Tax Break

Essential reading: Starbucks, Amazon and Google to face UK lawmakers over tax, and more

November 12, 2012

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

 * Starbucks, Amazon and Google to face UK lawmakers over tax. Tom Bergin – Reuters. UK lawmakers will quiz executives of Starbucks, Google and Amazon on Monday about how they have managed to pay only small amounts of tax in Britain while racking up billions of dollars worth of sales. Link  

* Weekend interview: Mitch McConnell: ‘We have a voter mandate not to raise taxes. The Wall Street Journal. “I am not willing to raise taxes to turn off the sequester. Period,” Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. Link  

* The tax breaks likely to come under fire. Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. It’s too soon to predict exactly what will happen to the tax breaks that are set to expire at the end of the year. In general, experts say, the biggest tax breaks are likely to be the ones that will attract the most scrutiny. Link  

* Bill Kristol thinks Republicans should be willing to raise taxes. It’s not the first time. Suzy Khimm – The Washington Post. Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol has suggested that he would be favor Republicans’ offer to compromise on taxes—so long as tax rates don’t go up. Link  

* In Greece, taking aim at wealthy tax dodgers. Landon Thomas – The New York Times. In recent weeks, tax experts at Greece’s finance ministry have been scrutinizing the finances of about 15,000 Greeks to see if money they have sent abroad in the past three years. Link  

* Danish lawmakers scrap controversial ‘fat tax.’ Clemens Bomsdorf – The Wall Street Journal. Danish lawmakers have killed a controversial “fat tax” one year after its implementation, after finding its negative effect on the economy and the strain it has put on small businesses far outweigh the health benefits. Link  

* The President’s tax bludgeon. The Wall Street Journal. If that was an olive branch, we’d hate to see the bludgeon. We’re referring to President Obama’s appearance on Friday in the White House East Room, his first public remarks since his re-election Tuesday. If the President wanted to send a gesture of magnanimity in victory, this wasn’t it. Link  

* To slow warming, tax carbon. Dieter Helm – The New York Times. Putting a tax on carbon is fundamental. If consumers and businesses do not bear the cost of their carbon pollution, they won’t do much about it. This carbon price should not discriminate between locations: global warming is global. Link  

* We shouldn’t kid ourselves that cutting a few credits will solve this. Joel Slemrod – The Washington Post opinion. If we go off the fiscal cliff and raise taxes substantially, that suggests there would be a depressing effect on the economy, but it wouldn’t be as big as you might think. Spending might drop by a third of the size of the cuts. Link

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