Tax Break

Essential reading: Obamas and Bidens release tax returns, challenge Romney, and more

April 13, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in Washington February 21, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

* Obamas and Bidens to release tax returns. Mark Landler and Jim Rutenberg – The New York Times. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden plan to release their own income tax returns on Friday, along with a statement calling on Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney to do the same, according to an Obama campaign official. Link

* Swiss can’t offer more to Germany, US in tax row-fin min. Catherine Bosley – Reuters. Switzerland cannot make further concessions to Germany and the United States in a dispute over untaxed funds in secret bank accounts, Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf was quoted as saying in a newspaper interview on Friday. Widmer-Schlumpf also said France and Italy were likely to be watching these developments before themselves seeking agreements to claw back taxes. Link

*Tax collection up in all 50 states in 2011: Census. Lisa Lambert – Reuters. Tax collection rose in all 50 states in fiscal 2011, and in nine states increased more than 10 percent, according to U.S. Census data released on Thursday that marked the end of a severe revenue collapse. Link

* House to begin work on tax overhaul. Jonathan Weisman – The New York Times. The push for a broad overhaul of the federal tax code will begin in earnest next week with a series of meetings between Representative Dave Camp, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Republican rank-and-file. Link

* Tax loopholes still exist within Buffett rule. Richard Rubin – Bloomberg. The highest-earning U.S. households have ways to escape President Barack Obama’s Buffett rule with tax-planning techniques that would limit their liability and undermine the proposal’s purpose. Taxpayers could take advantage of tax-free investments such as municipal bonds, time asset sales for maximum tax benefits, engage in transactions that don’t result in taxable income and make charitable contributions that yield deductions. Link

* All the best tax breaks are Made in America. Lisa Pollack – The Financial Times, Alphaville. While in some countries avoiding tax is a national pastime, in America the government offers all manner of mechanisms to reduce one’s bill. From deductions on mortgage payments, to the low rates on long-term capital gains that private equity moguls benefit from, to generous accelerated depreciation methods on a wide range of property. Link

* Tax Face-Off: Romney vs. Me. Timothy Egan – The New York Times Opinion.
Egan compares his 1040 with those of Mitt Romney arguing that the tax return is a blueprint for how to earn and spend money. It encourages us to do some things and discourages us from doing others. Link

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