Tax Break

Essential reading: Investors rush to beat threat of higher taxes, and more

November 19, 2012

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

* Investors rush to beat threat of higher taxes. Nathaniel Popper and Nelson Schwartz – The New York Times. Business owners and investors are rapidly maneuvering to shield themselves from the prospect of higher taxes next year, a strategy that is sending ripples across Wall Street and broad areas of the economy. Link

* Europe seeks more taxes from U.S. multinationals. Eric Pfanner – The New York Times. As governments throughout Europe seek to close gaping holes in their budgets, they are taking aim at United States multinational companies, especially Internet giants like Google and Amazon.com, which pay little or no taxes in Europe, despite generating billions of dollars in revenue on the Continent. Link

* Uneven bite of limiting deductions. Alan Zibel and John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. Limiting personal income-tax deductions and other federal tax breaks, an idea gaining momentum as part of a fix for America’s budget crisis, would hit some parts of the country harder than others, with a series of high-income blue states leading the way. Link 

* Atheists sue IRS for failure to monitor church politicking. The Washington Post. A First Amendment watchdog group is suing the Internal Revenue Service for failing to challenge the tax-exempt status of churches whose pastors engage in partisan politicking from the pulpit. Link

* To reduce inequality, tax wealth, not income. Daniel Altman – The New York Times opinion. Wealth inequality has worsened for two decades and is now at an extreme level. Replacing the income, estate and gift taxes with a progressive wealth tax would do much more to reduce it than any other tax plan being considered in Washington. Link

* Tax the smokers – again. The Washington Post editorial. Smokers, obviously, are hurt by higher taxes on cigarettes. But think of those who are helped. Each tobacco tax hike in Maryland has been followed by a steep decline in the rate of smoking. Link

* Democrats, stop before you tax again. The Los Angeles Times editorial. Democrats, please. Slow down. They can raise taxes all on their own, and the governor can’t even veto them. They can raise the taxes that need to be raised. Link

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