Patrick's Feed
Sep 17, 2013

U.S. IRS tax enforcement collection, staffing both down: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A decline in tax revenue collected by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s enforcement arm over the past two years correlated closely with staff cuts, according to a report on Tuesday that comes as Congress considers further IRS budget reductions.

“Some of these trends are cause for concern, especially given that diminished enforcement could also affect voluntary compliance over time,” said the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), an internal IRS watchdog.

Sep 13, 2013

IRS broadens scope of tax-deductible business repairs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a win for companies ranging from energy utilities to casinos, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Friday released new rules that broaden the kinds of business expenditures that can be treated as deductible asset repairs.

The difference between a deductible repair and a non-deductible improvement to “tangible property” has historically been a point of frequent dispute between the IRS and companies.

Sep 12, 2013

Obama’s new taxman faces ‘toughest’ job of his career at IRS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The man being nominated by the White House to fill one of the most thankless jobs in Washington – chief of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service – is a 74-year-old lawyer with little tax experience, but a strong reputation as a troubleshooter.

John Koskinen started making the rounds on Capitol Hill this week, meeting with members of the Senate Finance Committee, which is expected to set a hearing soon to consider his nomination by President Barack Obama to head the IRS.

Sep 5, 2013

U.S. moves to expand business R&D tax break

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Think you have a new way of making wine? There could be research tax breaks for that.

The U.S. government on Thursday called for a wider array of business activities to be made eligible for research tax breaks, including more manufacturing process-oriented costs, giving a preliminary tax law win to manufacturers and food processors.

Sep 3, 2013

Offshore tax-dodger dragnet widens with U.S.-Swiss bank deal: lawyers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government, stepping up its pursuit of American offshore tax dodgers worldwide, stands to gather an abundance of leads through a bank information-sharing deal between the United States and Switzerland, tax lawyers said on Tuesday.

The pact last week marked a turning point in a lengthy dispute between Bern and Washington, and opened the door for about 100 second-tier Swiss banks to turn over information about American account holders to the U.S. government.

Sep 1, 2013

Building case for lawmakers, U.S. says sarin gas used in Syria attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday tests showed that sarin nerve gas was used in a deadly August 21 chemical attack near Damascus as he sought to build the case to convince skeptical lawmakers to authorize a military strike against the Syrian government.

Kerry made the disclosure in a series of television interviews a day after President Barack Obama delayed imminent military action in Syria to seek approval first from the U.S. Congress – a decision that puts any strike on hold for at least nine days.

Aug 30, 2013

U.S., Switzerland strike bank deal over tax evasion

WASHINGTON/BERN, Aug 30 (Reuters) – The United States and
Switzerland have struck a deal to allow some Swiss banks to pay
fines to avoid or defer prosecution over tax evasion by their
U.S. customers, moving closer towards ending a long-running
dispute.

The deal will apply to about 100 second-tier Swiss banks,
which could have to disclose some previously hidden information
and face penalties of up to 50 percent of assets they managed on
behalf of wealthy Americans.

Aug 29, 2013

U.S., Switzerland forge bank settlement deal amid tax probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it had signed an agreement with the Swiss government to allow some Swiss banks to avoid or defer prosecution stemming from a long-running probe of tax dodging by Americans using Swiss bank accounts.

The settlement program, which government officials said on Wednesday was nearly finalized, will apply mostly to second-tier Swiss banks and will be open only to banks not already under U.S. criminal investigation.

Aug 28, 2013

Heir to fortune hidden in Switzerland pleads guilty to U.S. tax fraud

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An heir to a wealthy New York investment manager’s fortune has pleaded guilty to conspiring with family members to hide more than $12 million from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in Swiss bank accounts, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Henry Seggerman, 60, and his five siblings inherited about $24 million from their father, Harry Seggerman, who died in May 2001, according to court documents released by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Aug 28, 2013

U.S., some Swiss banks near tax probe deal -Justice Dept

WASHINGTON/ZURICH, Aug 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. government
expects to announce within days a program that would allow some
Swiss banks to avoid or defer prosecution under a probe of
offshore tax dodging by Americans, a senior Justice Department
official said on Wednesday.

The program would exclude the 14 Swiss banks that are
already under investigation, the Justice official told reporters
on a conference call, which followed reports out of Switzerland
that the government there was ready to end the long-running
dispute.