Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.
* Obama assails Republican budget plan, aims at Romney. Alister Bull – Reuters. President Barack Obama accused Republicans on Tuesday of favoring the rich with a “radical” budget plan that focuses on cutting popular programs, which the White House sees as a potent vote winner for Democrats in this year’s election. The Republican blueprint proposes broad tax reform, including closing loopholes to raise revenue, while advocating a simplification in the tax code and lowering the top tax rate. White House officials said the goal of Obama’s speech was to hammer home a message that if Republicans win in November, their budget is coming to America. Link
* KKR’s Kravis says U.S. tax overhaul needed. Greg Roumeliotis – Reuters. Henry Kravis, the co-chief executive of private equity group KKR & Co LP, said on Tuesday that a reform of the tax system was necessary to jumpstart the U.S. economy. On Monday, one of Kravis’s peers, David Rubenstein, billionaire co-founder of Carlyle Group LP, defended the lower rate of taxation enjoyed by private equity managers, arguing they are merely following the laws that Congress wrote. Kravis, whose net worth as of March 2012 was $4 billion according to Forbes, refrained from making a prediction about the future tax treatment of carried interest and said he tried to keep his firm out of politics. Link
* Dividend stocks may not look so hot next year. Steven Russolillo and Alexandra Scaggs – The Wall Street Journal. Many investors have been touting dividend stocks as a way to play it safe amid the rocky economic recovery. But dividends may not be such a safe bet heading into 2013. You can blame Uncle Sam for that. As a result of the scheduled tax hike for dividends, corporations will be forced to take a hard look at the way they spend extra cash. According to current policy, taxes on dividends paid to individuals would nearly triple in 2013 to 43.5 percent from 15 percent. Link
* Property tax appeals benefit big companies. Jim Nash – The New York Times. In New York State, anyone can contest the assessed value of a property — on which property taxes are based — and, to the distress of local governments statewide, many are doing so at a time when values are falling and companies are looking to save money wherever they can. Filing an annual tax cert appeal is routine for big companies, which typically own large and expensive parcels of land, experts say. Among the corporations that have filed for refunds in New York recently are IBM, Verizon and 7-Eleven. Link