Tax Break

Essential reading: Sports betting raises state coffers, and more

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

* Cash-hungry states eye sports betting, to leagues dismay. Joe Drape – The New York Times. Nevada took in more than $3.4 billion in bets on sports last year, generating $15 million to $20 million in tax revenue. Link     

* A new variation of a costly tax-time offer. Ann Carrins – The New York Times. Some tax preparation firms, like Liberty Tax Service and Jackson Hewitt, continue to make the refund anticipation loans using nonbank partners. Link    

* IRS videos come under fire. Lynnley Browning – The New York Times. An Internal Revenue Service training and leadership video based on “Gilligan’s Island,” the campy 1960’s television show, has emerged. Link    

* NY lawmakers slammed for ‘vampire’ budget finale. The Associated Press. Major elements of the budget were only revealed in news reports in recent days, including the extension of a $2 billion income tax increase aimed at millionaires once opposed by legislature leaders. Link    

* Bills making recession-era tax increases permanent headed to Delaware senate. The Associated Press. Delaware’s Democratic Gov. Jack Markell’s proposals to make several recession-era tax increases permanent have been cleared for a state Senate vote. Link    

Essential reading: TurboTax’s lobbying fight, and more

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

 * How the maker of TurboTax fought free, simple filing. Liz Day – ProPublica. Intuit has spent about $11.5 million on federal lobbying in the past five years. Although the lobbying spans a range of issues, Intuit’s disclosures pointedly note that the company “opposes IRS government tax preparation.” Link 

 * Post analysis of Dow 30 firms shows declining tax burden as a share of profits. Jia Lynn Yang – The Washington Post. Most of the 30 companies listed on the country’s most famous stock index, the Dow Jones industrial average, have seen a dramatically smaller percentage of their profits go to U.S. coffers over time. Link    

 * On the second day, Supreme Court considers DOMA. Robert Barnes – The Washington Post. When Thea Spyer died in 2009, she left her estate to Edith Windsor. Because their marriage was not recognized, Windsor paid a tax bill of more than $360,000. She has sued for a refund. Link    

Essential reading: Intangible assets under audit, and more

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

* Intangibles targeted in tax audits. Emily Chasan – The Wall Street Journal. Intangible assets such as intellectual property, technology processes and copyrights have grown over the past decade to account for a greater portion of corporate profits, and tax regulators are taking notice. Link    

 * Tax panel: Democrats’ budget needs to cut more tax breaks. Siobhan Hughes – The Wall Street Journal. A congressional tax report found that President Barack Obama’s strategy for raising taxes won’t fly on its own since it couldn’t raise the $975 billion called for under the Senate Democratic budget. Link    

* Experts foresee no tax overhaul in United States. Conrad de Aenlle – The New York Times. while few dispute that tax reform is a good idea, it is an idea that policy specialists doubt will be acted upon soon. Link

Essential reading: Proposals to tax trades spark financial firm lobbying, and more

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

* Trading clamps spur lobby effort. Jenny Strasburg and Scott Patterson – The Wall Street Journal. High-speed trading firms and exchanges are being forced into the lobbying game by taxes on trades in Europe, proposals for similar levies in the U.S. and beefed-up regulatory scrutiny. Link    

* U.S. seeks answers in Liechtenstein on tax cheats. Dylan Griffiths – Bloomberg. The U.S. has asked Liechtenstein to hand over data on foundations that may have been used to hide untaxed American money from the Internal Revenue Service, a step that may threaten Swiss banks. Link

* Email tax may slice spam and scams out of inboxes. George Skelton – The Los Angeles Times. An email tax — as part of a broader Internet tax — could raise money to help keep the Postal Service afloat, California Gordon Wozniak said of his proposal. Link    

Calendar

Some important events in the week ahead:

Monday, March 25 – Tuesday, March 26

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ workshop on fair value measurement of assets. New York.

 Wednesday, March 27

* Oral arguments in United States v. Windsor on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act under the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment. 10 a.m. ET, U.S. Supreme Court. Washington.

* John Sweeney, an IRS chief counsel, speaks to the American Bar Association webinar and teleconference on FATCA and intergovernmental agreements. 1 – 2:30 p.m. ET.

Essential reading: Athletes’ tough tax bills, and more

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

* Figuring athletes’ taxes is, well, taxing. Callum Borchers – The Boston Globe. The complicating factor for pro athletes is not how much they earn — though they often make millions of dollars per year — but where they earn it. With few exceptions, athletes owe income taxes in every state where they play. Link

* Renewed tax credit buoys wind-power projects. Diane Cardwell – The New York Times. Beyond the next year or so, the industry’s future remains in doubt, given the uncertainty over whether Congress will again extend the tax credit as part of an 11th-hour budget agreement or take up its purpose and ultimate fate as part of a broader corporate tax overhaul. Link 

* President may be quarterback, but today Congress plays a different game. John Harwood – The New York Times. The long-term shift in how Congress operates casts doubt on prospects for a breakthrough from the people who lead the House and Senate tax-writing committees, Representative Dave Camp, Republican of Michigan, and Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana. Link 

Essential reading: Senate votes on tax hikes in budget, and more

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

* As Senate passes spending measure, stark budget views are on display in House. Jeremy Peters and Jonathan Weisman – The New York Times. House Republicans brought to a vote the budget proposed last week by Senate Democrats in the hope that they could divide their opponents’ ranks and put them on record supporting its $1 trillion in tax increases. Link

* Rewrite of partnership tax rules could shake real estate. Richard Rubin – Bloomberg. The more dramatic of two tax proposals from Dave Camp, the top Republican tax writer in Congress, would remove some of the flexibility that has made partnerships attractive legal structures for real estate investors and hedge funds. Link

* Some Republican governors find a tax they’d like to raise rather than cut. The Associated Press. Although a break from the GOP’s anti-tax ideology, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s gas tax increase proposal shows a dicey willingness among some Republican officials to begin raising more revenue. Link

Essential reading: Tax reform spurs bipartisan lobbying, and more

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

 * In shift, lobbyists look for a bipartisan support to repeal a tax. Eric Lipton – The New York Times. Lobbyists across Washington are redoubling their efforts to build bipartisan coalitions — not just on the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax, but other hot topics, like the possible rewriting of corporate tax laws. Link

* With west flat, big brewers peddle cheap beer in Africa. Paul Sonne, Devon Maylie and Drew Hinshaw – The Wall Street Journal. One of the main ways brewers are expanding market share in Africa: specially negotiated tax deals, now in place with at least seven African governments. Link 

Essential reading: NY State near budget, tax cuts, and more

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

* Albany near deal on budget, taxes. Erica Orden and Laura Nahmias – The Wall Street Journal. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders were close to reaching a deal to pay for about $700 million in new tax cuts or credits proposed by Republicans. Among the options debated: extending the so-called millionaires tax to raise money for other tax cuts. Link 

 * Those returning to school can find help in the tax code. Walecia Konrad – The New York Times. Some of the existing tax credits and deductions for education that were extended as part of tax legislation passed in January are particularly well suited to continuing education students. Link    

* Texas House’s top tax writer hopes to even out business margins levy. Robert Garrett – The Dallas Morning News. The House’s chief tax policy writer says eliminating some inequities in Texas’ business margins tax is his top tax relief priority this year. Link    

Essential reading: Tax breaks versus spending, and more

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

 * Tax credits or spending? Labels, but in Congress, fighting words. Annie Lowrey – The New York Times. In budget proposals put forward last week, both Democrats and Republicans called for scrubbing billions of dollars’ worth of the popular deductions, loopholes and credits that litter the tax code. But the two sides are sharply divided what should happen to any revenue raised. Link    

 * Republican Sen. Corker opens the door to new tax revenue. Sean Sullivan – The Washington Post. Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said Sunday that he believes Republicans would consider adding new tax revenues by closing loopholes if Democrats show a willingness to embrace “true” entitlement reform. Link    

* It’s a lonely quest for land-tax fans, but, by George, they press on. Ianthe Jeanne Dugan – The Wall Street Journal. Only about 20 towns in the U.S. have adopted the land value tax. In Australia the concept is widespread, and it has surfaced in Taiwan. Link