Tax Break

Essential reading: Public goals, private interests in ‘Fix the Debt’ campaign, and more

January 10, 2013

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

* Public goals, private interests in debt campaign. Nicholas Confessore – The New York Times. Many members of the ‘Fix the Debt’ campaign are juggling their private interests with their public goals: they are also lobbyists, board members or executives for corporations that have worked aggressively to shape the contours of federal spending and taxes, including many of the tax breaks that would be at the heart of any broad overhaul. Link

* As tax hikes loomed, some CEOs sold stock. Scott Thrum – The Wall Street Journal. As Congress mulled higher tax rates last month, dozens of corporate executives sold big chunks of stock, saving themselves millions of dollars in taxes. A Wall Street Journal review of securities filings found that 58 executives sold stock valued at $10 million or more in December as talks intensified over raising tax rates. Link

* UK Executives split by company tax dispute. Brian Groom and Vanessa Houlder – The Financial Times. Half of the chairmen of the largest FTSE 100 companies believe the public is justified in being angry about how some multinationals minimize their tax bills, a survey has found. Link

* UK Tax relief extended for angel investors. Jonathan Moules – The Financial Times. Wealthy investors are being offered more incentives to put money into start-up ventures as part of the government’s push to promote Silicon Valley-style “angel investment”. Link

* U.S. gives a late reprieve to wind power developers. Kate Galbraith – The New York Times. Last week, global wind turbine manufacturers heaved a sigh of relief after the U.S. government extended a tax credit considered crucial to the industry. But 2013 will still bring challenges to wind developers around the world. Link

* Team of liberal loyalists. The Wall Street Journal editorial. Jack Lew’s selection signals similar White House dominance, as well as a degrading of Treasury’s traditional role as the voice for pro-growth policies. Lew is not the economic general you choose if you’re looking for tax reform or a bold growth agenda. Link

* Democracy in the House. The New York Times editorial. The only reason that income taxes on 99 percent of Americans did not go up this month was that Speaker John Boehner briefly broke with an iron rule of Republican control over the House. He allowed the fiscal-cliff deal to be put to a full vote of the House even though a strong majority of Republicans opposed it. Link

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