Essential reading: Private equity tax breaks in jeopardy, and more

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

Private equity tax breaks in jeopardy, and more - Reuters - Lucas Jackson

Reuters – Lucas Jackson

 * Private equity seeks a new path. Jane Sasseen – The New York Times. As Washington grapples with the country’s fiscal woes, the private equity industry is grudgingly facing a new reality: its long-held tax advantages are likely to disappear. Link  

* Phil Mickelson says “drastic changes” coming over taxes, hints at retirement. Cindy Boren – The Washington Post. Professional golfer Phil Mickelson said “drastic changes” are ahead for him because of increases in the federal and California tax rates. Mickelson has more than $67 million in career earnings and was the seventh highest-paid athlete on Forbes’s 2012 list with $47.8 million in earnings (including $43 million in endorsements). Link  

* New term, new challenges for the president. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. A look at some of the issues that will be prominent in President Barack Obama’s second term: Tax reform. House and Senate committee leaders say they will try to pass far-reaching legislation to overhaul the tax code this year, but prospects appear to be dimming amid continuing partisan budget battles and limited attention from the Obama administration so far. Link  

* Senate Democrats’ budget plan will reopen battle over taxes. Lori Montgomery – The Washington Post. Senate Democrats plan to draft a budget blueprint that calls for significantly higher taxes on the wealthy, oil and gas companies and corporations doing business overseas, reopening a battle over taxes Republicans had hoped to lay to rest with the “fiscal cliff.” Link  

* Payroll tax increase may nick consumer spending. Hadley Malcolm – USA Today. A payroll tax increase of 2 percentage points has hit workers who have received their first paychecks of the year, and has many determining how they will cut back in 2013. Link  

* Bad math: Taxes rise as savings fall. Carolyn Geer – The Wall Street Journal. If you were caught off guard by this year’s payroll-tax hike and are forced to scale back your retirement-plan contributions, consider signing up for automatic annual savings-rate increases to get your contributions back on track as quickly as possible. Link  

* UK corporate tax take ‘has risen’. Vanessa Houlder – The Financial Times. A group of top finance directors has joined the fray as big business seeks to confront intense public scrutiny of corporate tax planning, saying companies’ tax treatment has undergone a “dramatic change” in recent years and that the overall burden they face has increased. Link  

* India increases import tax on gold. Prasanta Sahu – The Wall Street Journal. India Monday increased the import tax on gold for a second time in 10 months in an effort to cut demand for the yellow metal, one of the biggest contributors to the country’s large current-account deficit. Link  

* Hungary plans punitive tax on assets parked in Switzerland. Veronika Gulyas – The Wall Street Journal. Hungary wants to impose a punitive 35% capital gains tax on assets its nationals deposited in Switzerland, but it may have a hard time getting information out of the Alpine country, according to a French-based consultancy. Link  

* When tax cuts were a tough sell. Bruce Bartlett – The New York Times opinion. Fifty years ago this week, on Jan. 24, 1963, John F. Kennedy sent a special message to Congress on tax reduction and tax reform. The legislation cut the top federal income tax rate to 70 percent from 91 percent and the bottom rate to 14 percent from 20 percent. Link

By Patrick Temple-West, Reuters

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