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Jan 13, 2014

Taxes on severance pay? U.S. Supreme Court to hear case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Tuesday will fight before the Supreme Court to keep a defunct retailer from potentially triggering a wave of tax refund claims that could drain $1 billion from major U.S. social programs.

In oral arguments before the high court, the Obama administration will ask the justices to overturn an appeals court ruling in favor of issuing a tax refund to Quality Stores Inc, a rural retailer that declared bankruptcy in 2001.

Jan 9, 2014

IRS should create, adopt U.S. taxpayer bill of rights: watchdog

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service should take steps to restore public trust in its work, including adopting a taxpayer bill of rights that clearly states individuals’ rights to fair treatment from the tax agency, an IRS watchdog said on Thursday.

With its reputation for political neutrality hurt by a 2013 uproar over its treatment of conservative political groups, the IRS needs to reassure Americans of their tax rights, said the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an oversight arm of the agency.

Jan 8, 2014

Boeing, manufacturers press U.S. IRS on R&D tax rule changes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co and other manufacturers asked the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday to scrap parts of a proposed rewrite of the federal tax deduction for corporate research and development that they said could make it harder to claim it.

Warning of possible costly legal fights ahead, a lawyer for the aerospace company said Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is worried the changes as proposed could prevent it from deducting the R&D costs for an airplane if, for example, separate engine parts were upgraded.

Jan 6, 2014

IRS chief says may face budget crunch on Obamacare rollout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service may need to spend money on its Obamacare implementation at the expense of other agency programs due to budget constraints, its new commissioner said on Monday.

John Koskinen, sworn in on December 23 to lead the tax agency, did not elaborate on what programs might suffer to ensure full funding for the IRS’s numerous jobs in putting into effect President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010.

Dec 26, 2013

U.S. Tax Court rules against MBA student seeking tuition tax break

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Tax Court has dealt a setback to young MBA students with little work experience who try to claim their tuition costs as a tax-deductible business expense, lawyers and accountants said on Thursday.

In a ruling on Monday, a Tax Court judge denied Adam Hart of Florida, who was studying for a Master of Business Administration degree in finance, a $17,138 tax deduction he claimed for his tuition costs in 2009. The IRS billed Hart for $2,572 in unpaid taxes.

Dec 23, 2013

New York regulates tax preparers as U.S. IRS effort drifts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New York this month became the fourth U.S. state to regulate unlicensed tax return preparers, at a time when consumer advocates are pushing for more state oversight as a federal crackdown stalled.

Nearly 80 million Americans pay someone to prepare their tax returns. While most of this work goes smoothly, some does not.

Dec 20, 2013

U.S. Senate approves Obama nominee for IRS chief

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Friday
voted to confirm John Koskinen as the new head of the Internal
Revenue Service, giving the beleaguered tax agency its fourth
chief in little more than a year.

A 74-year-old lawyer with little tax experience, Koskinen
was nominated in August by President Barack Obama. He was
approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate in a 59-36 vote.

Dec 17, 2013

More progress made on cross-border corporate tax pacts: U.S. IRS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is making progress this year on minimizing quarrels with multinational corporations over “transfer pricing,” or taxing how companies value and move capital and assets across borders, a senior IRS official told Reuters.

The agency has signed 115 advance pricing agreements (APAs) with multinationals so far in 2013. That could climb to 130 by year-end, nearly matching 2012’s record-setting total of 140, Richard McAlonan, APA program director, said on Monday.

Dec 13, 2013

U.S. Senate panel votes to confirm Obama’s pick for IRS chief

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate panel voted on
Friday to confirm President Barack Obama’s choice to be the next
Internal Revenue Service commissioner, sending his nomination to
the full Senate.

In a voice vote, the Senate Finance Committee, as expected,
confirmed John Koskinen to be the next chief tax collector. The
earliest the full Senate could vote would be on Monday.

Dec 13, 2013

Proposed IRS campaign rules may create strange tax-exempt allies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s push to limit campaign activity by partisan tax-exempt groups has set up an unusual situation that could unite political enemies in battle against the Internal Revenue Service.

Nonpartisan groups are complaining that voter education and mobilization efforts could be endangered by the IRS tax proposals unveiled last month.