Tax Break

Essential reading: Washington Post reports Obama administration looking at new tax cut, and more

October 29, 2012

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

* Obama administration looking at new tax cut-Washington Post. Mark Felsenthal – Reuters. The Obama administration is considering a possible tax cut that would increase workers’ take-home salaries and replace the payroll tax reduction set to expire at the end of the year, The Washington Post reported on Friday. The White House said no new tax policy suggestion had been formulated. Link

* Stock pickers game the fiscal cliff. Jonathan Cheng – The Wall Street Journal. A number of companies are seeking to get ahead of the tax increases by paying out big special dividends before Dec. 31. In the past two weeks, at least four Standard & Poor’s 500 companies have announced special payouts. Link

* Greek editor is arrested after publishing a list of Swiss bank accounts. Liz Alderman – The New York Times. The Greek police arrested and then quickly released the owner and editor of a respected investigative magazine on Sunday morning hours after he published a list of more than 2,000 Greeks who were said to have accounts at a bank in Switzerland, throwing new controversy into a scandal over whether the government is actively pursuing suspected tax cheats. Link

* Talk of a wind subsidy ‘phaseout.’ Diane Cardwell – The New York Times. Opponents of the wind energy tax credit say the wind industry is looking for a never-ending hand-out, but some Republicans support extending the credit as long as it includes an explicit phaseout over a set number of years. One of those Republicans is now pressuring the wind industry to propose a detailed schedule. Mitt Romney has called for the to be phased out subsidies once an industry is on its feet. Link

* Death tax resurrection. The Wall Street Journal editorial. For all the worry in Washington and Wall Street about the January tax cliff, almost no one is paying attention to the impending reincarnation of the death tax. This is one more tax increase that will live or die depending on who wins on November 6. Mitt Romney wants to repeal this wealth grab once and for all, while President Obama now proposes a 45 percent rate with a $3.5 million exemption. Link

* Windfall tax wheeze. The Wall Street Journal editorial. For the latest tutorial on lousy tax policy, cast your eyes down-way down-to Australia, where the country’s windfall mining tax has produced a gusher of . . . zero revenue in its first three months. Julia Gillard’s Labor-led government projected that its “minerals resource rent tax” on large iron-ore and coal companies would raise 10.6 billion Australian dollars over three years. Link

* The Lame Duck Congress’s fiscal duty. Steve Forbes – The Wall Street Journal opinion. The fiscal cliff that is looming on Jan. 2-a $500 billion combination of rising tax rates and expiring preferential tax policies-is a historic and completely obvious threat to our economy. Every American knows that unless Congress acts quickly, we will be hit with economy-crushing tax increases at the start of the New Year. Link

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