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May 11, 2013

Senator blasts IRS over ‘Tea Party’ apology as hearings loom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior Republican senator condemned the Internal Revenue Service on Saturday for singling out conservative political groups for extra scrutiny, while the IRS described the incident as isolated and not politically motivated.

“When we start letting the IRS impose its will on people and doing it in a partisan, biased way, then we’re exposing our country to some real problems,” Senator Orrin Hatch told Reuters.

May 10, 2013

U.S. IRS singling out of ‘Tea Party’ being investigated

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An investigation of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service was launched on Friday after a senior IRS official publicly apologized for subjecting conservative political groups to “inappropriate” scrutiny.

In a practice that drew complaints during the 2012 election campaign, groups with the words “Tea Party” or “patriots” in their names were flagged for closer IRS review when they applied to the agency for tax-exempt status.

May 10, 2013
via Tax Break

Essential reading: Falling deficit alters budget debate, and more


Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

* Falling deficit alters debate. Damian Palleta – The Wall Street Journal. Rising government revenue from tax collections and bailout paybacks are shrinking the federal deficit faster than expected, delaying the point when the government will reach the so-called debt ceiling and altering the budget debate in Washington. Link    

* Who would win or lose on online sales tax. Jayne O’Donnell and Hadley Malcolm – USA Today. Major retailers and local stores will be the big winners if the House follows the Senate and requires Internet retailers to collect sales taxes on online purchases. Link    

May 10, 2013

IRS admits scrutiny of conservative groups was wrong

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tax auditors inappropriately targeted applications from conservative political groups seeking tax-exempt status, an Internal Revenue Service official acknowledged on Friday.

Lois Lerner, director of the IRS tax-exempt office, said the practice was “was absolutely incorrect and it was inappropriate.”

May 9, 2013

Britain, US, Australia hunt for tax evaders yielding leads

LONDON/WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – A joint effort by
Britain, the United States and Australia to track down people
who conceal wealth in offshore tax structures has helped
identify more than 100 individuals, the UK’s tax authority said
on Thursday.

“The message is simple: if you evade tax, we’re coming after
you,” said Britain’s Finance Minister George Osborne.

May 9, 2013
via Tax Break

Essential reading: Tax collections from wealthy are saving government, and more


Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

* Swiss bank tied to indictment ponders U.S. registration -sources. John Letzing – The Wall Street Journal. A Swiss private bank that recently suspended an executive who allegedly helped U.S. taxpayers evade obligations is considering opening a U.S. branch, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday, a step intended to help it comply with U.S. regulations. Link 

* Tax collections from wealthy are saving government. Robert Frank – CNBC. Call it proof that the system is working—or proof that the system is broken—but taxes paid by the nation’s top earners are putting government back in the black. Link 

May 8, 2013

U.S. Senator’s attack on tax-dodge law gains some support

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) – Anti-tax advocates on
Wednesday applauded an effort by Senator Rand Paul to roll back
important sections of a U.S. law designed to fight tax evasion
by Americans with assets stored overseas.

In a move tax experts said would effectively gut the Foreign
Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Paul has proposed stripping
FATCA of key enforcement and information reporting requirements.

May 8, 2013

Senator Paul offers bill to weaken U.S. anti-tax evasion law

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Rand Paul
introduced a bill late on Tuesday that would repeal parts of a
2010 law designed to fight offshore tax evasion by Americans
with assets hidden in foreign banks.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is being
implemented worldwide through a series of agreements between the
U.S. government and other governments and foreign banks.

May 7, 2013
via Tax Break

Essential reading: Airline industry’s tax troubles, and more


Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

* Tax proposals open a debate on airline industry’s troubles. Susan Stellin – The New York Times. A $300 domestic airline ticket now includes about $60 in taxes — or 20 percent of the total fare — which pays for things like air traffic controllers, airport improvements, customs and immigration inspections and checkpoint screening. Link     

* Indefinitely reinvested foreign earnings on the rise. Maxwell Murphy – The Wall Street Journal. Foreign profits at U.S.-based multinational companies will soon top $2 trillion. But much of that sum is unlikely to return to the U.S., regardless of the status of U.S. tax rules, as it already has been spent abroad. Link   

May 7, 2013

Fight expected in House on online sales tax

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Monday to give states the power to enforce their sales tax laws on online purchases, but the legislation faces a tougher fight in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 69 to 27 to back the measure, which pits brick-and-mortar stores like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and cash-hungry state governments against such Web retailers as eBay Inc and Republicans wary of new tax measures.