Tax Break

Essential reading: Top U.S. firms are cash-rich abroad, cash-poor at home, and more

December 4, 2012

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

* Top U.S. firms are cash-rich abroad, cash-poor at home. Kate Linebaugh – The Wall Street Journal. Emerson Electric Co. has $2 billion of cash in the bank. But this year it had to borrow money in the U.S. to help buy back shares, distribute dividends and even pay its taxes. As a result, Emerson says, it brings its foreign cash holdings back to the U.S. only if that can be “accomplished tax efficiently.” Link

* GOP makes counteroffer in cliff talks. Janet Hook and Carol Lee – The Wall Street Journal. House Republicans on Monday made a fresh deficit-reduction proposal to the White House that calls for $800 billion in increased tax revenue, half of what President Barack Obama has proposed. Link

* Expect a few more weeks of cliff diving. Paul Vigna – The Wall Street Journal. Sick and tired of the fiscal-cliff debate yet? Hope not, because we’ve got a few more weeks of the proverbial cliff diving before this whole thing is settled. Link

* Oracle to pay three dividends in December. Debbie Cai – The Wall Street Journal. Oracle Corp. said it will pay dividends for the next three quarters early, joining other companies that are accelerating payouts ahead of likely tax increases next year. Link

* Michigan town woos Hollywood, but ends up with a bit part. Louise Story – The New York Times. Hollywood may make movies about the evils of capitalism, but it rarely works without incentives, which are paid for by taxpayers. Nationwide, about $1.5 billion in tax breaks is awarded to the film industry each year, according to a state-by-state survey by The New York Times. Link

* Obama uses campaign footage to push tax plan. Rachel Weiner – The Washington Post. In the latest in a series of attempts to involve his supporters in the “fiscal cliff” fight, President Obama has released a Web video emphasizing his commitment to raise taxes on the top 2 percent. Link

* The truly grand bargain. David Brooks – The New York Times opinion. Sometimes you have to walk through the desert to get to the Promised Land. That’s the way it is for Republicans right now. The Republicans are stuck in a miserable position at the end of 2012, but, if they handle things right, they can make 2013 an excellent year — both for their revival prospects and for the country. Link

* The debt limit is the real fiscal cliff. Bruce Bartlett – The New York Times. Washington is all abuzz over the impending tax increases and spending cuts referred to as the fiscal cliff, an absurdly inaccurate term that both Democrats and Republicans have unfortunately adopted in order to pursue their own agendas. Link

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