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Apr 9, 2014

House panel urges prosecution for ex-IRS official in Tea Party case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. House of Representatives committee has asked the Justice Department to consider criminal prosecution for a former U.S. Internal Revenue Service official who played a key role in last year’s Tea Party scandal at the IRS.

By a vote of 23-14 along party lines, the Republican-led Ways and Means Committee voted to refer Lois Lerner to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. The request was submitted in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.

Apr 8, 2014

Untaxed U.S. corporate profits held overseas top $2.1 trln -study

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) – Foreign profits held
overseas by U.S. corporations to avoid taxes at home nearly
doubled from 2008 to 2013 to top $2.1 trillion, said a private
research firm’s report, prompting a call for reform by the
Senate’s top tax law writer.

“The new numbers … certainly highlight what is one of the
key challenges for tax reform. I do think there need to be some
reforms in this area,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron
Wyden told reporters on Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

Apr 8, 2014

IRS puts damper on newer types of energy partnerships

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) – The Internal
Revenue Service has temporarily stopped issuing private letter
rulings (PLRs) that energy companies sometimes request when
setting up master limited partnerships for their tax benefits.

Lawyers specializing in the oil and gas sector have said the
IRS wants to review the scope of assets that can qualify as
tax-free for master limited partnerships (MLPs), which have
lured hundreds of billions of dollars from investors seeking
high yields.

Apr 8, 2014

IRS asks U.S. lawmakers for ‘OK’ to police tax preparers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service asked Congress on Tuesday for legal authority to regulate thousands of unlicensed tax return preparers, but lawmakers were neutral on the idea.

“I will have to talk with my colleagues to see what’s doable,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, a Democrat, after gaveling an end to a hearing on the issue.

Apr 8, 2014

IRS says temporarily halts issuing letters for MLPs

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Internal Revenue Service has temporarily stopped issuing private letter rulings that energy companies sometimes request when setting up master limited partnerships (MLPs) for their tax benefits.

Lawyers specializing in the oil and gas sector have said the IRS wants to review the scope of assets that can qualify as tax-free for MLPs, which have lured billions from investors seeking higher yields.

Apr 7, 2014

IRS whistleblower payouts down, critics say program too slow

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service reported it made progress last year in rewarding tax whistleblowers with a few big cash payouts, but critics said the tax agency is still struggling to act quickly on informants’ tips.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, the IRS said late last week that it paid whistleblowers $53.1 million, down from $125.4 million in 2012; $8 million in 2011; and $18.7 million in 2010.

Apr 2, 2014

U.S. gives foreign banks more time on anti-tax dodge law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday gave foreign financial institutions 10 extra days to register with the U.S. government, under a new law to combat offshore tax dodging by Americans that goes into effect on July 1.

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), foreign banks, insurers and investment funds must send the Internal Revenue Service information about Americans’ and U.S. permanent residents’ offshore accounts worth more than $50,000.

Apr 1, 2014

Caterpillar defends taxes attacked by U.S. Senate Democrat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc defended itself on Tuesday against accusations of offshore tax-dodging, telling a U.S. Senate panel that a low-tax unit the company set up years ago in Switzerland has not been challenged by U.S. tax authorities.

Executives from the world’s largest maker of mining and construction equipment were hauled in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to answer to allegations made by the panel in a 99-page report.

Apr 1, 2014

Republicans defend Caterpillar, blast U.S. tax code at hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The broken U.S. tax code encourages companies to shift profits overseas, Republican senators said on Tuesday, seeking to deflect criticism from Caterpillar Inc at a hearing on how it allegedly avoided paying $2.4 billion in taxes.

The world’s largest maker of mining and construction equipment was only acting in its shareholders’ best interests, and in a wholly legal manner, Republicans said at the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing.

Mar 31, 2014

Caterpillar’s Swiss unit dodged $2.4 bln of U.S. taxes -Senate panel

WASHINGTON, March 31 (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc
avoided paying $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes from 2000 through 2012
by moving profits from sales of replacement parts through a
low-tax unit it set up in Switzerland, a congressional panel
said on Monday.

In the latest example of a major U.S. corporation’s offshore
tax strategies going under the congressional microscope, the
Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a report
focused on a complex 1999 restructuring by Caterpillar.