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June 2013 Archives

Carrots and sticks in the IRS worker reclassification program

When the IRS puts out a carrot, it doesn't necessarily leave it out indefinitely. For example, the agency has rolled out more than one program in recent years regarding the disclosure of previously unreported offshore accounts. But in order to encourage participation, these programs typically come with an ending date.

Ten island territories pledge to lift the veil on corporate tax cover-ups

One small step for a few island territories could mark a giant leap forward in corporate tax accountability. For years, certain islands represented more than fun in the sun for vacationers: for companies in the know, they were synonymous with tax shelters.

Starbucks Begins Paying UK Taxes It Doesn't Even Owe

Back on June 5th, we posted an article discussing how many of the largest companies in the world were coming under scrutiny in Europe for allegedly not paying their fair share of taxes. One of those companies, Starbucks, began making payments today. The interesting thing is that it does not owe any of the taxes it is paying. In effect, Starbucks is paying more than it legally and fairly needs to.

G8 Meeting Purportedly a Success on Tackling International Tax Evasion Issues

In a meeting of the eight wealthiest countries in the world, the Group Eight (G8) discussions on how to deal with international tax evasion was so successful that the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury (highly historical and fancy terms for treasurer) George Osborne stated that "more was accomplished in the last 24 hours than in the past 24 years."

Italy's Berlusconi Loses Appeal in Tax Fraud Case - Appeals Some More

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi cannot seem to get out of the news. Part of it might have to do with the fact that he owns a controlling share in Italy's Mediaset, the largest media company in the country. The rest might have to do with the alleged tax fraud he's been convicted of regarding Mediaset. In another blow to his attempts to shake off this reputation-buster, Italy's Constitutional Court ruled that the lower court's decision to continue with a hearing that the then-prime minister didn't attend was proper.

Designers Dolce and Gabbana Convicted of Tax Evasion - May Have a Chance to Design Latest Prison Wear

World famous designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana fame have been convicted of evading taxes on over 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in royalties. The criminal act involved selling off some of their main brands to a Luxembourg holding company allegedly to evade paying taxes.

So We Have to Pay Taxes on The Things We Buy With Fake Money in a Video Game Now?

Not exactly, but under certain circumstances you might! Online role playing games, made famous by games such as World of Warcraft (WoW), are a great example of the growing trend of virtual economies and virtual currencies. The relationship between the virtual economies and the actual economy and what is taxable is becoming a growing area of concern for the IRS, Congress, and taxation law in general.

IRS Issues Chief Counsel Notice Regarding Litigation of Innocent Spouse Cases

In light of recent United States Tax Court decisions and subsequent affirmation by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the IRS has issued a notice to Chief Counsel Attorneys informing them of how to proceed with innocent spouse cases and the standards of review to expect from the Tax Court.

Europe's "Shadow Economy" and its Effects on Tax Revenue

Let's be honest, no one likes to pay taxes. But this aversion to giving up some of our hard earned money is usually offset by our desire to maintain a well-ordered society and infrastructure. Nevertheless, the "bad guy," so to speak, in each country is usually the tax collector. In the United States both Uncle Sam and the IRS often get the bad rap. In Europe, it is a rather similar affair. While naming each European country's "bad guy" would take more time than it's worth, talking about the growing "shadow economy" is worthy of the time.

Swiss Bank UBS Continues to Have Tax Problems: UBS France Now Under Fire

Four years ago, US tax probes into UBS found the bank aiding wealthy American clients evade paying federal taxes by placing their funds into secret Swiss bank accounts. The settlement, one of the largest in history, consisted of UBS paying over $780 million to the United States and, most controversially, handing over the names and account information of about 4,500 US taxpayers.

Tax Practices of Apple and Other Major Technology Firms Overseas Cause Senate to Investigate

The United States Senate is investigating Apple for allegedly negotiating a "special tax deal" with the government of Ireland as part of its effort to keep its massive cash hoard (currently valued at over $145 billion) overseas. In fact, Apple has chosen to take out loans to pay for its dividends and other expansions rather than repatriate some of the cash it has stockpiled. But the scrutiny is not limited to just Apple, and it's not limited to just the United States either.

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