Tax Break


 Some important tax and accounting events in the week to come:

Monday, Nov. 19 • The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association symposium on the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). 12:30 p.m. ET, SIFMA conference center. New York.

Monday, Nov. 19 – Tuesday, Nov. 20 • Joint videoconferenced board meeting of the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board. Norwalk, Connecticut, and London.

Tuesday, Nov. 20 • An update and prediction of congressional action on estate tax from a panel of local lawyers. 12 noon ET, D.C. Bar Conference Center. Washington.

Essential reading: Less tension this time for Obama, Boehner, and more

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

 * Less tension this time for Obama, Boehner. Janet Hook and Carol Lee – The Wall Street Journal. The election is over. The fiscal concerns are more acute. And after the August 2011 downgrade of the U.S.’s credit rating, both John Boehner and Barack Obama are painfully aware of the consequences of failure. Link  

* Senate ‘Gang of 8′ says this isn’t its moment in deficit talks. Jonathan Weisman – The New York Times. After years of wrangling, members of the bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight are ratcheting back expectations for a deficit reduction breakthrough and now say the best they can probably do is offer ideas for the one fiscal negotiation that will truly matter: talks between President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner that begin in earnest on Friday. Link  

* Obama allies press Republican lawmakers to accept higher taxes. Peter Wallsten – The Washington Post. White House aides and allies are turning parts of President Obama’s reelection machinery into an outside-the-Beltway campaign to pressure Republican lawmakers to accept higher taxes on wealthier Americans, according to people familiar with the planning. Link  

Essential reading: Obama’s “new ideas” likely well-worn tax proposals, and more

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

* Obama’s “new ideas” likely well-worn tax proposals. Kim Dixon – Reuters. President Barack Obama stuck to his script on Wednesday that he wants taxes on the richest 2 percent of Americans to rise, but said he was open to new ideas to raise new revenues. Link

* At president’s meeting with executives, some push, pull and give. Damian Paletta and Kate Linebaugh – The Wall Street Journal. A key issue at the meeting: What should Washington do to avoid $500 billion in tax increases. Obama is attempting to solicit more feedback from corporate executives while also drumming up support for his plan to rework the tax code. Link

* Wonks dust off radical revenue-raising ideas. Robin Harding – The Financial Times. Tax policy in the US is suddenly in play. The first priority is to resolve the fiscal cliff, but the new environment is prompting wonks to dust off some of their most beloved working papers. Link

Essential reading: Senate Finance chair sees flexibility on Bush tax cuts, and more

U.S. Senator Max Baucus

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

* Senate Finance chair sees flexibility on Bush tax cuts. Kim Dixon – Reuters. The chief Democratic tax-writer in the U.S. Senate said on Tuesday that to steer clear of the fiscal cliff, the top rates paid by the richest Americans must rise in any deal between Congress and the White House, but he suggested there is some flexibility in ways to strike a deal. Link

* Obama sets steep tax target. Janet Hook and Carol Lee – The Wall Street Journal. President Barack Obama will begin budget negotiations with congressional leaders Friday by calling for $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue over the next decade, far more than Republicans are likely to accept and double the $800 billion discussed in talks with GOP leaders during the summer of 2011. Link

* Obama to open talks with $1.6 trillion plan to raise taxes on corporations, wealthy. Zachary Goldfarb and Lori Montgomery – The Washington Post. President Obama is taking a hard line with congressional Republicans heading into negotiations over the year-end fiscal cliff, making no opening concessions and calling for far more in new taxes than Republicans have so far been willing to consider. Link 

Essential reading: Democrats like a Romney idea on income tax, and more

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

* Democrats like a Romney idea on income tax. Jonathan Weisman – The New York Times. Democrats are latching on to an idea floated by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to raise taxes on the rich through a hard cap on income tax deductions. Democrats now see it as an important element of a potential deficit reduction agreement. Link

* U.S. Congress comes back Tuesday to confront ‘fiscal cliff.’ Rachael Younglai and Jason Lange – Reuters. Amid a global fright over Washington’s political brinkmanship, U.S. lawmakers return to the capital on Tuesday with a seven-week deadline to reach agreement on scheduled tax hikes and budget cuts that threaten to trigger another recession. Link

* Paul Ryan breaks post-election silence. Janet Hook – The Wall Street Journal. Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, is open to including increased tax revenues in a deficit reduction deal so long as it does not involve tax rate increases. Link

Billions in tax savings a goal of anti-debt group, according to think tank

When a group of 86 large U.S. companies came out in late October in favor of fixing the debt it was seen as a rare example of corporate unity, and a wake up call on just how urgent an issue the growing federal deficit has become for business.

In a new report, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS),  a liberal Washington think tank,  argues that the group, called “Fix the Debt” is basically a larger version of an earlier Washington corporate lobbying group called “Win America”, and shares its focus on getting corporate money now being held overseas back into the United States with little or no taxes taken out.

Win America was pushing mainly for a lower tax rate on the repatriation of foreign earnings, but Fix the Debt is instead pushing for a shift by the United States to a territorial tax model.  Under this kind of system, the companies would paylittle or no taxes on foreign earnings when those profits are brought into the to US.  It’s especially beneficial to companies that earn a significant amount of profit in offshore tax havens.

Essential reading: Starbucks, Amazon and Google to face UK lawmakers over tax, and more

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

 * Starbucks, Amazon and Google to face UK lawmakers over tax. Tom Bergin – Reuters. UK lawmakers will quiz executives of Starbucks, Google and Amazon on Monday about how they have managed to pay only small amounts of tax in Britain while racking up billions of dollars worth of sales. Link  

* Weekend interview: Mitch McConnell: ‘We have a voter mandate not to raise taxes. The Wall Street Journal. “I am not willing to raise taxes to turn off the sequester. Period,” Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. Link  

* The tax breaks likely to come under fire. Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. It’s too soon to predict exactly what will happen to the tax breaks that are set to expire at the end of the year. In general, experts say, the biggest tax breaks are likely to be the ones that will attract the most scrutiny. Link  


Some important tax and accounting events in the week ahead:

Sunday, Nov. 11 – Friday, Nov. 16 * New York University Institute on Federal Taxation. San Diego.

 Monday, Nov. 12 * Leaders from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Financial Accounting Standards Board, International Accounting Standards Board, and Securities and Exchange Commission as well as former Olympus Corp CEO Michael Woodford speak at the Financial Executives International’s conference on financial reporting issues. Marriott Marquis Times Square. New York.

Tuesday, Nov. 13 – Wednesday, Nov. 14 * Thomas A. Barthold, chief of staff of the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation, and William Wilkins, chief counsel for the Internal Revenue Service, and others speak at the Bloomberg BNA Tax Policy & Practices Summit. Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Washington.

Essential reading: Raising tax rates ‘unacceptable’ to U.S. House Speaker Boehner, and more

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Capitol Hill, June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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

* Raising tax rates ‘unacceptable’ Speaker Boehner. John Parkinson – ABC News. Raising tax rates is “unacceptable” to House Speaker John Boehner as he prepares to open negotiations on the looming “fiscal cliff” with the president and congressional Democrats, he told “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer today in an exclusive interview. Link

* GOP’s rejection of higher tax rates an obstacle to debt deal. Paul Kane and David Fahrenthold – The Washington Post. The new conciliatory tone among House Republican leaders this week will soon have to confront an old Washington reality: the GOP’s deep opposition to higher tax rates. As they begin bipartisan talks on a broad debt deal, White House and congressional leaders face a group of skeptical rank-and-file Republicans in the House who don’t view Tuesday’s Democratic victories as a reason to retreat on taxes. Link 

* Tax twist: At some firms, cutting corporate rates may cost billions. Michael Rapoport – The Wall Street Journal. President Barack Obama has said, most recently during last month’s presidential debates, that the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate should be cut. That would mean lower tax bills for many companies. But it also could prompt large write-downs by Citigroup, AIG, Ford and other companies that hold piles of “deferred tax assets,” or DTAs. Link

Essential reading: CEOs vow to work with Obama team, and more

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

 * CEOs vow to work with Obama team. John McKinnon and Colleen Nelson – The Wall Street Journal. Business leaders pledged cooperation with President Barack Obama on Wednesday, hoping to reset their relationship after a campaign season marked by White House criticism of corporations and the wealthy. As an overture to the re-elected president, some business leaders said their Republican allies in Congress will have to temper their expectations on some major issues that have divided the two parties. Link  

* Product questions and threats of higher tax hit Apple shares. Nick Wingfield – The New York Times. On Wednesday, Apple’s shares slid 3.8 percent. They outpaced a broader decline in the stock market set off by investors’ uncertainty about how the outcome of the presidential election will affect taxes. Link  

* U.S. workers may give up time off as storm aid. Catherine Rampell – The New York Times. The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday that American employees could donate, through payroll deductions, their vacation, sick and personal leave days to organizations helping with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The IRS allowed such donations after the Sept. 11 attacks and after Hurricane Katrina. Link