Tax Break

Essential reading: Washington State tax law ruled void, and more

March 1, 2013

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

 * Law on tax changes is struck down in Washington State. Kirk Johnson – The New York Times. A voter-approved referendum restricting the Legislature’s ability to raise taxes is unconstitutional, Washington State’s highest court ruled on Thursday. Link

* Britons shun companies over tax avoidance. Vanessa Houlder – The Financial Times. A third of Britons are boycotting companies that do not pay their “fair share” of tax in the UK, according to a survey by a charity that described the findings as “a wake-up call to all business”. Link  

* Maine Sen. Collins backs tax breaks for offshore wind production. The Associated Press. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is co-sponsoring a bill to boost offshore wind energy generation with tax credits. Link  

* California gasoline excise tax to rise. Kathleen Pender – The San Francisco Chronicle. The statewide excise tax on gasoline will rise by 3.5 cents to 39.5 cents per gallon starting July 1. The California Board of Equalization approved the increase by a 3-2 vote Thursday. Link  

* Switzerland proposes tax evasion crackdown. Christopher Matthews – The Wall Street Journal. The Swiss government has proposed legislation that would extend the reach of money laundering laws to cover tax evasion and would require banks to perform enhanced due diligence to ensure customers’ tax compliance. Link 

* The GOP takes back tax reform. Kimberley Strassel – The Wall Street Journal opinion. As the GOP has publicly waged a sequester fight, it has privately spent the past months in an intense internal debate over tax reform. Link  

* India keeps feeding the beast. The Wall Street Journal editorial. The budget India’s Finance Minister presented Thursday raised taxes on the rich and on corporations, in some cases temporarily, to give the ruling Congress Party the welfare-spending resources for an election year. Link  

* The hidden tax that Washington doesn’t want you to know about. Allan Sloan – The Washington Post opinion. Washington is whacking you again with two new income tax surcharges: the 0.9 percent tax surcharge on the amount by which ­individuals’ “earned income” exceeding $200,000 this year, and the 3.8 percent surcharge on some or all the investment income. Link  

* Labs for testing fiscal policy positions. Owen Zidar – The New York Times opinion. Modestly sized tax increases on upper-income taxpayers have a negligible to small impact on job creation. Link  

* Welfare for the rich? Private school tax credit programs expanding. Valerie Strauss – The Washington Post opinion. Legislators are setting aside public money to pay for private school tuition — and rich people are benefiting. It’s a school choice option known as tuition tax credits (or private school tax credits or student tax credits or scholarship tax credits and a few other things too). Link

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