thing, right?

Not necessarily for some state governments that could begin collecting more in estate taxes on wealth left to heirs if the United States goes over the “cliff,” allowing sharp tax increases and federal spending cuts to take effect in January.