Tax Break

Essential reading: Greek tax probe launched, and more

January 18, 2013

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

* Greek parliament to probe tax list claims. Kerin Hope – The Financial Times. The Greek parliament voted on Thursday to probe allegations that former finance minister George Papaconstantinou failed to pursue possible tax evaders on a list of 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts provided by French authorities in 2010. Link

* Thompson says he wouldn’t raise taxes if elected mayor. David Chen – The New York Times. Differentiating himself from his likely Democratic rivals in the New York City mayoral race, William C. Thompson Jr. vowed on Thursday that he would not raise taxes if elected. Link

* A simpler form for home office deductions. Ann Carrns – The New York Times. If you work at a home-based business, the Internal Revenue Service has some (potentially) good news: It’s going to offer a simpler option for taking a tax deduction for home offices. The new option won’t be available for your 2012 return. It takes effect this year, for 2013 returns that are generally filed in early 2014. Link

* Easier tax form, smaller deduction. Emily Maltby – The Wall Street Journal. Business owners generally don’t like paperwork – particularly when it comes to filing taxes. So many owners welcomed the news this week that starting next year (when it’s time to file 2013 tax returns), they’ll have the option to take a new home-office deduction that is easy to calculate. Link

* Foreign cash could bolster Dell LBO financing. David Benoit – The Wall Street Journal. Dell Inc. may be able to leverage its significant foreign cash holdings to assist with a private-equity buyout of the computer manufacturer without triggering the repatriation taxes that have kept it out of the U.S. Link 

* The next four years. David Brooks – The New York Times opinion. President Barack Obama’s second inaugural comes at an interesting moment, what you might call the end of the era of the Grand Bargain. Throughout his first term, Democrats and Republicans didn’t achieve a Grand Bargain on spending and taxes, but there was a sense that history was moving in that direction. Link

* Did tax-exempt groups mislead the IRS on political spending? The Washington Post editorial. Now comes fresh evidence that some tax-exempt “social welfare” fundraising groups may have misled the IRS in applying for 501(c)(4) status. Link

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