* Michigan Sen. Carl Levin will not seek reelection. Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake – The Washington Post. As chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Carl Levin has investigated Enron, the credit card industry, the 2008 financial crisis, and offshore tax havens. Link
* IASB loan-loss proposal a test for convergence. Emily Chasan – The Wall Street Journal. International accounting rulemakers have, for now, agreed to disagree with U.S. accounting standard setters on a new model for companies to account for credit losses, adding another delay to the convergence process between the two rulemakers. Link
WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue
Service has revoked access to an amnesty program for some U.S.
taxpayers with accounts at Israeli banks who were already taking
part in it, said three lawyers representing the customers on
In an unusual move that could scare others away from the
program, the IRS has told dozens of customers of Israel’s Bank
Leumi they have been disqualified from participating,
said lawyers for the customers.
* Offshore tax probe picks up. Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. After getting a guilty plea from Switzerland’s oldest private bank, which was ordered Monday to pay a total of $74 million for violating U.S. tax laws, federal investigators have fresh momentum thanks to leads gathered from interviews with confessed tax cheats. Link
* House GOP plans a budget that retains tax increases and Medicare cuts. Jonathan Weisman – The New York Times. House Republicans will preserve Medicare cuts and accept tax increases they sternly opposed just months ago in a new tax-and-spending blueprint, senior Republicans said Wednesday. Link
* India says Cadbury evaded taxes. Joe Palazzolo and Julie Jargon – The Wall Street Journal. India has accused Cadbury PLC of dodging about $46 million in taxes by pretending to produce candy at a factory that didn’t exist. Link
* Obama recruits Republicans for budget talks with personal calls. Jonathan Weisman – The New York Times. President Barack Obama spoke around noon Tuesday with Senator Lindsey Graham for about 10 minutes and both agreed that a major deal could be reached that raises revenues by closing tax loopholes. Link
* A stealth tax subsidy for business faces new scrutiny. Mary Williams Walsh and Louise Story – The New York Times. This valuable tax break — the ability to finance a variety of business projects cheaply with bonds that are tax exempt — has not only endured, it has grown, in what amounts to a stealth subsidy for private enterprise. Link
* Wegelin’s fall to tax-haven poster child. Reed Alberotti – The Wall Street Journal. In the span of just one year, Wegelin & Co. went from being one of the most prestigious banks in Switzerland to the verge of being sentenced on U.S. criminal charges and becoming essentially defunct. Link
* Republicans cling to one thing they agree on: Spending cuts. Richard Stevenson – The New York Times. Aware that conservatives could never accept a second round of tax increases this year, Republicans judged that the better course was to take on the economic and political risks associated with the automatic spending cuts. Link
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation has stalled in Congress that would help the Internal Revenue Service fight a wave of tax refund fraud, prompting one Florida lawmaker to appeal for more action.
Democratic Representative Kathy Castor, whose Tampa district is an epicenter for tax refund fraud, introduced a bill in February that would allow the IRS to share more tax information with local police.
* Law on tax changes is struck down in Washington State. Kirk Johnson – The New York Times. A voter-approved referendum restricting the Legislature’s ability to raise taxes is unconstitutional, Washington State’s highest court ruled on Thursday. Link
* Britons shun companies over tax avoidance. Vanessa Houlder – The Financial Times. A third of Britons are boycotting companies that do not pay their “fair share” of tax in the UK, according to a survey by a charity that described the findings as “a wake-up call to all business”. Link
* White House counts on G.O.P. to bend on cuts’ effects are felt. Michael Shear – The New York Times. White House strategists say they believe that a constant drip of bad news will emerge in Congressional districts across the country in the weeks ahead, putting Republicans on the defensive for their refusal to raise taxes. Link
* Dividend recaps set to dwindle in 2013: Moody’s. Maxwell Murphy – The Wall Street Journal. Moody’s Investors Service expects fewer dividend recapitalizations this year compared to 2012, when companies rushed to distribute cash to shareholders ahead of expected tax hikes. Link
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it has won a $1 billion tax shelter case against Dow Chemical Co (DOW.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) that involved a Swiss partnership, Wall Street financial giant Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and international law firm King & Spalding.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana rejected two tax shelter transactions entered into by the Dow Chemical Co “that purported to create approximately $1 billion in phony tax deductions,” Justice said in a statement.