Tax Break

Essential reading US fights offshore tax evasion, and more

March 7, 2013

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

* Offshore tax probe picks up. Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. After getting a guilty plea from Switzerland’s oldest private bank, which was ordered Monday to pay a total of $74 million for violating U.S. tax laws, federal investigators have fresh momentum thanks to leads gathered from interviews with confessed tax cheats. Link 

 * House GOP plans a budget that retains tax increases and Medicare cuts. Jonathan Weisman – The New York Times. House Republicans will preserve Medicare cuts and accept tax increases they sternly opposed just months ago in a new tax-and-spending blueprint, senior Republicans said Wednesday. Link

 * IRS amnesty for employers of household help. Arden Dale – The Wall Street Journal. Employing a nanny or other household workers can open a can of worms with the Internal Revenue Service, but the agency wants to make it easier for someone who mishandles taxes for their hired help to put things right. Link

 * Survey: What tax changes small businesses want. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. The survey by the NFIB Research Foundation finds that 85 percent of the group’s members think Congress should fundamentally revise the federal tax system in 2013. Link 

 * IRS will pay whistle-blowers less because of federal budget cuts. Jim Puzzanghera – The Los Angeles Times. The federal government’s automatic budget cuts mean there will be less financial incentive to turn in tax cheats. Link 

 * Corporate tax incentives may offset each other this year. Aaron Deslatte – The Orlando Sentinel. The Florida state Senate Finance and Tax Subcommittee voted 9-3 to eliminate a 32-year-old tax break for banks that exempts their international-banking income from the state’s corporate-income tax. Link 

* LAPD chief expects severe cuts after voters reject tax hike. The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck expressed disappointment Wednesday at voters’ rejection of Proposition A’s tax hike proposal and believes it will result in cuts at the LAPD. Link 

* Prosecutors charge 3 former Greek officials in tax evasion charges. The Wall Street Journal. Charges against three former Greek government officials for failing to disclose income are the latest sign of Athens’s new get-tough policy against former elected officials’ tax payments. Link 

* Motown’s fiscal reckoning. The Wall Street Journal editorial. Nearly half of Detroit property owners are delinquent on tax bills in part because the city has inflated property assessments to squeeze more money out of its shrinking tax base. Link 

* The war on entitlements. Thomas Edsall – The New York Times opinion. Simply by eliminating the payroll tax earnings cap — and thus ending this regressive exemption for the top 5.2 percent of earners — would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, solve the financial crisis facing the Social Security system. Link

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