Essential reading: White House knew of IRS scandal in April, and more

May 20, 2013

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

* IRS inquiry status told to White House in April. Jonathan Weisman and Brian Knowlton – The New York Times. The chief White House lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, learned last month that a Treasury inspector general had concluded an audit of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, weeks before the matter became public, according to a senior White House official. Link 

* How the IRS seeded the clouds in 2010 for a political deluge three years later. Zachary Goldfarb and Kimberly Kindy – The Washington Post. The story of the IRS’s policy of targeting right-leaning groups was one of a bureaucracy caught in a morass of uncertainty and outside pressure. Link    

 * How the IRS spun out of control. Joseph Tanfani – The Los Angeles Times. With little oversight from Washington, agents in Ohio had been singling out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny, seeking to make sure they were not too heavily involved in politics to qualify as tax-exempt. Link    

* 10 questions for the tax men of Congress. John Harwood – The New York Times. Dave Camp and Max Baucus sat down with John Harwood of The New York Times and CNBC on Thursday, one day before the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the IRS’s actions. Link    

* States bank on online sales tax. Amy Schatz – The Wall Street Journal. Congress hasn’t yet agreed to end tax-free shopping on the Internet, but some states already are planning how they’ll spend the money. Link   

* Tax court slaps down IRAs holding ‘alternative assets’ Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. A U.S. Tax Court decision offers a cautionary tale for people who want to invest individual retirement account funds in “alternative” assets, especially operating businesses. Link    

*  Actavis could lower tax rate with Warner Chilcott deal. Vipal Monga – The Wall Street Journal. Generic drug-maker Actavis Inc. may be able to lower its tax rate if it acquires smaller rival Warner Chilcott PLC. Link    

* Merely a tax misunderstanding. The Wall Street Journal editorial. At Friday’s hearing, acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, who was fired by President Obama this week but is sticking around to help with the transition, was almost casual about the pattern of biased enforcement that cost him his job. Link    

* The IRS scandal started at the top. Kimberly Strassel – The Wall Street Journal opinion. President Barack Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. Link

One comment

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Who freaking cares? Can we work on our economy instead of this useless issue of whether the IRS asked some people more questions about why they should be tax exempt or not? I am sure the Repubs would have a field day of the IRS was not asking enough questions to organizations like ACORN.

Posted by pmacdee2 | Report as abusive