WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge on Friday ruled that the Internal Revenue Service does not have the authority to regulate non-professionals who prepare tax returns, throwing into doubt an attempt to bring order to a free-wheeling industry.
The decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia affects about 715,000 tax-return preparers who are not attorneys or accountants.
WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) – A federal judge on Friday
ruled that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service does not have the
authority to regulate non-professionals who prepare tax returns,
throwing into doubt an attempt to bring order to a free-wheeling
The decision from the U.S. District Court for the District
of Columbia affects about 715,000 tax-return preparers who are
not attorneys or accountants.
* Greek parliament to probe tax list claims. Kerin Hope – The Financial Times. The Greek parliament voted on Thursday to probe allegations that former finance minister George Papaconstantinou failed to pursue possible tax evaders on a list of 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts provided by French authorities in 2010. Link
* Thompson says he wouldn’t raise taxes if elected mayor. David Chen – The New York Times. Differentiating himself from his likely Democratic rivals in the New York City mayoral race, William C. Thompson Jr. vowed on Thursday that he would not raise taxes if elected. Link
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Non-U.S. pension funds and mutual funds were spared the full brunt of new U.S. information-reporting rules on overseas accounts meant to catch Americans who dodge U.S. taxes by keeping their assets offshore.
Chiefly targeting banks, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) rules, published by the U.S. Treasury on Thursday, require foreign financial institutions with $50,000 of any American taxpayer’s assets to report the holdings to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
* Tax bite to climb from boom years. Josh Barnanel – The Wall Street Journal. While property values are slowly rising in New York, a quirk in the tax law will drive up property taxes by considerably more, including higher taxes on 69 homes damaged in superstorm Sandy, according to new city data. Link
* Rep. Levin: Curb some tax breaks, keep others. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. President Barack Obama’s proposed limit on tax deductions is the most likely model for raising revenues as part of a balanced approach to reducing deficits and averting the latest fiscal crisis, Rep. Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Tuesday. Link
WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Online retailer Amazon Inc
is fighting the U.S. Internal Revenue Service over a
$234 million international tax bill, a dispute similar to others
in which the agency has struggled to collect corporate taxes.
The case, filed on Dec. 28 in U.S. Tax Court in Washington,
has implications for other technology companies with software
assets that may prove difficult to value for tax purposes.
* Retail sales to hold clues to taxing times. Spencer Jakab – The Wall Street Journal. Back during the housing boom, local tax officials were at a loss to explain why sales-tax revenue was outstripping income-tax withholding. We know how that ended, as people ran out of equity to extract from their homes to spend on flat-screen TVs and the like. Link
* IMF: U.S. has done enough budget cutting for 2013. Ian Talley – The Wall Street Journal. As far as the International Monetary Fund is concerned, Washington’s 11th hour tax deal appears to be enough fiscal consolidation for this year. Link
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc. is challenging a $234 million U.S. tax bill, contesting Internal Revenue Service tax calculations for cash transfers between the parent company and its European subsidiaries, according to a court filing.
The case centers on the pricing of payments among company units, an issue on which the government has lost some multi-million dollar cases against big companies.
* Retailers fear payroll tax will cut consumer spending. Serena Ng – The Wall Street Journal. The tax increase’s effect for companies is that the hit is likely to cement a frugal attitude that led consumers to cut back on eating out and shift to less-expensive store brands. Link
* Companies pay less tax on global profits. Martin Sandbu and Vanessa Houlder – The Financial Times. UHY Hacker Young, an accountancy group, says the total global taxes paid by the average FTSE100 company fell to 24.5 percent of its global profits in 2012, compared with 35.8 percent in 2009. It attributes the fall to companies’ “greater profits overseas, allowing them to take advantage of lower prevailing tax rates in those jurisdictions”. Link
* States to seniors: Good times may be ending. Anne Tergesen – The Wall Street Journal. Some states are starting to have second thoughts about the tax breaks they give older people. For decades, state governments have been generous with those breaks, perhaps because older Americans tend to show up at the polls to vote. Link
* What business wants: Smaller deficits and lower tax rates, of course. Suzy Khimm – The Washington Post. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has long stressed that the deficit is principally a problem of spending and entitlements — essentially, the same argument that the GOP is pushing. What’s less clear is whether the chamber would be open to more tax revenue to do the job. Link