Tax Break

Essential reading: IRS scandal prompts hope for tax reform, and more

June 4, 2013

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

* Some Republicans see IRS troubles as means to a big goal: tax overhaul. Jonathan Weisman – The New York Times. For Congressman Dave Camp, spotlighting the tax-collecting agency — and stoking voter antipathy for it — are ways to build momentum for his plan to rewrite and simplify the entire tax code, a goal he has set for the end of the year. Link 

 * New business group ACT pushes tax overhaul. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. A group of 42 U.S. companies is announcing a potentially powerful new coalition on Tuesday to push for a comprehensive tax overhaul. The group – representing a broad cross-section of both multinational and domestic-focused big businesses – could give a boost to the slow-moving effort on Capitol Hill. Link    

 * Tax havens lose their veneer. Christopher Matthews – The Wall Street Journal. European countries seem to have decided that is no longer cool to be a tax haven. Link    

 * BP, buoyed by tax break, to announce Alaska expansion. Jennifer Dlouhly – The Houston Chronicle. BP is set to announce Monday that it will sink $1 billion into revving up crude production from Alaska’s declining North Slope, weeks after the state decided to give the oil industry a $750 million annual tax cut. Link    

* French court hits Apple with $6.5 million royalty tax bill. John Paczkowski – The Wall Street Journal. A French court has found that Apple Inc failed to pay millions of dollars in taxes on iPads sold in 2011. Link

* Ben Bernanke endorses a 73 percent tax rate. Paul Krugman – The New York Times opinion. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t actually say that in so many words. But if you follow through on the logic of his excellent speech at Princeton yesterday, that’s where you end up. Link    

* Tax-exempt groups should disclose donors. USA Today editorial. The driver of the IRS scandal is that political organizations of all kinds want to keep the sources of their money secret. Link

* Proposition 13 at age 35. Bruce Bartlett – The New York Times. Thirty-five years ago this week, on June 6, 1978, California voters approved an amendment to the state constitution known as Proposition 13. It cut and capped property taxes in the state and remains in effect today. Link

* Godspeed to Obamacare’s Cadillac tax. Charles Lane – The Washington Post opinion. Nearly half of Americans get health insurance through their employers; a tax exclusion for its value encourages businesses to provide coverage. This is the nation’s largest tax expenditure. Link

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