Tax Break

Essential reading: Tax breaks versus spending, and more

March 18, 2013

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

 * Tax credits or spending? Labels, but in Congress, fighting words. Annie Lowrey – The New York Times. In budget proposals put forward last week, both Democrats and Republicans called for scrubbing billions of dollars’ worth of the popular deductions, loopholes and credits that litter the tax code. But the two sides are sharply divided what should happen to any revenue raised. Link    

 * Republican Sen. Corker opens the door to new tax revenue. Sean Sullivan – The Washington Post. Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said Sunday that he believes Republicans would consider adding new tax revenues by closing loopholes if Democrats show a willingness to embrace “true” entitlement reform. Link    

* It’s a lonely quest for land-tax fans, but, by George, they press on. Ianthe Jeanne Dugan – The Wall Street Journal. Only about 20 towns in the U.S. have adopted the land value tax. In Australia the concept is widespread, and it has surfaced in Taiwan. Link 

* Breweries launch ‘High Tax Ale’ to urge change. The Associated Press. A special joint offering from two Tennessee craft beer brewers features an unusual sales pitch to beer aficionados: “Now With Even More Taxes!” Link    

 * When Uncle Sam wants his money back. Robert Powell – The Wall Street Journal. The rules for income tax on Social Security payouts have long confounded beneficiaries—and can make it harder to stretch a dollar in retirement. Link 

* Slim change of U.S. tax code changes with this Congress. Albert Hunt – The New York Times opinion. The politics of tax changes daunting. In reshaping a code that hands out more than $1 trillion a year in preferences, there would be winners and losers. Inevitably, it is the potential losers who bring the most passion to the deliberations. Link    

* It’s lose-lose vs. Win-win-win. Thomas Frieman – The New York Times opinion. A carbon tax could close the deficit and clean the air, weaken petro-dictators, strengthen the dollar, drive clean-tech innovation and still leave some money to lower corporate and income taxes is off the table. Link    

* How the taxman cleared the dance floor. Eric Felten – The Wall Street Journal opinion. Thanks to a ‘cabaret tax’ millions of Americans said goodbye to swing music. A lot fewer said hello to bebop. Link

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