Tax Break

Essential reading: As companies seek tax deals, governments pay high price, and more

December 3, 2012

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

* As companies seek tax deals, governments pay high price. Louise Story – The New York Times. A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local tax incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. Link

* Companies quietly push for tax break on foreign profits in ‘fiscal cliff’ debate. Jia Lynn Yang and Suzy Khimm – The Washington Post. Amid the tumult over looming tax hikes and spending cuts, a massive change to the corporate tax code is quietly gathering steam. Link

* ‘Fiscal cliff’ talks at a stalemate over tax hikes. Zachary Goldfarb – The Washington Post. As the White House and Republican leaders enter the final month of negotiations to avoid a year-end “fiscal cliff,” both sides struck an uncompromising tone Sunday, as warnings mounted that they will be unable to forge an agreement to stop an automatic series of deep spending cuts and large tax hikes that could push the economy into recession. Link

* A long-distance relationship with the I.R.S. Conrad de Aenlle – The New York Times. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has never shied away from long-distance relationships. Americans living abroad may still face tax liability back home, and even if they owe nothing, the I.R.S. requires an annual tax return. Link

* Stamp duty avoidance schemes double. Ed Hammond – The Financial Times. The number of schemes used to avoid stamp duty has doubled since the Treasury increased the rate for the UK’s most expensive homes in March, highlighting the extent of the challenge it faces in its high profile clampdown on tax avoidance. Link

* The drawn-out crisis: It’s the Obama way. Peggy Noonan – The Wall Street Journal opinion. President Barack Obama wants to raise tax rates on those earning $250,000 or more, as we know, on the assumption that they are “the rich.” But if you are a man with a wife and two kids making that salary and living in Westfield, N.J., in no way do you experience yourself to be rich, because you’re not. Link

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