Tax Break

Essential reading: Senate Finance chair sees flexibility on Bush tax cuts, and more

November 14, 2012

U.S. Senator Max Baucus

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

* Senate Finance chair sees flexibility on Bush tax cuts. Kim Dixon – Reuters. The chief Democratic tax-writer in the U.S. Senate said on Tuesday that to steer clear of the fiscal cliff, the top rates paid by the richest Americans must rise in any deal between Congress and the White House, but he suggested there is some flexibility in ways to strike a deal. Link

* Obama sets steep tax target. Janet Hook and Carol Lee – The Wall Street Journal. President Barack Obama will begin budget negotiations with congressional leaders Friday by calling for $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue over the next decade, far more than Republicans are likely to accept and double the $800 billion discussed in talks with GOP leaders during the summer of 2011. Link

* Obama to open talks with $1.6 trillion plan to raise taxes on corporations, wealthy. Zachary Goldfarb and Lori Montgomery – The Washington Post. President Obama is taking a hard line with congressional Republicans heading into negotiations over the year-end fiscal cliff, making no opening concessions and calling for far more in new taxes than Republicans have so far been willing to consider. Link 

 * Tax credit for wind farms blown into ‘fiscal cliff’ debate. Roberta Rampton – Reuters. Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley said he is hopeful Congress will renew a tax credit for wind energy but acknowledged that its fate depends on sweeping negotiations over tax and spending issues in coming weeks. Link

* For IRS, charities must say more than thank you. Arden Dale – The Wall Street Journal. The Internal Revenue Service requires that a donor produce a record from the charity to show a gift over $250 had no strings attached. A thank you note can be a good enough record, as long as it includes the magic words: “No goods or services were received in exchange for the contribution.” Link

* Support wavers for anti-tax pledge. Jeremy Peters – The New York Times. As Congress gathers for its lame-duck session and confronts a serious set of economic and tax questions that could bring the country to the brink of the “fiscal cliff,” one of the lingering questions is whether the pledge — drafted and enforced by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform — will hold up. Link

* Obama’s left flank. The Wall Street Journal editorial. This week’s pressing question is which Barack Obama will show up for his Friday fiscal-cliff talks with Congressional leaders. The president who has hinted he’s open to a bipartisan deal? Or the President who on Tuesday threw open the White House to his no-compromise-ever brigades? Link

* The business plan for American revival. Lloyd Blankfein – The Wall Street Journal opinion. The Obama administration has already signaled its interest in reducing the corporate income-tax rate. Business leaders should work with the administration and Congress on tax legislation that would reward work and bolster investment, while retaining the tax system’s essential progressivity. Link

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