Tax Break

Essential reading: Firms keep stockpiles of ‘foreign’ cash in U.S., and more

January 23, 2013

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

* Firms keep stockpiles of ‘foreign’ cash in U.S. Kate Linebaugh – The Wall Street Journal. For people on both sides of the contentious debate over corporate-tax reform, the situation highlights what they see as the absurdity of rules that encourage companies to engage in semantic games, legal gymnastics and inefficient corporate-financing methods to shield profits from U.S. taxes. Link

* Microsoft may avoid repatriation on any Dell investment. Vipal Monga – The Wall Street Journal. Microsoft Corp. may be able to deploy foreign cash to help finance a buyout of U.S. computer maker Dell Inc. without triggering repatriation taxes. Microsoft could exploit an exception in the tax code so long as its investment in Dell doesn’t surpass 25 percent. Link

* Now, Democrats push tax-code rewrite. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. Suddenly it’s Democrats who are talking up a tax-code rewrite, long a favorite cause for Republicans. But reaching agreement in the short run still looks like a long shot. “We must … revamp our tax code,” President Barack Obama said in his inaugural address on Monday. Link 

* There’s still time to cut 2012 tax bite with IRA. Jeff Reeves – USA Today. It’s still not too late to cut your 2012 taxes. But the only real way to do it is to contribute to a retirement account. Link  

* Taxing problems for trusts. Kelly Greene – The Wall Street Journal. Now that Congress has agreed on permanent estate-tax rules that are much more generous than many financial planners and lawyers had expected, many families will have to do some immediate tax strategizing. Link

* The Chinese lottery: a tax on hope. Simon Rabinovitch – The Financial Times. Nationwide ticket sales topped $40 billion last year. Having only just started in the late 1980s, China is on track to eclipse the US as the world’s biggest lottery market in the next decade. Link  

* Cuomo builds proposed budget with cuts, gambling and fees. David Hakim – The New York Times. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed on Tuesday to balance the state budget with a combination of spending cuts, gambling revenue, and new or extended taxes and fees. Link

* The Mickelson Vote. The Wall Street Journal editorial. Golfer Phil Mickelson hinted that new tax burdens might drive him out of the state, out of professional golf, and perhaps even out of the country. Link  

* A tax bite tailored to help all. Eduardo Porter – The New York Times opinion. Higher taxes would undoubtedly stress many working families, especially following a decade of falling income for all but the most successful. But these families might nonetheless prefer paying more in taxes to losing government services they rely on. Link

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