Tax Break

Essential reading: Payroll tax’s return hits retailers, and more

February 22, 2013

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

* Payroll tax whacks spending. Shelly Banjo and Annie Gasparro – The Wall Street Journal. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Thursday joined a parade of retailers, restaurants and consumer-goods companies worried about the economic impact of the recently restored federal payroll tax that has left Americans with less money to spend. Link 

* Obama defends ending corporate jet tax break. David Jackson – USA Today. President Obama has long called for ending tax breaks on corporate jets, and found himself defending that position in an interview Wednesday with a television station from Wichita, Kansas – an area where private planes are built. Link

* Why the debate over tax revenue isn’t over. Sean Sullivan – The Washington Post. A poll showed Americans split down the middle on the question of where taxes fit into the question of deficit reduction, with 48 percent saying a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts, while 49 percent said only spending cuts should be used. Link

* Executives lose hope on lower taxes. Emily Chasan – The Wall Street Journal. Corporate tax executives are overwhelmingly doubtful that the U.S. corporate statutory tax rate will come down this year and worry that lawmakers might instead look to raise revenue by targeting loopholes, deductions and overseas income. Link

* US businesses sanguine about sequestration. James Politi – The Financial Times. US business groups and chief executives are lobbying less aggressively to avert the looming budget sequestration than they have during past fiscal stand-offs, judging the impact on the economy and financial markets to be less severe. Link

* Warriors trade Tyler, Jenkins, avoid tax. Rusty Simmons – The San Francisco Chronicle. The Warriors are one of seven teams that have never incurred the luxury tax since its inception with the 1999 collective bargaining agreement. Link

* A tax that may change the trading game. Floyd Norris – The New York Times opinion. To the dismay of the United States government — not to mention Wall Street — much of Europe seems poised to begin taxing financial trading as soon as next year. Link

* How Obama moved the tax debate to the right. Ezra Klein – The Washington Post opinion. If the 2012 election was fought over any one issue, it was tax revenues. Mitt Romney thought tax rates were fine where they were. President Obama thought they needed to go considerably higher. Link 

* The case for a higher gasoline tax. Valerie Karplus – The New York Times opinion. The current federal gasoline tax, 18.4 cents a gallon, has been essentially stable since 1993; in inflation-adjusted terms, it’s fallen by 40 percent since then. Link

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