Tax Break

Essential reading: Inquiry into tech giants’ tax strategies nears end, and more

January 4, 2013

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

 * Inquiry into tech giants’ tax strategies nears end. Charles Duhigg and David Koieniewski – The New York Times. Congressional investigators are wrapping up an inquiry into the accounting practices of Apple and other technology companies that allocate revenue and intellectual property offshore to lower the taxes they pay in the United States. Link  

* Step 1: Corporate tax giveaways. Step 2: Outcry. Step 3: Profit. Suzy Khimm – The Washington Post. Pundits on both left and right were outraged when they realized a whole flotilla of corporate tax giveaways were buried in the fiscal cliff deal, ranging from a tax break for race-car track owners to electric-scooter makers. Link  

* IRS quick to issue withholding rules after the tax deal. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. Hours after President Barack Obama signed the bill averting the fiscal cliff, the Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines for employers on how much to withhold from workers’ paychecks this year. Link  

* Putin makes French film star Depardieu a Russian. Alexei Anishchuk – Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted citizenship to Gerard Depardieu, the French movie star whose decision to quit his homeland to avoid a tax hike prompted accusations of national betrayal. Russia has a flat income tax rate of 13 percent, compared to the 75 percent on income over 1 million euros ($1.32 million) that Hollande wants to levy in France. Link  

* And now there is tax reform. Jennifer Rubin – The Washington Post opinion. The Republicans have the opportunity, now that they joined in a deal allowing the top marginal rate on individuals to rise, to reset the argument on tax reform. Republicans need to emphasize the base-broadening and anti-cronyism aspects of tax reform, as well as the benefits of simplification for average taxpayers. Link  

* The taxman’s uncharitable new rule. Ari Fleischer – The Wall Street Journal opinion. When the government reaches into someone’s wallet, there is less money left in the wallet to spend or donate as its owner sees fit. When the government raises tax rates and limits deductions, there are consequences—and in this case the government is making the job of private charity even harder. Link

* Your Quinncome tax hits home. The Chicago Tribune editorial. The impact of your Quinncome tax increase — long advocated by Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn and made law by his signature two years ago — has finally hit home. Two years ago on their night of infamy, 1/11/11, General Assembly Democrats — and exclusively Democrats — voted to raise the Illinois personal income tax rate by 67 percent. Link

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