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Jul 19, 2013

U.S. defends IRS tax-exempt review in pro-Israel group lawsuit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday defended the Internal Revenue Service’s process for reviewing applications for tax-exempt status and contested a lawsuit filed by a pro-Israel group that is arguing its application was discriminated against.

At a federal district court hearing in Washington, a pro-Israel group, Z Street, argued that it has a legal right to sue the IRS for allegedly targeting its 2009 application for extra scrutiny. Z Street said this violated its legal rights.

Jul 18, 2013

IRS watchdog looking into targeting of groups beyond Tea Party

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Internal Revenue Service’s inspector general said on Thursday he is expanding his probe of IRS treatment of political groups that applied for tax-exempt status to see if liberal groups were treated the same way as conservative ones.

Under attack from Democrats over his earlier inquiries, IRS watchdog Russell George said there is new evidence to study in the nine-week-old controversy about the IRS’s handling of tax-exempt applications from “Tea Party” and other groups.

Jul 17, 2013

Officials warn of Obamacare insurance exchange delays

WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) – Two U.S. government
officials warned on Wednesday that the launch of new state
healthcare exchanges could potentially be delayed, raising
further doubts about the implementation of President Barack
Obama’s signature legislation.

Alan Duncan, an auditor with the Treasury Inspector General
for Tax Administration, an Internal Revenue Service agency that
monitors performance, said testing the systems needed to
implement the exchanges “will be difficult to complete” by the
Oct. 1 start date.

Jul 17, 2013

Watchdogs warn of U.S. healthcare insurance exchange delays

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. government watchdogs warned on Wednesday of possible delays in the scheduled October 1 start of new state healthcare exchanges, raising further doubts about the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

One watchdog warned the Internal Revenue Service would have difficulty completing testing of systems required to implement the law, while another from the Government Accountability Office said he also foresaw difficulties in meeting an October 1 deadline.

Jul 12, 2013

Treasury delays offshore tax-dodging law by six months

By Patrick Temple-West

(Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday it will postpone enforcement of a new law that cracks down on offshore tax avoidance by Americans by six months until July 1, 2014, giving foreign banks more time to determine how to comply.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, requires foreign banks and other institutions to supply information to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service about Americans’ offshore accounts worth more than $50,000.

Jul 9, 2013

U.S. IRS still has long to-do list on healthcare laws

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A central part of President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law – a requirement that large employers offer health insurance to employees or pay a fine to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service – is being delayed for a year until 2015.

The move, which raised questions about the future of other provisions of the law, followed widespread complaints from businesses and their lobbyists about reporting requirements for employers with 50 or more full-time workers.

Jul 9, 2013

IRS moves to halt employee bonuses, citing budget cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service, still reeling from its worst crisis in years, is taking steps to halt bonuses for union employees and senior executives, the acting IRS commissioner told employees on Tuesday.

Bowing to “an unfortunate byproduct” of government-wide budget cuts, acting commissioner Danny Werfel said the move does not reflect poorly on employees’ work and follows a bonus freeze already in place for non-union employees and managers.

Jul 8, 2013

Compliance deadlines loom for U.S. global tax evasion law

WASHINGTON/HONG KONG, July 8 (Reuters) – In one week, the
United States is scheduled to begin registering foreign
financial firms with U.S. customers for a new anti-tax evasion
law, despite industry lobbying to secure another implementation
delay.

The Internal Revenue Service still has not finalized sign-up
instructions for the new online portal, due to open by July 15
in one of the last steps toward implementing the Foreign Account
Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) of 2010.

Jul 2, 2013

IRS battles tech companies over 2004 offshore tax holiday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Internal Revenue Service and two technology firms are fighting in court over tax bills from a 2004 corporate tax holiday, with other multinationals watching closely for a result that could come any day, said tax lawyers.

In separate cases, BMC Software Inc (BMC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Analog Devices Inc (ADI.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are challenging IRS demands that the companies pay more tax, arguing the agency’s claim breaches the controversial tax holiday law Congress enacted nine years ago.

Jul 1, 2013

For U.S. corporate giants, taxes are far below top rate: study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For U.S. corporations the top federal income tax rate is 35 percent, but large, profitable companies on average paid only about a third of that in 2010, a report by the investigative arm of Congress said on Monday.

As corporate lobbyists seek to preserve business tax breaks and cut the corporate tax rate, the Government Accountability Office said big companies with earnings paid just 12.6 percent of their worldwide income in taxes in 2010.