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May 10, 2014

Fear of Pfizer-AstraZeneca job cuts voiced by U.S. lawmakers

WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) – Members of the U.S. Congress
from Maryland and Massachusetts expressed concern on Saturday
that thousands of jobs in their districts could be at risk if
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc completes a buyout of UK-based
AstraZeneca Plc.

“The scale of this is really causing people to pay
attention. I’m really concerned about it,” said Democratic
Representative John Delaney, whose Maryland district includes a
3,000-worker facility of AstraZeneca’s MedImmune unit.

May 9, 2014

U.S. senators eye bill to halt corporate tax ‘inversion’

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic senators on
Thursday said they are considering legislation to prevent
corporate inversions, an increasingly-popular transaction that
involves U.S. companies reincorporating overseas to avoid U.S.

Senator Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden, a Democrat,
said he wants to make it harder for U.S. companies to move their
headquarters abroad to lower their taxes for inversion deals
that take place on or after May 8, 2014.

May 7, 2014

U.S. Senate Republican Paul to prevent votes on tax treaties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Rand Paul on Wednesday said he will prevent Senate votes on five international tax treaties, including one with Switzerland, arguing that they would intrude on the privacy of American citizens, but business groups condemned his move.

Under U.S. Senate rules, a single senator has the power to delay legislation from reaching a vote on the Senate floor by placing a “hold” on it.

May 7, 2014

U.S. could lose $3 billion as budget forces fewer tax audits -IRS chief

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. federal government
could lose almost $3 billion in revenue during the current
fiscal year because budget cuts are forcing the tax-collecting
Internal Revenue Service to audit fewer people, the agency’s
chief said on Wednesday.

Testifying before a congressional panel, IRS Commissioner
John Koskinen said the IRS will audit 100,000 fewer individuals
this year as part of congressionally mandated cuts to the tax
agency’s budget. Audits of high-wealth individuals, businesses
and partnerships will also decline, he said.

Apr 22, 2014

IRS’s summons power faces test in Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Internal Revenue Service will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to defend the way it enforces its power to issue legal summonses to obtain sensitive documents from taxpayers who refuse to cooperate with audits.

The IRS is squaring off against Michael Clarke, a West Palm Beach, Florida, investor who is arguing that the U.S. tax agency in 2011 improperly issued a summons “as retribution” against him and his business partners for resisting an audit.

Apr 17, 2014

No U.S. IRS audits for most big financial partnerships: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fewer than 1 percent of partnerships with more than $100 million in assets, including hedge funds and private equity firms, are audited by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, a government report said on Thursday.

Despite a surge in the number of partnerships over the last decade, the IRS did not conduct field audits for 99 percent of these tax-favored businesses from 2007 through 2012, said the preliminary report from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

Apr 16, 2014

China denies U.S. warning of undervalued currency

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China rejected on Wednesday a warning from the Obama administration that its currency was too weak, urging the United States to recognize that China aims to “perfect and regulate” the exchange rate system.

The Obama administration on Tuesday warned China that its currency was too weak and expressed doubt over the Asian giant’s resolve to let market forces guide the value of the yuan.

Apr 15, 2014

U.S. warns China its currency is still undervalued

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Tuesday warned Beijing that it is concerned about the recent drop in China’s currency, calling it “significantly undervalued” and saying it is watching the value of the yuan closely.

In a semiannual report to Congress, the U.S. Treasury stopped short of declaring China a currency manipulator, but singled it out among large U.S. trading partners for its currency practices.

Apr 14, 2014

Higher 2013 U.S. taxes surprise some investors, tax preparers say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For wealthy U.S. investors who have not been paying attention, their 2013 tax returns, which must be filed by Tuesday, may contain a rude surprise: higher taxes.

With the deadline for filing hours away, tax professionals across the country said some clients have been surprised to learn the Internal Revenue Service was taking a larger bite.

Apr 10, 2014

House panel holds ex-IRS officer in contempt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. House of Representatives panel voted 21-12 along party lines on Thursday to hold a former Internal Revenue Service officer in contempt of Congress over her role in a 2013 controversy involving IRS targeting of conservative political groups.

Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS tax-exempt division, twice exercised her constitutional right not to testify about the affair before the Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at public hearings on Capitol Hill.