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Mar 25, 2014

Companies must pay taxes on severance payments: U.S. high court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that taxes are due for Social Security and Medicare on severance packages paid to workers who are laid off involuntarily, overturning a lower court ruling that could have led to a wave of payroll tax refund requests from U.S. businesses.

In a win for the Obama administration and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the court voted 8-0 that Quality Stores Inc., a defunct retailer, and its employees are not entitled to tax refunds totaling about $1 million.

Mar 18, 2014

Offshore taxes may slow audits for some U.S. multinationals: IRS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Multinational businesses that often fight with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service over their worldwide taxes may be dropped from an IRS program meant to smooth corporate audits, a senior IRS official said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a conference, Michael Danilack, a deputy U.S. IRS commissioner, raised concerns about “transfer pricing” disagreements that complicate a voluntary audit program the tax agency operates with big U.S. companies.

Mar 17, 2014

U.S. tax preparer rules land in Congress, tough road ahead

WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters) – An Obama administration
push to clean up the tax preparation industry has landed in
Congress where it is expected to stall, meaning further delays
to rules to stamp out shoddy and deceptive tax preparers who are
a drain on the U.S. Treasury and taxpayers.

After setbacks in the courts, the Obama administration this
month asked Congress to pass a law that would specifically
empower the Internal Revenue Service to regulate preparers, from
sector leader H&R Block Inc to thousands of mom-and-pop
shops.

Mar 12, 2014

Outlook for online state sales tax fix dims in U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prospects for federal action to resolve a fight over state sales taxation of online retailing faded on Wednesday in the U.S. Congress, after a senior Republican lawmaker said more debate is needed before legislation can move forward.

The comments by Robert Goodlatte, chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee reduced the likelihood that the House might support a Senate bill that would empower states to collect sales tax on Internet purchases.

Mar 5, 2014

Death threats made to official in U.S. IRS scandal: lawyer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Several death threats have been made against a former U.S. Internal Revenue Service officer who played a key role in last year’s ‘Tea Party’ scandal at the IRS, the officer’s lawyer said on Wednesday after a brief but dramatic congressional hearing.

Lois Lerner, who refused to testify at the hearing that dissolved in shouting and confusion, has been threatened at least six times since May 2013, when the IRS scandal became known, said her attorney, William Taylor.

Mar 5, 2014

U.S. House hearing on IRS scandal dissolves in shouting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A brief congressional hearing ended in shouting and confusion on Wednesday after a former U.S. Internal Revenue Service official refused to answer questions about a 10-month-old controversy involving IRS scrutiny of conservative political groups.

Lois Lerner, who was at the center of last year’s so-called Tea Party targeting scandal, declined to answer questions from Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Mar 4, 2014

U.S. Senate tax chief looks to tweak code, no reform yet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate’s tax-writing committee will begin work as soon as April on restoring a small package of tax breaks and not try to overhaul the tax code, the committee’s new chairman said on Tuesday.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who took over the Senate Finance Committee last month, said tax reform was nearly impossible in the face of a busy political year culminating in congressional elections in November.

Feb 27, 2014

Senate panel faults new U.S. law to fight offshore tax dodging

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate investigators have sharply criticized the implementation of a new Obama administration law meant to fight offshore tax evasion by Americans, saying that “gaping loopholes” in the law could let shell companies skirt it.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations included its criticisms in a long report released on Tuesday about how Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG allegedly helped Americans dodge taxes over several years.

Feb 27, 2014

U.S. senators scold prosecutors, Swiss bank in tax spat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators lashed out at federal prosecutors on Wednesday for a lack of zeal in going after Swiss banks that helped Americans dodge taxes, blaming both sides for billions of dollars in missed revenues.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations this week alleged new misdeeds by Switzerland’s Credit Suisse, citing secret meetings in luxury hotels and hidden elevators one senator said belonged in a spy novel.

Feb 26, 2014

Senate scolds prosecutors, Swiss bank in tax spat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators lashed out against federal prosecutors on Wednesday for a lack of zeal in going after Swiss banks that helped Americans dodge taxes, saying that offshore tax avoidance has cost billions of dollars in tax revenues.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations this week alleged new misdeeds by Switzerland’s Credit Suisse, citing secret meetings in luxury hotels and hidden elevators, which one senator said belonged in a spy novel.