Unstructured Finance

Essential reading: How Apple keeps its tax bill low, KPMG inquiry in UK, and more

April 30, 2012

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

* How Apple sidesteps billions in taxes. Charles Duhigg and David Kocieniewski – The New York Times. As it stands, Apple Inc paid cash taxes of $3.3 billion around the world on its reported profits of $34.2 billion last year, a tax rate of 9.8 percent. Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,” which reduces taxes by routing profits through Irish subsidiaries and the Netherlands and then to the Caribbean. Today, that tactic is used by hundreds of other corporations — some of which directly imitated Apple’s methods, say accountants at those companies. Without such tactics, Apple’s federal tax bill in the United States most likely would have been $2.4 billion higher last year. Link  


April 30, 2012

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Some important tax and accounting dates in the week ahead

Monday, April 30
* The U.S. Internal Revenue Service hearing on limited partnerships and taxpayer participation, to start at 10 a.m. EDT in the IRS Auditorium.
* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) three-day conference on investments, auditing and tax questions, compliance fundamentals, internal control, and healthcare reform, Atlanta. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis Borzi will speak.
* AICPA two-day conference on tax strategies for high-income individuals, Belagio Hotel, Las Vegas.

Essential reading: H&R Block cuts back, Supreme Court restrains IRS, and more

April 26, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Molly Riley

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

* H&R Block to close stores, cut jobs. Jochelle Mendonca – Reuters. H&R Block said the head of its U.S. retail tax services unit resigned, and the top U.S. tax preparer announced another round of store closures and job cuts, as it realigns its business to focus on the fast-growing digital tax market. Separately, the company said the number of tax filings it prepared through April 18, grew 4.5 percent to 22.2 million. Link

Tax returns as campaign fodder

April 25, 2012

Tax returns are playing a role in Senate campaigns this year as candidates reveal intimate, sometimes awkward financial details.

Essential reading: Amazon will collect Nevada sales tax, debating tax cuts, more

April 25, 2012

A rainbow appears over hotels on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, REUTERS/Ethan Miller

Essential reading: Looking for tax money to fund a student loan break, WIN America shuts down, more

April 24, 2012

A student studies on the campus of San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Essential reading: Seeking common ground in Washington, shorting India on tax fears, more

April 23, 2012

A tea vendor holds an umbrella at a roadside in Mumbai. REUTERS/Sima Dubey

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

* In presidential race’s give-and-take, hope for a fiscal compromise. John Harwood – The New York Times. Some elected officials and policy experts see improving odds for 2012 to end up yielding much more, including progress toward a deal on tax and budget issues that have confounded Washington’s divided government. Some say the campaign dialogue could even bring a deal closer. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, a member of the Finance Committee, recently urged fellow Republicans to accept Democrats’ demand for some tax increases, as long as Democrats accepted the longstanding argument by conservatives that revenue calculations account for at least some positive effect on economic growth from changes in the tax code. Link 

Closing the $450 billion tax gap

April 23, 2012

Fundamental tax reform, more funding for the IRS, and increased third-party disclosure were among the many solutions to the $450 billion tax gap offered at a Congressional hearing Thursday.

Fate of ex-UBS client cases uncertain, lawyers say

April 23, 2012

Tax lawyers are divided over the legal consequences of the bruising defeat in court of a billionaire former client of UBS AG who sued the Swiss bank for allegedly giving him incorrect tax advice.

UF Weekend Reads

April 21, 2012

Nice weather today in NYC. Enjoy it today before Sunday’s deluge. Here’s Sam Forgione’s picks. You can now follow Sam on twitter @samuelforgione