* Candidates split over extending tax credit for wind energy producers. Catherine Ho – The Washington Post. President Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney clashed last week over a federal tax credit for businesses that produce wind and other alternative energy. In campaign events in Colorado, Obama emphasized his support for extending the tax credit and attacked Romney for opposing the extension, framing his opponent’s stance as a threat to job creation. Link
Wednesday, August 15• A number of lawyers for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and Department of Justice speak on an American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, webcast entitled “International Tax Enforcement and Globalization: Can the Tax Police Keep Pace with the Criminals?” 1 p.m. EDT.
* U.S. IRS allows bogus taxpayer IDs-watchdog report. Patrick Temple-West – Reuters. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has recently issued thousands of tax identification numbers to ineligible people and, in some cases, IRS managers condoned the practice, the tax collection agency’s watchdog said on Wednesday. The accusation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, comes at a time of intense national debate about illegal immigrants, many of whom apply for and get taxpayer ID numbers instead of Social Security numbers. Link
* Indigestion for ‘les Riches’ in a plan for higher taxes. Liz Alderman – The New York Times. A chill is wafting over France’s business class as President Francois Hollande presses a manifesto of patriotism to “pay extra tax to get the country back on its feet again.” The 75 percent tax proposal, which parliament plans to take up in September, is ostensibly aimed at bolstering French finances as Europe’s long-running debt crisis intensifies. But because there are relatively few people in France whose income would incur such a tax — perhaps no more than 30,000 — the gains might contribute but a small fraction of the 33 billion euros in new revenue the government wants to raise next year. Link
Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.
* Auditors question PwC reform role. Adam Jones – The Financial Times. The involvement of a PwC expert in the political process of reforming European accounting law has prompted fresh concern about links between the biggest auditors and those who are supposed to regulate them. The Cypriot government borrowed a PwC technical expert to assist it with pushing forward accounting reform during its six-month presidency of the European Union, which began last month. Link
By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan
There’s nothing surprising about FHFA head Ed DeMarco’s decision to nix the idea of writing down some of the debt owed by cash-strapped homeowners on mortgages guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie. DeMarco, whose agency regulates Fannie and Freddie, has been a consistent opponent of principal reductions–something we pointed out last October in our story on the need for a “great haircut” on consumer loans and including student and mortgage debt to stimulate the economy.