Tax Break

Essential reading: Apple CEO to propose tax overhaul, and more

May 17, 2013

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

* Apple CEO Tim Cook to propose tax overhaul. Cecilia Kang – The Washington Post. Apple chief executive Tim Cook plans to propose a “dramatic simplification” of corporate tax laws when he testifies for the first time before Congress next week, just as lawmakers are considering an overhaul of the tax code. Link    

 * U.S. Republicans eye Obamacare on the back of IRS controversy. Stephanie Kirchgaessner – The Financial Times. The Internal Revenue Service controversy threatens to complicate implementation of Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law, reinforcing Republican opposition to funding the agency’s work on the legislation at a critical moment. Link    

 * The surprisingly muddled history of the 501(c)4 exemption. Jacob Gershman – The Wall Street Journal. It turns out that the origins of section 501(c)(4), providing exemptions for “social welfare” groups, are surprisingly foggy. Link

* Focus shifts to state estate-tax planning. Arden Dale – The Wall Street Journal. The federal government won’t tax an individual’s estate if it’s worth less than $5.25 million. But many states will tax estates worth far less. For example, New Jersey’s estate tax kicks in at $675,000. Link 

* House, Senate differ on how to pay for NC tax cuts. John Frank – The News and Observer. The House legislation offers smaller income tax cuts in exchange for fewer new taxes on services. Link 

* Possible Kansas tax compromise in the works. Brad Cooper – The Kansas City Star. A simmering standoff between the Kansas House and Senate over taxes cooled Wednesday amid a compromise extending part of a controversial addition to the state’s sales tax. Link    

 * Nina Olson for IRS commissioner. The Wall Street Journal editorial. Nina Olson is the ombudsman for the public inside the IRS. Her office parachutes in to aid individuals and businesses when the tax men are jerking them around. Link    

* Behind the IRS mess: A campaign-finance scandal. Steven Rattner – The New York Times opinion. Without trying to defend the indefensible profiling, it wouldn’t be that shocking if low-level staff members were simply, but stupidly, trying to find an efficient way to sift through the avalanche of applications. Link  

* A fine line between social and political. Floyd Norris – The New York Times. It would be much better if someone other than the tax collection agency had to decide whether to start investigations, but that is not what the law now says. Link

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