* Tax arithmetic shows top rate is just a starter. Jackie Calmes – The New York Times. Despite hints in recent days that President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner might compromise on the tax rate to be paid by top earners, a host of other knotty tax questions could still derail a deal to avert a fiscal crisis in January. Link
* Fiscal talks spur charitable giving. Laura Saunders and Hanna Karp – The Wall Street Journal. Tax uncertainty in Washington is setting off a mad scramble among wealthy taxpayers and charities to maximize donations before the end of the year. Their worry: The tax deduction for charitable giving, a fixture of the tax code for nearly a century, is coming under pressure as part of a broader fiscal agreement now being hammered out on Capitol Hill. Link
* In Obama’s plan to tax rich, $250,000 figure may mislead. Catherine Rampell – The New York Times. A close look at the president’s plan shows that a large majority of families making up to $300,000 — as well as hundreds of thousands of families with even larger incomes — would not pay taxes at a higher marginal rate. Because the complexity of the tax code makes it difficult to draw clean lines, they are the beneficiaries of choices the administration has made to ensure that families earning less than $250,000 do not pay higher rates. Link
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Ireland have agreed to share information about wealthy citizens’ financial accounts in a pact intended to combat tax evasion, another in a series of bilateral deals announced in recent weeks by the U.S. Treasury Department.
The deals are part of the implementation of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, which takes effect in 2014.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. tax collector warned on Thursday of a delayed start to 2013′s tax season if Congress fails to reset the alternative minimum tax (AMT) on high-income taxpayers so that it does not sweep in millions of middle-income people.
Without another adjustment by lawmakers soon to the AMT, “many of us will see a delayed filing season,” said Steven Miller, named just last month as Internal Revenue Service acting commissioner.
Essential reading: Some in GOP urge lawmakers to back tax hikes for changes in safety-net programs, and more
* Some in GOP urge lawmakers to back tax hikes for changes in safety-net programs. Lori Montgomery and Rosalind Helderman – The Washington Post. A growing chorus of Republicans is urging House leaders to abandon their staunch opposition to higher tax rates for the wealthy with the aim of clearing the way for a broad deal that would also rein in the cost of federal health and retirement programs. Link
* Plan to limit tax breaks gets a push from Boehner. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. A cap on tax breaks designed by a former Reagan adviser is drawing attention after House Speaker John Boehner floated it as an option this week. The White House and Republican leaders have proposed limiting tax breaks to raise tax revenue under a long-term deficit-reduction deal. GOP leaders want to limit deductions instead of raising individual income-tax rates. President Barack Obama wants to do both. Link
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans may have some leverage in their fiscal cliffhanger with President Barack Obama: the threat of forcing a disproportionate number of Democrats to pay the so-called alternative minimum tax for the first time.
Under U.S. law, taxpayers each year must pay the greater of regular federal income tax and the AMT. The latter requires taxpayers to give up certain tax breaks, typically exemptions and deductions for state and local taxes and medical costs.
* Top U.S. firms are cash-rich abroad, cash-poor at home. Kate Linebaugh – The Wall Street Journal. Emerson Electric Co. has $2 billion of cash in the bank. But this year it had to borrow money in the U.S. to help buy back shares, distribute dividends and even pay its taxes. As a result, Emerson says, it brings its foreign cash holdings back to the U.S. only if that can be “accomplished tax efficiently.” Link
* GOP makes counteroffer in cliff talks. Janet Hook and Carol Lee – The Wall Street Journal. House Republicans on Monday made a fresh deficit-reduction proposal to the White House that calls for $800 billion in increased tax revenue, half of what President Barack Obama has proposed. Link
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The long, bumpy road to America’s “fiscal cliff” has been travelled over many years by Congress and a series of U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama.
Some of the steps along the way had good intentions. Some had no intention other than to avoid hard decisions.
WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (Reuters) – The long, bumpy road to
America’s “fiscal cliff” has been traveled over many years by
Congress and a series of U.S. presidents, including Barack
Some of the steps along the way had good intentions. Some
had no intention other than to avoid hard decisions.