It wasn’t hard to find the Joy of Tax and Litigation Law in December’s first business week. Between talk of the “fiscal cliff,” ongoing regulatory re-structuring debates, and the typical news surplus that comes with the end of the financial year – christmas has come early for us. Take a minute to browse some weekly tax news highlights below:
- Reuter’s 12/7 Article reveals how online retailer Amazon.com has avoided nearly $2 billion in tax payments through its Luxembourg Operation. Related: Online Sales Tax: Fair But Not Fun
- IRS Commissioner Steven Miller calls out Congress for their failure to reach a deal on the “fiscal cliff,” saying that the debate over rates and deficit-reduction has overshadowed the need to determine what the final provisions for 2012 will be. “There is currently a real discussion about the tax rates for the next year and beyond as well as the national debt…but taxpayers and the IRS need to know what the tax provisions are for 2012 so you know what you owe and so we know how to process the return beginning in January.” Related: New IRS Comissioner, Same Old Problems
- Proposed reforms on new regulations for Money Market Mutual Funds remain stagnant. Following Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s comments that the 2010 reforms did not go far enough to prevent a collapse like in 2008, the Financial Stability Oversight Council proposed a new set of reforms on Nov. 13, 2012, highlighted by a requirement for funds to have a floating net asset value and larger capital reserves; however, a decision has yet to be reached by the SEC as at least three commissioners have blocked the proposal from coming to a vote. Opposition from the fund industry remains fierce.
- Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, says the Republican party will use the debt-ceiling limit as a bargaining chip in the fiscal cliff debates, (again). Speaking to business leaders a day prior the President said, “That is a bad strategy for America, that is a bad strategy for your businesses—and it’s not a game that I will play.”
- Democrats remain divided on President Obama’s push to increase the estate tax on inherited wealth. The President would like it to be raised to 45% after a 3.5 million exemption, others in his party would like to see it remain at its current levels – 35% after a $5 million exemption, and if we go over the cliff it will automatically revert to the pre-Bush level of 55% after a $1 million exemption.
- In the spirit of giving, the IRS Issued Tax Tips on Charitable Contributions
- The “Use Tax,” is getting more attention from states, including California, New York, Texas and Ohio.
- James Krooker, former chief account for the SEC, is rejoing Deloitte, LLP which is under intense scrutiny from regulators. Deloitte says Krooker will serve in a “leadership position.” The SEC is losing other members, including Agency chairman Mary Schapiro and its Division of Corporate Finance Director.
- The Govenrmnet Accountability Office says that the federal government continues to, “operate on an unsustainable long-term fiscal path.”
- The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says that the IRS needs some major IT upgrades.
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