Tax eBrief: U.S. is preparing more tax-evasion cases, and more

Tax eBrief News

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

U.S. tax-evasion – Four years after an agreement between the U.S. and Switzerland pierced a veil of banking secrecy by requiring Swiss bank UBS AG to turn over names of account holders, defense lawyers estimate that federal prosecutors are conducting at least 100 criminal investigations against suspected tax evaders.

Tax eBrief: US is preparing more tax evasion cases-298x300_130131

Justice REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

 * U.S. is preparing more tax-evasion cases. Laura Saunders – The Wall Street Journal. The U.S. is expanding its crackdown of offshore tax evasion, preparing numerous criminal cases against suspected offenders, defense lawyers involved in the cases say. Link  

* Federal rule limits aid to families who can’t afford employers’ health coverage. Robert Pear – The New York Times. In deciding whether an employer’s health plan is affordable, the Internal Revenue Service said it would look at the cost of coverage only for an individual employee, not for a family. Family coverage might be prohibitively expensive, but federal subsidies would not be available to help buy insurance for children in the family. Link  

* Workers’ children won’t get subsidies. Louise Radnofsky – The Wall Street Journal. Federal tax subsidies under the 2010 health law designed to help lower-income Americans afford insurance won’t extend to dependents who can be covered through a family member’s employer. Link  

* Executives don’t see tax reform this year: KPMG. Maxwell Murphy – The Wall Street Journal. Nearly half of business executives don’t feel that the deal in Washington that avoided the so-called fiscal cliff paved the way for comprehensive reform of the U.S. corporate tax code in 2013, according to a survey released on Wednesday by audit and tax advisory firm KPMG LLP. Link  

* Your money: expect to pay for fast tax refund. Susan Tompor – USA Today. This season’s tax refunds, though, are going to be one week late because the Internal Revenue Service couldn’t begin processing the vast majority of returns until Jan. 30. Link  

* Renewable energy industries push for new financing options. Diane Cardwell – The New York Times. But with antipathy for renewable energy subsidies running high among many Republicans, the industries are bringing a new plea to Washington: allow wind and solar companies to qualify for some of the tax advantages that are used by the oil, gas and real estate industries to raise money from investors. Link  

* Australian mining lobby girds for electoral fight. Rhiannon Hoyle and Ross Kelly – The Wall Street Journal. Australia’s mines will be a key battleground ahead of national elections in September that will test voter support for controversial taxes on resources profits and carbon emissions. Link  

* Chinese steel mills face tax pressure. Leslie Hook – The Financial Times. Cash-strapped local governments in China have started demanding taxes from the country’s steel mills up to two years in advance, an unusual practice that highlights how desperate some cities have become for funds. Link  

* Have a home office? The IRS may offer a streamlined deduction for it. Michelle Singletary – The Washington Post opinion. The IRS recently announced a streamlined option for claiming a home office deduction. Almost 3.4 million taxpayers claimed deductions for business use of a home in 2010. Link

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