Tax Break

Essential reading: Sequester talks grow harsh, and more

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

* Rhetoric turns harsh as budget cuts loom. Janet Hook – The Wall Street Journal. Republicans didn’t question Mr. Obama’s assertion that the spending cuts would have a dire effect. They said the plan to avert them should include only spending cuts, not tax increases. Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, said that the public is viewing the impasse with disgust, but that the president may bear more of the blame for failing to lead the way to a compromise. Link

* Tax executives: Congress won’t revamp business taxes in 2013. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. The survey of 163 tax executives by law firm Miller & Chevalier and the National Foreign Trade Council shows that only a few think that a tax overhaul will be enacted in 2013. Last year, 31 percent of respondents believed Congress would pass a tax revamp in 2013. Link

* Tax tip: Figuring out your stock’s cost basis. Jeff Reeves – USA Today. The tax man is eager to get his share after you cash out an investment win. And unless you want to irritate the Internal Revenue Service, it’s important to accurately report profits each year to the penny. Link

* The president is raging against a budget crisis he created. John Boehner – The Wall Street Journal opinion. The president has repeatedly called for even more tax revenue, but the American people don’t support trading spending cuts for higher taxes. They understand that the tax debate is now closed. Link

* President Armageddon – The Wall Street Journal editorial. President Barack Obama is actually demanding another tax increase on top of the one he just beat out of Congress. His trick is to pretend that this is “tax reform” that would eliminate loopholes. Link

Essential reading: Simpson, Bowles revive deficit plan, and more

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, testify on Capitol Hill, Nov. 1, 2011.

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

* Simpson and Bowles to offer up new deficit fix. Damian Paletta – The Wall Street Journal. Deficit hawks Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles on Tuesday will propose a detailed plan for rewriting the tax code and implementing deep new spending cuts, hoping to offer a path to compromise for Democrats and Republicans, according to an outline of the plan. Link

* Facebook tax refund sparks outrage, but company did pay taxes. Salvador Rodriguez – The Los Angeles Times. A recent report saying Facebook will receive $429 million in tax refunds has sparked outrage on the Web, given that the company made more than $1 billion in profits in 2012. Link

Essential reading: Married couples face tough taxes, and more

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

 * Happy Valentine’s Day? Check your taxes first. Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. Being married raises taxes for some couples and lowers them for others. The marriage penalty is especially pronounced for couples earning above $300,000. Link 

* U.S. slams EU’s tax-on-trades plan. Gabriele Steinhauser and Jenny Strausburg – The Wall Street Journal. The U.S. Treasury said it opposes plans by 11 European Union countries to impose a small tax on trades in shares, bonds and derivatives. Link  

* U.S. banks warn over planned EU ‘Tobin tax’. Alex Barker and James Politi – The Financial Times. The European Commission will on Thursday unveil an ambitious plan for an international levy on financial trades to be collected by the eurozone’s biggest economies, raising an estimated 30 billion to 35 billion euros a year. Link  

Essential reading: Vital New York City property taxes lost, and more

Professional basketball is one of the popular attractions at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

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

 * Vital city revenue, lost in the fine print. Jim Dwyer – The New York Times. Madison Square Garden received a tax exemption on its property in 1982 as long as the Knicks and the Rangers agreed to play there for 10 years. Madison Square Garden pays no property tax today either, 31 years later. Link  

* Property losses may mean valuable tax breaks. Jeff Reeves – USA Today. As the April 15 tax deadline approaches, it’s worth noting that the IRS is sympathetic to Americans who suffered big losses in the last year. Link  

Essential reading: Navigating between tax avoidance and evasion, and more

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

* Navigating between tax avoidance and evasion. Paul Sullivan – The New York Times. It is fairly difficult to evade taxes on legitimate investments because the I.R.S. can crosscheck the forms supplied by the company and the individual. Where people run afoul of the law is when they cut corners. Link  

* Tax help comes with health insurance advice. Chad Terhune – The Los Angeles Times. As tax season kicks into high gear across the country, millions of Americans are getting their first taste of the biggest change to health insurance in nearly half a century. Link

* Here’s the start of your tax troubles. Annie Lowrey – The New York Times. This month, one of the most despised institutions of American government turns 100: the permanent income tax. Link  

Essential reading: Sandy damage leads to tax trouble, and more

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

* After the hurricane, a mound of tax math. Charles DeLafuentie – The New York Times. People who lost their homes or suffered extensive property damage in Hurricane Sandy may qualify for some help from the Internal Revenue Service, but with the usual caveats: the tax code isn’t simple, and not everybody will qualify. Link 

* A doubly trying tax season for same-sex couples. Peter Applebome – The New York Times. For same-sex couples across the United States, an offshoot of being married is a dizzying set of complications in computing taxes. Link  

* McCain says ‘maybe’ to new taxes to avert sequestration. Ed O’Keefe – The Washington Post. Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday that he is willing to consider supporting new tax revenue as part of a plan to avert $85 billion in looming budget cuts, as the White House pushed back against Republican lawmakers who say President Barack Obama is solely responsible for the spending reductions. Link  

Essential reading: Higher payroll tax pinches those with the least to spare, and more

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

* Higher payroll tax pinches those with the least to spare. Nelson Schwartz – The New York Times. At street level, the pain from the expiration of a two-percentage-point break in Social Security taxes in 2011 and 2012 is plain to see. Link

* Tax holiday ends, consumer scrimp. Neil Shah – The Wall Street Journal. Surveys show the majority of Americans who are aware of the tax increase say they plan to cut spending, and consumer confidence has wavered. Link

* Obama’s pre-Superbowl attack on carried interest puts PEGCC on offensive. Hillary Canada – The Wall Street Journal. Following a prime-time attack on carried interest by President Barack Obama, the private equity industry’s lobby group appears to be girding up for a fight regarding carried interest. Link


Some important tax and accounting events in the week ahead:

 Monday, Feb. 11 – Tuesday, Feb. 12

International Bar Association Taxation Section/Chartered Institute of Taxation European Branch conference on the taxation of offshore income of financial institutions, transfer pricing, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and other topics. London.

Wednesday, Feb. 13

Practicing Law Institute Webcast on FATCA. 1 p.m. ET.

The International Tax Institute seminar on FATCA. 12:15 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET, Grand Hyatt New York. New York.

Wednesday, Feb. 13 – Thursday, Feb. 14

Experts from the U.S. Treasury and Congress, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations, and the tax departments of major global corporations address the Tax Council Policy Institute program on the taxation of intangibles. Washington.

Essential reading: Pharmaceutical makers lower their taxes, and more

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

 * A new Rx for tax bills. Jonathan Rockoff – The Wall Street Journal. Drug makers are taking new steps to lower their taxes significantly, in a boon to their bottom lines. Efforts typically involve shifting revenue overseas where it can be taxed at a lower rate than in the U.S. Link 

* White House and business split over tax. Stephanie Kirchgaessner – The Financial Times. Tensions between the White House and business community have risen after President Barack Obama proposed tax hikes on oil and gas companies, as well as on hedge fund executives, in a short-term fix to avoid $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts. Link  

* An oil tax could be one of the least painful ways to trim the deficit. Brad Plumer – The Washington Post. A tax on oil consumption could be one of the least harmful ways to trim the budget deficit. Link  

Essential reading: Obama repeats call to end tax break for corporate jets, and more

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

* Obama repeats call to end tax break for corporate jets. Bart Jansen – USA Today. President Obama wants to stave off massive federal spending cuts scheduled March 1, but one of his suggestions to close tax breaks on corporate jets has upset that industry and Republican congressional leaders. Link  

* States look to pay repair tab. Kris Maher – The Wall Street Journal. Taxpayers and motorists across the country could be billed for fixes to a fraying infrastructure, as the nation’s governors float ideas to raise revenue for repairs that include boosting gasoline and state sales taxes and tying vehicle-registration fees to mileage. Link