Welcome to a roundup of the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.
* China bars airlines from EU tax plan. Simon Rabinovitch – The Financial Times. The Chinese government has barred the country’s airlines from complying with a European Union charge on carbon emissions, escalating a dispute that officials have warned could turn into a trade war. Chinese airlines had previously said they would not pay the EU carbon tax, but the formal prohibition by the State Council, or cabinet, puts Beijing in direct opposition to Brussels. China has notified all Chinese airlines that, without government approval, they cannot join the EU emissions trading scheme or charge customers extra because of it, state-agency Xinhua said. The impact on Chinese airlines with routes to Europe was unclear. Although the EU’s carbon scheme went into effect for airlines on January 1, Brussels has not started charging them yet. Link to The Financial Times.
*Julius Baer expects to deliver client data in U.S. probe. Katherina Bart – Reuters. Swiss private bank Julius Baer said on Monday it expects to have to hand over client data as part of a U.S. tax investigation into wealthy Americans who stashed their money in Swiss banks to avoid paying taxes. “We expect to have to deliver client information within the regulatory framework that will be agreed between the two governments,” Chief Executive Boris Collardi told analysts and media on Monday following 2011 earnings. Link to Reuters.
* Its chief’s big tax bill may benefit Facebook. David Kocieniewski – The New York Times. Few billionaires are willing to reveal much about their taxes. But the Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has indirectly done so in the documents for his company’s public stock offering later this year. Zuckerberg, 27, one of the world’s youngest billionaires, plans to exercise stock options with an estimated value of $5 billion ahead of the offering. That could create a stunning tax bill of $2 billion. Although Internal Revenue Service officials declined to discuss where it might rank, Mr. Zuckerberg’s bill would most likely be among the highest ever for an individual. The 400 wealthiest filers paid an average of $48 million in federal income taxes in 2009, according to government data. Link to The New York Times.