Tax Break

Essential reading: Small businesses shrug off Obamacare delays, and more

April 8, 2013

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

 * No big deal? Small business groups shrug off delays to Obamacare’s health care exchanges. J.D. Harrison – The Washington Post. The Obama administration has delayed part of the health care law designed to give small business owners and employees more flexibility when purchasing insurance, which could temporarily undermine lawmakers’ intent to drive down the cost of health coverage. Link  

* Why we support a revenue-neutral carbon tax. George Shultz and Gary Becker – The Wall Street Journal. Coupled with the elimination of costly energy subsidies, it would encourage competition. Link 

* Tax lobby builds ties to chairman of U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Eric Lipton – The New York Times. Restaurant chains like McDonald’s want to keep their lucrative tax credit for hiring veterans. Altria, the tobacco giant, wants to cut the corporate tax rate. And Sapphire Energy, a small alternative energy company, is determined to protect a tax incentive it believes could turn algae into a popular motor fuel. To make their case as Congress prepares to debate a rewrite of the nation’s tax code, these businesses have at least one strategy in common: they have retained firms that employ lobbyists who are former aides to Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Link

* Silicon Valley’s mouthwatering tax break. The Wall Street Journal. There is growing controversy among tax experts about how to treat free meals offered by tech firms like Google and Facebook. The IRS is examining whether the free food is a fringe benefit on which employees should pay additional tax. Link  

* Piercing the secrecy of offshore tax havens. Scott Higham, Michael Hudson and Marina Walker Guevara – The Washington Post. A New York hedge fund manager allegedly swindles $12 million from a prominent Baltimore family. An Indiana couple is accused of bilking hundreds of customers by charging for free trials of cosmetic products. A financial manager in Texas promises 23-percent returns but absconds with $33.5 million of his investors’ money in a classic Ponzi scheme. All three cases have one thing in common: money that ended up in offshore accounts and trusts set up in tax havens around the world. Link

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