Tax Break

Essential reading: Republicans pursue tax reform, and more

April 29, 2013

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

* GOP moves away from entitlements and toward tax reform in budget deal. Lori Montgomery – The Washington Post. With another fight over the national debt brewing this summer, congressional Republicans are de-emphasizing their demand for politically painful cuts to retirement programs and focusing on a more popular prize: a thorough rewrite of the U.S. tax code. Link  

* Push to require online sales tax divides the GOP. Jonathan Weisman – The New York Times. Legislation that would force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes from their customers has put antitax and small-government activists like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and the Heritage Foundation in an unusual position: they’re losing. Link   

* Hybrid drivers may save on gas but new tax gotchya. Jayne O’Donnell – USA Today. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, signed a new law last month that lowers the gas tax for everyone, but slaps a $64-per-year fee on hybrid and electric car owners. Link    

* A nasty, epic real estate battle with stakes 102 stories high. Charles Bagli and Julie Creswell – The New York Times. The Empire State Building’s IPO deal may harm the value of the investors’ shares and expose them to tax liabilities. Link    

* Are you ready for the new investment tax? Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. The tax, which took effect Jan. 1, applies to the “net investment income” of married joint filers who have more than $250,000 of income (or $200,000 for singles). Only investment income—such as dividends, interest and capital gains—above the thresholds is taxed. Link    

* Hollywood pushes back against new China tax. Ben Fritz and Laurie Burkitt – The Wall Street Journal. The dispute centers on a new value-added tax that China is in the process of imposing on a wide range of goods and services. Link   

* Great tax race: Netherlands’ web of tax loopholes and treaties. Matt Steinglass – The Financial Times. The Netherlands’ corporate income tax rate is a respectable 25 per cent. But a combination of tax breaks and treaties makes it a hub from which companies can stream income to tax havens such as the Cayman Islands or low-tax countries like Ireland. Link    

* Australia lowers tax revenue forecast. Enda Curran – The Wall Street Journal. Australia’s prime minister said annual revenue would be sharply lower than the government forecast as recently as six months ago, as a slowing mining boom shrinks corporate tax receipts. Link    

* 9,646 tax burdens on the Internet. Gordon Crovitz – The Wall Street Journal opinion. The Tax Foundation estimates there are 9,646 different sales-tax jurisdictions in the U.S., each one of which can have dozens or hundreds of different tax rules. Link

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