Tax Break

Essential reading: Congress begins tax reform talks, and more

March 15, 2013

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

* Congress begins meetings on tax reform. Zachery Goldfarb and Lori Montgomery – The Washington Post. Members of the Senate Finance Committee from both parties met for the first time Thursday to start laying the groundwork for legislation to overhaul the tax code, as the House Ways and Means Committee engages in a similar bipartisan effort. Link

* Mining austerity era is bad news for the tax collector. Tom Gara – The Wall Street Journal. The mining industry boom is now coming to an end, and governments that grew accustomed to healthy tax and fee revenue from miners are feeling the pinch. Link 

* Tax refund deadline nears. Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. Tax refunds totaling over $900 million may await an estimated 984,400 people who did not file a federal tax return for 2009, the Internal Revenue Service said. Half the potential refunds are more than $500. Link

* Could Republicans ever support a carbon tax? Brad Plumer – The Washington Post. The conventional wisdom around Washington is that Republicans will never, ever support a carbon tax to address climate change. Link 

* UK Treasury seals Guernsey tax deal. James Pickford – The Financial Times. British citizens using Guernsey to keep their money from the prying eyes of the taxman will have to declare their assets to the Treasury under an agreement designed to combat tax evasion. Link 

* New York budget talks intensify. The Associated Press. As Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York’s Legislature narrow final issues in a $143 billion budget proposal, raising the minimum wage and adding business tax breaks remain under serious discussion, legislative leaders said Thursday. Link 

* Alabama Gov signs law granting private school tax credits. Campbell Roberton – The New York Times. Gov. Robert Bentley signed a law on Thursday granting tax credits to families who want to send their children to private schools or better-performing public schools. Link 

* Dems plotting to lay a tax trap for Republicans. Greg Sargent – The Washington Post opinion. Democrats are planning to mount a major campaign to hammer Republican candidates — particularly ones in swing areas — over a specific aspect of the Paul Ryan budget: The possibility that it could result in middle class tax hikes. Link

* The Senate’s tax reform poison pill. Kimberly Strassel – The Wall Street Journal opinion. While the media swoon over an amorphous grand bargain over the deficit, wiser Washington heads have understood that the best chance for cooperation on the economic and budget front rests in tackling the tax beast. Link 

* Replacing Max Baucus. The Wall Street Journal editorial. Tax reform has traditionally been passed as “revenue neutral,” which allows for fewer loopholes to finance lower tax rates. If tax reform must raise so much more additional revenue, it’s a dead letter. Link

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