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Sep 23, 2013

U.S. IRS official at heart of ‘Tea Party’ review scandal retires

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Internal Revenue Service official who was a key figure in the controversy over the tax agency’s scrutiny of conservative groups retired on Monday just as an IRS review board was poised to recommend she be fired.

Lois Lerner was at the center of an uproar that shook the IRS for weeks starting in mid-May after she apologized in public for the tax agency’s treatment of political groups with “Tea Party” and other conservative terms in their names.

Sep 23, 2013

IRS, activist lawyers to clash in court over tax preparer rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s first effort to regulate tens of thousands of tax return preparers will be tested on Tuesday when the Internal Revenue Service squares off in court against a libertarian law firm.

The Institute for Justice, funded by leading conservative activists, will argue that the IRS lacks the legal authority to require return preparers to pass a competency test, and to pay for continuing education classes.

Sep 21, 2013

BB&T Corp loses $772 million ‘tax shelter’ court case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – BB&T Corp lost on Friday a $772 million tax dispute with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in federal court over a transaction the judge called “an economically meaningless tax shelter.”

In a ruling that could affect other U.S. banks with similar disputes, BB&T unit Salem Financial was fighting for a tax refund related to a deal that it said was meant to advance its core business.

Sep 20, 2013

BB&T Corp loses case to U.S. IRS as judge says deal a tax shelter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – BB&T Corp on Friday lost a multimillion-dollar tax dispute with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in federal court over a transaction the judge called “an economically meaningless tax shelter.”

In a ruling that could affect other U.S. banks with similar disputes, BB&T unit Salem Financial was fighting for a tax refund of $772 million related to a deal that it said was meant to advance its core business.

Sep 18, 2013

BMC Software loses $13 million Tax Court decision to IRS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Computer software provider BMC Software Inc on Wednesday lost a $13 million tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service in a first-of-its-kind U.S. Tax Court decision stemming from 2004′s controversial corporate income tax repatriation holiday.

In a decision that could have implications for other companies in similar disputes with the IRS, the Tax Court said BMC owes taxes on a portion of its foreign profits brought into the United States under the 2004 tax break.

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.