Tax Break

Essential reading: Seeking common ground in Washington, shorting India on tax fears, more

April 23, 2012

A tea vendor holds an umbrella at a roadside in Mumbai. REUTERS/Sima Dubey

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

* In presidential race’s give-and-take, hope for a fiscal compromise. John Harwood – The New York Times. Some elected officials and policy experts see improving odds for 2012 to end up yielding much more, including progress toward a deal on tax and budget issues that have confounded Washington’s divided government. Some say the campaign dialogue could even bring a deal closer. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, a member of the Finance Committee, recently urged fellow Republicans to accept Democrats’ demand for some tax increases, as long as Democrats accepted the longstanding argument by conservatives that revenue calculations account for at least some positive effect on economic growth from changes in the tax code. Link 

* Macquarie hedge fund exits short bets in India on tax fears. Nishant Kumar – Reuters. Macquarie’s Asia hedge fund has exited its short positions in Indian single stock futures in response to a controversial set of proposed tax rules that could lower investment returns. Foreign investors have raised concerns on two recent Indian provisions to tax indirect investments and combat tax evasion. Link

* Filmmaker wins case against IRS. Michael Cieply – The New York Times. Documentary filmmakers can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the producer and director Lee Storey won her case last week against the commissioner of Internal Revenue in United States Tax Court. The IRS tried to disallow Storey’s deduction of expenses incurred while making and marketing the film “Smile ’Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story.” Link 

* California’s pension tax. The Wall Street Journal editorial. California Governor Jerry Brown is trying to sell his tax hike to voters this November by saying it will go to schools. The dirty little secret is that the new revenues are needed to backfill the insolvent teachers pension fund. Link 

* Better than the ‘Buffett rule’ Tom Campbell – The Los Angeles Times editorial. Campbell, a former five-term congressman, asks why not raise taxes on capital gains but lower them on income. That wouldn’t reduce the deficit, but it wouldn’t add to it either. More important, it would help our economic recovery. The question shouldn’t be whether wealthy people are paying their fair share but rather how investment, consumption and taxes figure in our economic recovery. Link 

* Mitt Romney’s secrets. Jae Hong – The Washington Post editorial. Mitt Romney’s contemptuous attitude toward the importance of public disclosure is increasingly troubling. The campaign said on Friday that the candidate had filed for a 2011 tax filing extension. The campaign insisted that Mr. Romney was delaying because some of the companies in which he had invested had yet to report their earnings. Link

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