Tax eBrief: Vital New York City property taxes lost, and more

Tax eBrief News

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

Madison Square Garden received an exemption on its property taxes in 1982 as long as the Knicks and the Rangers agreed to play there for 10 years. Madison Square Garden pays no property tax today either, 31 years later.

Tax eBrief: Knicks Property Taxes REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Professional basketball is one of the popular attractions at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

 * Vital city revenue, lost in the fine print. Jim Dwyer – The New York Times. Madison Square Garden received a tax exemption on its property in 1982 as long as the Knicks and the Rangers agreed to play there for 10 years. Madison Square Garden pays no property tax today either, 31 years later. Link  

* Property losses may mean valuable tax breaks. Jeff Reeves – USA Today. As the April 15 tax deadline approaches, it’s worth noting that the IRS is sympathetic to Americans who suffered big losses in the last year. Link  

* Transportation tax ideas are a tough sell everywhere. Robert Thomson – The Washington Post. Republican Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell proposed some interesting new ideas on transportation financing, but the Virginia General Assembly, which holds some of the shortest legislative sessions in the nation, rarely approves big new ideas the first time legislators see them. Link  

* Obama presses for a tax overhaul. John McKinnon – The Wall Street Journal. President Barack Obama put a lot of emphasis on overhauling the tax system in his State of the Union address, a move that could re-energize the slow-moving process in Congress. Link

* The growing corporate cash hoard. Bruce Bartlett – The New York Times opinion. Many corporations are holding vast amounts of cash and other liquid assets, using them neither for investment nor to benefit shareholders. These assets are largely earned and held overseas, and not subject to American taxes until the money is brought home. Link

* Avon brings cash back home, takes tax hit. Serena Ng and Kate Linebaugh – The Wall Street Journal. Avon Products Inc. said Tuesday it may bring back some of its overseas cash to cover funding needs at home, joining a select group of American companies that have changed their minds about money they previously said was permanently held abroad. Link

* Those taking higher education credits can file taxes on Thursday. Ann Carrns – The New York Times. Taxpayers claiming higher education credits are getting a valentine from the Internal Revenue Service: They can begin filing their tax returns on Thursday, the agency announced this week. Link  

* From the Citi to the Caymans. The Wall Street Journal editorial. No matter how Jack Lew performs at his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, his nomination to be Treasury Secretary has already produced one big winner: the Cayman Islands. The Caribbean low-tax haven is getting a political rehabilitation thanks to Lew’s participation in a Cayman-based fund he invested in while working at Citigroup from 2006-2008. Link

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