SEC gets breather on global accounting body [Reuters]
The United States has won a three-year stay on its membership of an accounting oversight panel, keeping alive hopes for a single set of global book-keeping rules that will help investors assess companies. Leaders from world's top 20 economies (G20) have repeatedly called on the United States and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to align their rules so that investors can compare companies easily. The United States has yet to say if it will adopt IASB standards, prompting the G20 this month to tell both sides to come up with an alignment plan by December.
Dow Chemical Loses $1 Billion Tax Shelter Case [TaxProf]
This smarts:"The resolution of this case turns, in large part, on this Court's application of judicial doctrines that have been developed by the courts for more than three-quarters of a century. For the reasons which follow, the Court finds that the Chemtech transactions should be disregarded for tax purposes because: a) the transactions fail both tests under the economic substance doctrine; b) the partnership was a sham and had no legitimate business purpose; and c) even if this Court were to respect the partnership as a separate entity for tax purposes, it would not treat the banks as true equity partners. Finally, the Court finds that a 20% penalty applies for substantial understatement and negligence."
Acting commissioner outlines IRS plans for sequestration [JofA]
With mandatory government spending cuts looming, Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller sent a memo to all IRS employees on Thursday, outlining the agency’s plans in the event sequestration occurs as planned on Friday. He outlined spending cuts the IRS plans to make, including employee furloughs, but emphasized that the furloughs would not affect tax season. The IRS’s largest expense is employee pay, and the agency plans to furlough employees, starting in the summer, if the mandatory across-the-board spending cuts take effect. Miller anticipates five to seven furlough days per employee through the end of the government’s fiscal year. The furloughs would apply to all IRS employees and would amount to no more than one furlough day per pay period.
The Charitable Contribution Deduction: Reform and Simplification [TPC]
Who wants to get into the weeds of split interest and partial interest gift rules?
HG: "The latest chapter in Washington’s never-ending fiscal drama is about to play out in tomorrow’s sequester–a word most Americans should never have had to learn. For all the partisan noise about these automatic spending cuts, it is important to keep in mind that they are both relatively small and very stupid."
I'll bet you can't guess which song.