Tax eBrief: Five overlooked tax breaks for small businesses, and more

Tax eBrief News

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

Last month’s fiscal-cliff legislation included lots of tax provisions. Media attention has focused heavily on changes that affect individuals. But the new law also provides some valuable tax-saving breaks for small businesses.

Tax eBrief: Small Businesses REUTERS/Alexandra Beier Pills

REUTERS/Alexandra Beier

* Five overlooked tax breaks for small businesses. Bill Bischoff – The Wall Street Journal. The fiscal-cliff law provides some valuable tax-saving breaks for small businesses. Link

 * A new Rx for tax bills. Jonathan Rockoff – The Wall Street Journal. Drug makers are taking new steps to lower their taxes significantly, in a boon to their bottom lines. Efforts typically involve shifting revenue overseas where it can be taxed at a lower rate than in the U.S. Link 

* White House and business split over tax. Stephanie Kirchgaessner – The Financial Times. Tensions between the White House and business community have risen after President Barack Obama proposed tax hikes on oil and gas companies, as well as on hedge fund executives, in a short-term fix to avoid $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts. Link  

* An oil tax could be one of the least painful ways to trim the deficit. Brad Plumer – The Washington Post. A tax on oil consumption could be one of the least harmful ways to trim the budget deficit. Link  

* Two-tax rise tests wealthy in California. Adam Nagourney – The New York Times. With the new year, big earners are confronting a 51.9 percent federal-state income tax hit on earnings over $1 million. Link  

* Idaho wants to tax the cloud. Steven Jones – The Wall Street Journal. Several Idaho companies have become the subject of audits since a recent decision by the Idaho State Tax Commission that made subscription software delivered online subject to state sales tax. The ruling was a surprise because Idaho doesn’t tax services. Link

* What to do if your W-2 is missing. Ann Carrns – The New York Times. Most workers have received their W-2 forms from their employers by now. Companies are required to provide the forms to employees, showing their annual income, tax payments and other deductions, by Jan. 31. Link 

* More stimulus and fewer tax cuts are needed. Elizabeth McNichol – The New York Times opinion. Tax increases fall on upper-income residents, who tend to save a larger share of their income, they have less of an impact on consumer spending than spending cuts do, because much of the money they raise would have been saved rather than spent. Link

* Time to revive the financial transaction tax. Jesse Eisinger – The New York Times opinion. A transaction tax could raise a huge amount of money and cause less pain than many alternatives. It could offset the need for cuts to the social safety net or tax increases that damage consumer demand. Link

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