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Mar 28, 2014

Caterpillar to face U.S. Senate panel on offshore taxes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc’s offshore tax strategies will come under scrutiny on Tuesday at a U.S. Senate hearing expected to examine dealings by the world’s largest mining and construction equipment maker in Switzerland, Bermuda and Luxembourg.

With many multinationals being criticized for tax avoidance, veteran tax sleuth Senator Carl Levin will chair another session of his Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, with three current and former Caterpillar executives slated to testify.

Mar 26, 2014

Bitcoins are property, not currency, IRS says regarding taxes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wading into a murky tax question for the digital age, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Tuesday that bitcoins and other virtual currencies are to be treated, for tax purposes, as property and not as currency.

“General tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency,” the IRS said in a statement, meaning that bitcoins would be taxed as ordinary income or as assets subject to capital gains taxes, depending on the circumstance.

Mar 25, 2014

Bitcoins taxed as property, not currency, IRS says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wading into a murky tax question for the digital age, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Tuesday that virtual currencies such as bitcoin are to be treated, for tax purposes, as property and not as currency.

Putting bitcoin and other virtual currencies in the same category as stocks or bonds in some instances, the IRS said in a statement: “General tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.”

Mar 25, 2014

Bitcoins taxed as property, not currency, IRS says

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) – Wading into a murky tax
question for the digital age, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service
said on Tuesday that virtual currencies such as bitcoin are to
be treated, for tax purposes, as property and not as currency.

Putting bitcoin and other virtual currencies in the same
category as stocks or bonds in some instances, the IRS said in a
statement: “General tax principles that apply to property
transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.”

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.