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Feb 5, 2014

In first visit to Congress, U.S. IRS chief pleads for fresh start

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The new chief of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday said the tax agency needs to start moving beyond a controversy that erupted almost nine months ago about its scrutiny of a handful of conservative political groups.

In his first congressional appearance since taking the helm at the IRS in December, Commissioner John Koskinen said he will cooperate with the six separate investigations into the IRS’s missteps last year, but that he is eager to move forward.

Feb 4, 2014

Smuggling, fraud cost Philippines $25.8 billion in 2011, study says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than $410 billion in illicit money crossed the borders of the Philippines from 1960 to 2011, with customs fraud related to imported goods surging in recent years, according to a study by a U.S.-based anti-graft watchdog group released on Monday.

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) said a record high of $25.8 billion came into the Southeast Asian, archipelago nation illegally in 2011, the most recent year for which data was available. (GFI report:

Jan 31, 2014

U.S. IRS chief says no delay in tax-dodger law; some have doubts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chief of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Friday that a new law meant to fight offshore tax dodging by Americans will not be delayed again beyond its July 1 effective date, despite a clamor among banks asking for more time and guidance.

“We’re not going to have any delays,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told reporters on a conference call.

Jan 30, 2014

Obama’s ‘myRA’ worker retirement plan sets modest goals

WASHINGTON/BOSTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama ordered on Wednesday the creation of a new government-backed retirement account for low-income workers, the myRA, that will be safe and simple, but will top out at only $15,000 per account and offer modest returns.

Unveiled by the president in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, the myRA quickly won praise from some experts as an entry point into the world of investing for millions of Americans who now save little or nothing for the future, and get only scant attention from large financial firms.

Jan 29, 2014

Treasury to pick manager for Obama myRA retirement program

WASHINGTON/BOSTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s new “myRA” retirement savings program will be run by a private-sector money management firm chosen by the U.S. Treasury Department from a field of up to 30 firms, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

In a competitive bidding process to begin in the next few weeks, the Treasury Department will select a firm with experience in handling Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs), the official said on a conference call with reporters.

Jan 28, 2014

Exelon quarrel with IRS could threaten tax-free exchange deals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Energy group Exelon Corp is fighting the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in court over a $517 million tax bill in a case that tax lawyers said could lead to new restrictions on businesses’ ability to do tax-free property exchange deals.

Such exchanges are common legal strategies for avoiding capital gains tax. Thousands are carried out annually, though the Exelon deal at issue was unusually large.

Jan 25, 2014

U.S. says has 106 Swiss requests to join anti-tax-dodging deal

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department
has received 106 requests from Swiss entities to participate in
a U.S. settlement program aimed at ending a long-running probe
of tax-dodging by Americans using Swiss bank accounts, a senior
U.S. government official said on Saturday.

Speaking at a legal conference in Phoenix, Arizona,
assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Tax
Division Kathryn Keneally said that not all the entities might
be banks and would thus not be eligible.

Jan 24, 2014

Republicans bash U.S. law targeting offshore tax dodgers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Friday called for the repeal of a U.S. anti-tax-evasion law, siding with big banks, libertarians and American expatriates that have criticized the Obama administration statute.

At its winter meeting in Washington, the RNC approved by voice vote a resolution in favor of abolishing the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), set to take effect in July, marking the party’s first explicit attack on the law.

Jan 22, 2014

U.S. global tax law unhurt by Republicans: Treasury official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior U.S. Treasury Department official said on Wednesday that Republican Party opposition to a new law meant to fight offshore tax dodging by Americans will not impede the Obama administration’s efforts to implement it worldwide.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is expected to be targeted later this week at a Republican National Committee (RNC) meeting by a resolution urging its repeal.

Jan 21, 2014

Republican Party to vote for repeal of U.S. anti-tax dodging law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican Party is expected to approve a resolution this week, calling for repeal of an Obama administration law that is designed to crack down on offshore tax dodging.

In what would be the party’s first appeal to scrap the law -

the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) – a panel was slated to vote at the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) winter meetings in Washington, likely approving the resolution on Friday, according to party members driving the repeal effort.