Unstructured Finance

UF Weekend Reads

June 30, 2012

The heat is on all across the U.S. as we gear up for the 4th of July. And in Europe, the heat over the euro zone financial crisis seems to have abated for a day at least, judging by Friday’s big stock market reaction.

The eminent domain brush fire

June 30, 2012

By Matthew Goldstein

It didn’t take long for the powerful voices on Wall Street to rise up in protest over an intriguing and controversial idea to condemn distressed mortgages through local government’s power of eminent domain.

Essential reading: Supreme Court ruling casts tax shadow over US healthcare law, and more

June 29, 2012

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

* Supreme Court ruling casts tax shadow over US healthcare law. Kim Dixon and Kevin Drawbaugh – Reuters. Republicans seized on a momentous U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Thursday to accuse President Barack Obama of hiding a tax increase in his healthcare law, an argument likely to intensify a congressional tax policy war already under way. The court ruled the 2010 law was valid because Congress has the power to impose taxes. The Obama administration played down the tax factor, but Republican opponents pounced on the decision, seeking to elicit political points from a legal issue. Link

Calendar

June 29, 2012

With a national holiday in the middle of the week and both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on break, the coming week will be quiet in tax and accounting circles.

Essential reading: Camp vows Republicans will resist tax revenue increases, and more

June 28, 2012

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) REUTERS/ Gary Cameron

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

* Camp: Republicans will resist tax revenue increases. James Willhite – The Wall Street Journal. House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp said Republicans won’t increase tax revenues to cope with deficits even though “revenue percentage of GDP is at a historic low.” When pressed on whether the Republicans in the House would tolerate offsetting a fourth of spending cuts with revenue increases, Camp said that such a proposal would likely not pass. A simpler tax code with a lower rate and fewer deductions is the goal, Camp said. Link

Essential reading: H&R Block digital tax business grows, profit falls, and more

June 27, 2012

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

*H&R Block digital tax business grows, profit falls. Reuters. H&R Block Inc posted a lower fourth-quarter profit on charges related to job cuts earlier this year, but the top U.S. tax preparer said it gained market share in the highly competitive tax filing business. The company cut jobs, shut stores and overhauled its management in April, to focus on the fast-growing digital tax preparation segment after several years of losing customers to do-it-yourself tax filing services like Intuit Inc’s TurboTax software. Link

Essential reading: Treasury resists Northern Ireland corportion tax cuts plan, and more

June 26, 2012

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

* Treasury resists Northern Ireland corporation tax cuts plan. Jamie Smyth – The Financial Times. A plan to devolve the power to reduce corporation tax to the Northern Ireland assembly is being resisted by the Treasury, denting hopes that lower taxes can be introduced to boost an economy hit by three decades of violence. Ministers from the UK and Northern Ireland government held a third meeting on Monday to discuss the proposal, which would enable Northern Ireland to cut its corporation tax rate to 12.5 per cent to match that of the Irish Republic. Link

Essential reading: State, local fiscal burdens drag on economic recovery, and more

June 25, 2012

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

* State, local fiscal burdens drag on economic recovery. Connor Dougherty – The Wall Street Journal. State and local government tax collections have improved from the recession years, they only recently regained their pre-downturn peak. Meantime, local governments, which unlike states rely on property taxes, continue to suffer from the big drop in real estate prices. Given political pressure to reduce the federal budget deficit, cities and states are likely to get less help from Washington. If that happens they would have to make up the gap with tax hikes of their own or else live more frugally—what they’re doing now. Link

Calendar

June 22, 2012

Long-tailed mayflies fly over the surface of the Tisza river southeast of Budapest, June 20, 2012. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Essential reading: California reaches a budget deal, and more

June 22, 2012

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

* California reaches a budget deal. Jennifer Medina – The New York Times.
Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic-controlled legislature reached a budget deal on Thursday to close a nearly $16 billion budget gap. The agreement came after days of negotiations, with legislative leaders reluctant to make the cuts that Governor Brown said were urgently needed. Link

* U.S. no-tax pledge creator entreats Republicans. Kim Dixon and David Lawder.
The creator and enforcer of a no-tax-hike pledge Grover Norquist huddled with a small group of Republican lawmakers on Thursday in Washington to help strengthen their resolve ahead of tax battles expected to intensify in coming months. South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and former Republican Florida Governor Jeb Bush are among prominent Republicans suggesting recently of the need for more flexibility on tax issues. Link