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Aug 16, 2013

Import tax overhaul bill coming, would help U.S. seaports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. import tax collected only at shipping ports would be converted into a fee on goods brought into the United States by rail and highway from Canada and Mexico under legislation expected to be introduced next month in the U.S. Senate.

The two senators from Washington State said on Thursday that they will offer the bill to repeal the harbor maintenance tax and impose a new road-and-rail import tax, a move that would benefit seaports such as Seattle and Tacoma in their state.

Aug 14, 2013

Cayman Islands, U.S. reach pact to fight tax evasion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has cut a deal with the Cayman Islands that will smooth implementation in the Caribbean island nation of a new U.S. anti-tax evasion law, while pressuring other low-tax and no-tax countries to follow suit.

Criticized by President Barack Obama and others as a tax haven, the Cayman Islands said it has agreed to cooperate with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), enacted in 2010 and set to take effect in July 2014.

Aug 13, 2013

U.S. Republicans keep pressure on IRS in ‘Tea Party’ case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two Republican lawmakers on Tuesday demanded that an Internal Revenue Service official who triggered investigations into the tax agency’s scrutiny of conservative political groups turn over personal emails.

Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS tax-exempt division, apologized in May for the extra review given to Tea Party and other conservative groups seeking exemptions under a section of the tax code that allows limited political activity.

Aug 11, 2013

Banks test U.S. IRS anti-tax shelter weapon in STARS wars

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A sharp tool in the U.S. government’s fight against corporate tax shelters will be put to the test in the months ahead as the Internal Revenue Service grapples with four major banks over structured transactions done a decade ago with Barclays Plc.

The IRS contends the transactions, known as STARS deals, were designed purely to facilitate tax dodging. The banks say the deals were done to enhance their core businesses and are challenging the IRS over hefty tax bills it has imposed.

Aug 7, 2013

IRS takes on Tyco in U.S. Tax Court debt-vs-equity dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Tax Court fight between Tyco International Ltd and the Internal Revenue Service reflects a growing assertiveness by the agency over deductibility of interest in certain intercompany financing deals, tax lawyers said on Wednesday.

Tyco (TYC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is challenging a $1 billion tax bill assessed by the IRS based on its view that cash transfers carried out within the multinational company were not debt payments, but taxable dividends, according to U.S. Tax Court documents.

Aug 6, 2013

Tax rules could force Bezos to play active role at Washington Post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If tax considerations played a role in Jeff Bezos’ $250 million purchase of The Washington Post, he may need to reconsider his hands-off approach if he hopes to offset gains from other ventures with losses at the newspaper.

In announcing the deal on Monday, the 49-year-old multibillionaire founder and chief executive of Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc told Post staff in an open letter: “I won’t be leading The Washington Post day-to-day.”

Aug 6, 2013

Tax rules could force Bezos to play active role at Wash Post

WASHINGTON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – If tax considerations played a
role in Jeff Bezos’ $250 million purchase of The Washington
Post, he may need to reconsider his hands-off approach if he
hopes to offset gains from other ventures with losses at the
newspaper.

In announcing the deal on Monday, the 49-year-old
multibillionaire founder and chief executive of Seattle-based
Amazon.com Inc told Post staff in an open letter: “I
won’t be leading The Washington Post day-to-day.”

Aug 2, 2013

Lawmaker tightens screws on IRS with Treasury subpoena

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior Republican lawmaker on Friday issued a subpoena to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew seeking documents related to a nearly three-month old congressional probe of the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of conservative political groups.

In a move to keep the pressure on the Obama administration, Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the oversight committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, said the IRS is delaying his investigation, leaving him no choice but to issue the subpoena.

Aug 2, 2013

U.S. lawmaker tightens screws on IRS with Treasury subpoena

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) – A senior Republican lawmaker
on Friday issued a subpoena to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew
seeking documents related to a nearly three-month old
congressional probe of the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment
of conservative political groups.

In a move to keep the pressure on the Obama administration,
Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the oversight committee of
the U.S. House of Representatives, said the IRS is delaying his
investigation, leaving him no choice but to issue the subpoena.

Aug 1, 2013

Obama picks government trouble-shooter Koskinen to lead IRS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated John Koskinen, known as a trouble-shooter of distressed organizations, to lead the Internal Revenue Service amid a controversy over the agency’s scrutiny of conservative political groups.

If confirmed by the Senate, Koskinen will take over the agency’s 90,000 employees responsible for administering the increasingly complex tax code.