Tax Break

Essential reading: EU financial transactions tax to go global, and more

February 27, 2013

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

* A new European tax on financial transactions is set to go global. Howard Schneider – The Washington Post. The levy is due to take effect next year and will be a significant money-raiser for the 11 nations that have signed on, bringing in an estimated $45 billion annually. Link 

* Institutions to stay alert to signs of tax fraud. Ben DiPietro – The Wall Street Journal. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an advisory Tuesday reminding financial institutions to look for red flags that may indicate instances of identity theft and tax fraud. Link    

  * Newtown fund receives IRS nonprofit status, is ready to write checks. Matthew Sturdevant – The Hartford Courant. The Newtown Memorial Fund Inc. describes itself as a sustainable fund to provide for the immediate and ongoing needs of people affected by the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The group has raised more than $1 million. Link    

* Denmark to cut corporate tax rate. Clemens Bomsdorf – The Wall Street Journal. Denmark, battling a stagnant economy and concerns about a productivity gap with other nations, is planning to slash its corporate taxes in phases over the next three years to better stack up against other countries in the region. Link   

* Hong Kong set to rein in tax breaks. Chester Yung – The Wall Street Journal. Hong Kong’s finance minister on Wednesday pledged modest income tax breaks and waivers on property rates despite the government’s ballooning fiscal reserves, in a warning against drawing heavily on the city’s coffers in a weak economy. Link    

* In Wall St. Tax, a simple idea but unintended consequences. Steven Davidoff – The New York Times opinion. Advocates of the financial transaction tax idea conveniently ignore the century of less-than-successful experience with this tax, including New York State’s own failed attempt. Link    

* Grand Old Party. Sheila Bair – The New York Times opinion. As part of renewed fiscal discussions over sequestration, Republicans should put fundamental tax reform on the table and make it our priority to end preferential treatment of investment income, which lets managers of hedge funds pay half the tax rate of managers of shoe stores. Link

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