Essential reading: TurboTax’s lobbying fight, and more

March 27, 2013

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

 * How the maker of TurboTax fought free, simple filing. Liz Day – ProPublica. Intuit has spent about $11.5 million on federal lobbying in the past five years. Although the lobbying spans a range of issues, Intuit’s disclosures pointedly note that the company “opposes IRS government tax preparation.” Link 

 * Post analysis of Dow 30 firms shows declining tax burden as a share of profits. Jia Lynn Yang – The Washington Post. Most of the 30 companies listed on the country’s most famous stock index, the Dow Jones industrial average, have seen a dramatically smaller percentage of their profits go to U.S. coffers over time. Link    

 * On the second day, Supreme Court considers DOMA. Robert Barnes – The Washington Post. When Thea Spyer died in 2009, she left her estate to Edith Windsor. Because their marriage was not recognized, Windsor paid a tax bill of more than $360,000. She has sued for a refund. Link    

 * Tax-abatement changes affect many unit owners. Michelle Higgins – The New York Times. Tens of thousands of co-op and condominium owners across New York City are facing a tax increase this year after the recent tweak of tax-abatement regulations. Link    

 * NY legislature set to pass budget and extend on-time streak to 3rd year. Thomas Kaplan – The New York Times. In the biggest surprise of the budget deal, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders decided to extend the use of a high-tax bracket on the state’s top incomes. Link    

* Northern Ireland corporate tax decision delayed. Jamie Smyth – The Financial Times. A decision on whether to devolve the right to set corporation tax rates to the Northern Ireland executive has been delayed until autumn 2014 over concerns in Westminster that it could influence the Scottish referendum on independence. Link    

 * Dionne Warwick files for bankruptcy protection. Jacqueline Palank – The Wall Street Journal. In total, the IRS says singer Dionne Warwick owes it nearly $7 million. Link    

 * Yahoo’s ‘Acqui-hiring’ and its tax implications. Victor Fleischer – The New York Times opinion. Many Silicon Valley technology companies are mostly tax-indifferent when it comes to employee compensation. Many companies have low effective and marginal tax rates thanks to accumulated net operating losses or creative tax planning strategies related to intangible assets located overseas. Link 

* Tax procrastination has a price. Michelle Singletary – The Washington Post opinion. There is a three-year window from the original deadline of your tax return to claim a refund. Link 

* Sales tax fairness. The New York Times editorial. At long last, Congress may finally be ready to pass a bill allowing states to require online retailers to collect sales taxes. Link 

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