Essential reading: Tax moves pit large companies against small, and more

May 24, 2013

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

 * In tax overhaul debate, large vs small companies. Graham Bowley – The New York Times. Some of the biggest companies in the United States are fighting for a cut in the official corporate tax rate. But the nation’s millions of small businesses fear they will be the ones paying for it. Link  

* States’ rift on taxes widens. Mark Peters – The Wall Street Journal. Minnesota’s move to raise new taxes puts it among a handful of states controlled by Democrats that are adopting more liberal fiscal policies at a time when many Republican-dominated statehouses are pushing to cut taxes. Link 

* The joys of no income tax, the agonies of other kinds. Aman Batheja – The New York Times. In Texas the state’s tax system is not universally beloved. The way the state employs property, sales and business taxes to finance services, particularly education, draws criticism and debate across the political spectrum. Link  

* Tax relief proposed for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Brian Tumulty – USA Today. A bipartisan group of House members from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said Thursday they will revive an effort to enact temporary tax relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Link  

* A final peek at Bloomberg’s tax returns. Kate Taylor – The New York Times. For the final time, City Hall reporters were ushered on Thursday into the office of Michael Bloomberg’s accountant for an annual ritual: a chance to look at a redacted version of the mayor’s tax returns, as well as public disclosures of his property holdings and income. Link

* Ex-ComputerLand CEO seeks creditor protection amid tax fight. Kate Stech – The Wall Street Journal. William Millard, former CEO of ComputerLand Corp. has sought creditor protection in the U.S., telling a New York bankruptcy judge that he’s not a notorious tax fugitive but the target of a decades-old vendetta from lawmakers on the Pacific island of Saipan. Link

* Advisers help avoid ‘twice-taxed’ syndrome. Arden Dale – The Wall Street Journal. Financial advisers are telling some clients it could be better to spend or give away dividends, interest and IRA distributions, instead of plowing the money back into the market where it will be taxed again. Link  

* The corrosive effect of Apple’s tax avoidance. Floyd Norris – The New York Times opinion. The shameful thing about Apple’s tax avoidance is that we have a tax system that seems to allow multinational companies to choose what they want to pay. Link  

* The corporate tax dodge. Steven Rattner – The New York Times opinion. As muddled and broken as the individual income tax system may be, the rules under which the government collects corporate levies are far more loophole-ridden and counterproductive. Link

* Nonprofits need better guidance on tax-exempt standards. Gary Bass and Elizabeth Kingsley – The Washington Post. we must not lose sight of the underlying problems that led to this situation: the lack of workable standards to determine what activity the Internal Revenue Service considers “political” and how much of it a nonprofit group can do. Link

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