Tax Break

Tax clips from the web: A Superbowl winner, retail relief and offshore assets

New York Giants middle linebacker Chase Blackburn (L) intercepts a pass intended for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski during the third quarter in the NFL Super Bowl XLVI.

And the winning play goes to…

One of the more sensational plays on Superbowl Sunday last weekend took place in Las Vegas, where Jona Rechnitz was given 50 to 1 odds on the first scoring play in the game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots being a safety. For those who missed it, a safety is something like a player throwing into or being tackled in his own end zone…Or something like that. Actually, Tax Break does not follow football really, so you can catch up on those details elsewhere. Anyway, the safety did occur, and Rechnitz won a cool $60,000 on the bet, Don’t Mess With Taxes writes.

Some of that win was shaved for taxes by the casino before it even paid out, and the rest is taxable on Rechnitz’s own tax return. That is – it would be. He told some tabloids that he will donate the money to charity, in which case he can deduct the whole kit and caboodle on his tax return.

Onto those who are preparing their taxes now…

This year promisesto bring at least the slightest recovery in consumer spending, which is happy news to retailers. More happy news emerged this week when the Retail Industry Leaders Association received word from the IRS that they need not change the way they had been calculating gross receipts and sales this year. The fear was that they might need to separately reports items on the receipts like sales tax, cash back and deposits and reconcile them with the total number. The IRS said it does “not intend reconciliation going forward,” so the waters seem to be relatively clear for now. Forbes’ Tax Girl writes about it here.

Keep my details private

Bankrate’s tax blog also points out a survey that found a majority of people are nervous about the E-Filing feature that the IRS is touting up and down its website this year. People worry that their financial and identifying information may not be totally secure if they file digitally.

Essential reading: payroll tax talks, state income tax cuts and a Swiss bank fine

Swiss bank Julius Baer, Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.  

* Payroll tax negotiations heat up again. Rosalind Helderman – The Washington Post.

U.S. House and Senate negotiators appointed to reach a compromise over how to pay for extending the expiring payroll tax cut hold a key meeting early on Tuesday. Ongoing discussions between the 20-member conference committee, as well as House and Senate leaders, will make clear whether Democrats and Republicans will reach a quick deal by Feb. 17 to extend the tax cut for the remainder of the year. Democrats and Republicans remain split on how to pay to extend the tax cut. Link.