Last Sunday, 1,586 priests and pastors stood up before their congregants across the United States and endorsed a candidate running for public office. They were purposefully breaking the portion of the tax code which prohibits non-profits from making such endorsements, something they see as a violation of freedom of religion and speech.
A tax-exempt group may take positions on political issues and argue for them, that is allowed under U.S. law. Recommending a vote for or against a certain candidate, however, is not permitted.
* Foreign profits can create earnings illusion. David Reilly – The Wall Street Journal. Foreign-cash stashes and their impact on U.S. tax revenue are garnering increased attention given the looming presidential election and “fiscal cliff.” Investors should be concerned about the potential for these profits to distort earnings. Companies in the S&P 500 had $1.5 trillion parked outside the U.S. for which they hadn’t accrued tax expense in 2011, more than double the amount five years earlier. Link
* The math behind Obama camp’s tax changes. Damian Paletta – The Wall Street Journal. One of the most divisive issues between the Obama and Romney campaigns is the math behind the Republican candidate’s proposal to overhaul the tax code. The debate has left many Americans’ heads spinning, given the large numbers and the complexities of the tax code. But it still remains one of the most important questions facing voters in the Nov. 6 election and comes down to this – whose math do voters trust? Link
Oct 7 (Reuters) – Baptist Pastor Mark Harris
stood before his flock in North Carolina on Sunday and joined
hundreds of other U.S. religious leaders in deliberately
breaking the law in an election-year campaign that tests the
role of churches in politics.
By publicly backing candidates for political office from the
pulpit, Harris and nearly 1,500 other preachers at services
across the United States were flouting a law they see as an
incursion on freedom of religion and speech.
Oct 3 (Reuters) – Whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, whose
$104 million reward from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service set a
record three weeks ago, has helped set off a rush of would-be
imitators hoping to cash in on a government program to catch tax
Birkenfeld, now living in New Hampshire, helped lead the IRS
to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. taxes owed on
money stashed in Swiss bank UBS AG, where he once
Sept 28 (Reuters) – Germany’s Commerzbank said on
Friday it was cooperating with U.S. prosecutors in a case
involving a bank employee who is charged with exposing an
Internal Revenues Service whistleblower, and who himself is a
former IRS examiner.
The charges come at a time of heightened attention to
whistleblowers after an informant in another bank case earlier
this month won a record-setting award from the IRS.
Reuters tax reporter Lynnley Browning explains for Reuters TV in the clip below how Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s offshore income jumped in 2011, also the subject of her recent story.[youtube]http://youtu.be/B8OKSATsJtE[/youtube]
U.S. companies that face a higher probability of being audited by the tax-collecting Internal Revenue Service voluntarily pay more taxes, a new study has found.
The finding proved especially true among companies with poor corporate governance, according to the study published in the September/October issue of the American Accounting Association’s Accounting Review.
Wednesday, Sept. 19
* Center for Audit Quality forum on investor confidence. 8:30 a.m. EDT, Willard InterContinental hotel. Washington.
* Columbia University School of Law panel on how to improve the tax code and what tax policies might boost economic growth. 6:15 p.m. EDT, Jerome Green Hall, Columbia Law School. New York.
(Reuters) – New York State, a pioneer at catching tax scofflaws in the digital age, has a new weapon in its arsenal – data collected from debit and credit card purchases that will help it detect retailers who are under-reporting sales.
By checking customer data against retailer tax returns, wholesaler records and other sources, the state hopes to find retailers who either fail to collect or remit the sales taxes due.
(Reuters) – When U.S. athletes at the London Olympic Games bow their heads to receive a medal, one would hope they are not thinking about their taxes. But as with much in life, Olympic glory has a price — a tax price, that is.
Legislation to exempt U.S. Olympic athletes from having to pay tax on prize money won at the games was proposed on Wednesday in the U.S. Congress by Senator Marco Rubio.