Tax Break

Essential reading: Pension crisis looms despite cuts, and more

September 24, 2012

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

 * Pension crisis looms despite cuts. Michael Corkery – The Wall Street Journal. Almost every state in the U.S. has made cuts to its public-employee pensions, seeking to dig out from the economic downturn, but so far the measures have fallen well short of bridging a nearly $1 trillion funding gap. Since 2009, 45 states have rolled back pension benefits for teachers, police, firefighters and other public workers, including cuts by Michigan and California this month. Next week, Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign legislation requiring, for example, that certain teachers work longer and pay more toward their pensions. Link 

* Romney, in interview, says his tax rate is “fair.” Reuters. U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he thinks it is “fair” that he pays a lower tax rate on his investment income of $20 million last year than someone who made $50,000 annually. Romney released his 2011 return on Friday, which showed he paid an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent. Link  

* Next tax argument: Romney’s foreign investments. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. President Barack Obama’s campaign officials on Friday sought to highlight the issue of the Romneys’ foreign investments. Over half the 2011 return’s 379 pages are devoted to about 50 separate filings of Form 8621, which indicate holdings in offshore investment firms. Link 

* UK deputy prime minister backs higher ‘wealth tax.’ Ainsley Thomson – The Wall Street Journal. Nick Clegg, the U.K. Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats on Sunday said he won’t back plans for further government spending cuts unless the richest people contribute more, saying he believes there will be an additional “wealth tax” in place by the next general election. Speaking in the English seaside town of Brighton at his party’s annual conference, Clegg said the measures to ensure the highest earners paid their fair share weren’t limited to the Liberal Democrats’ longstanding policy of a tax on properties valued at more than 2 million pounds ($3.2 million). Link

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