Tax Break

Essential reading: Tax rewrite favored by Republicans, and more

May 6, 2013

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

* Tax rewrite in play on Capitol. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. Talk about overhauling the tax code is picking up across Capitol Hill this spring, with lawmakers of both parties agreeing on the need to simplify the system but remaining far apart on the details of how to do it. Link    

* In Commerce pick’s ’08 answers on finances, possible hints at road ahead. Charles Savage – The New York Times. Republican senators are likely to be interested in the Pritzker family’s reputation as innovators in the use of offshore trusts and foreign bank secrecy laws to shelter their wealth from income, capital gains and inheritance taxes. Link    

* Leniency for offshore cheats. Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. Despite a high-profile government crackdown on secret offshore financial accounts since 2009, the average sentence in those cases has been about half as long as in some other types of tax cases. Link    

* Web sales-tax bill set to face bumps. Siobhan Hughes and John McKinnon. A bill that effectively would end tax-free online shopping appears to be sailing smoothly toward Senate passage Monday but will hit choppier waters in the Republican-controlled House, where antitax sentiment is stronger. Link 

* Governor, lawmakers considering whether to keep planned Kansas sales tax cut. John Hanna – The Associated Press. Kansas legislators reconvene this week facing a decision about Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to stabilize the budget by canceling a scheduled sales tax decrease, and the political climate appears to be as volatile as the state’s recent weather. Link    

* NYC cigarette tax fight hampered by low fines. The Associated Press. High taxes have emerged as the No. 1 weapon in the war on smoking. The more cigarettes cost, research has shown, the fewer people buy them. That is one of the reasons six states are considering proposals to hike tobacco taxes. Link 

* Brussels steps up efforts over tax avoidance. James Fontanella-Khan – The Financial Times. Brussels is increasing efforts to clamp down on tax avoidance by wealthy investors, including private equity partners and hedge funds, by forcing all 27 EU members to share confidential information on individuals’ investment income and capital gains for the first time. Link    

* Tax reform needs accurate tax tables. Kevin Brady – The Wall Street Journal opinion. The tax-distribution tables can be misused to make false claims about how proposed tax changes will affect taxpayers in the real world. Link

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