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November 28, 2022

ANR: Romney Tax Plan Details Will Have to Wait; Hoogervorst States the Obvious; Starbucks’ Brews Up Tax Avoidance | 10.15.12

Ryan Says GOP Win Would Spur a Tax Deal [WSJ]
Rep. Paul Ryan said the presidential campaign, despite its contentious tone, is putting a focus on taxes and deficit cutting that could pave the way for a bipartisan overhaul if running mate Mitt Romney wins the White House. Mr. Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, said a Romney administration would be able to work with Democrats to pass a tax overhaul, including Mr. Romney's plan for a 20% reduction in individual tax rates. But he said the GOP ticket wouldn't detail which tax breaks it wanted to scale back in order to prevent the tax cut from adding to the deficit, and that it was sufficient for Mr. Romney to lay out general principles. "We shouldn't be negotiating the details of tax reform in the middle of a campaign," Mr. Ryan said in his first interview with a national newspaper since he debated Vice President Joe Biden last Thursday.

Gillespie: Romney tax plan specifics will come after election [The Hill]
Romney has vowed to cut income tax rates across-the-board by 20 percent but has not provided details about which specific deductions and other tax code provisions he’d seek to scuttle to pay for the plan. “To start negotiating in a campaign environment, you are going to lock in Republicans, you are going to lock in Democrats,” Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said on Fox News Sunday.

IASB chairman laments delays to reform [FT]
The chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board has delivered a scathing assessment of its progress in carrying out urgent reforms, saying repeated delays had shaken people’s faith in the body’s ability to meet deadlines. Hans Hoogervorst said the slow pace was redolent of “dysfunctional working processes and dysfunctional decision-making”. He added: “We have broken deadlines so often that nobody believes in them any more.”

How Starbucks avoids UK taxes [Reuters]
The Seattle-based group, with a market capitalization of $40 billion, is the second-largest restaurant or cafe chain globally after McDonald's. Accounts filed by its UK subsidiary show that since it opened in the UK in 1998 the company has racked up over 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) in coffee sales, and opened 735 outlets but paid only 8.6 million pounds in income taxes, largely due because the taxman disallowed some deductions. Over the past three years, Starbucks has reported no profit, and paid no income tax, on sales of 1.2 billion pounds in the UK. McDonald's, by comparison, had a tax bill of over 80 million pounds on 3.6 billion pounds of UK sales. Kentucky Fried Chicken, part of Yum Brands Inc., the no. 3 global restaurant or cafe chain by market capitalization, incurred taxes of 36 million pounds on 1.1 billion pounds in UK sales, according to the accounts of their UK units. Yet transcripts of investor and analyst calls over 12 years show Starbucks officials regularly talked about the UK business as "profitable", said they were very pleased with it, or even cited it as an example to follow for operations back home in the United States.

The IRS's 'feeble' grip on big political cash [Politico]

Since the IRS granted its tax exemption in 2004, Americans for Prosperity has never received so much as a phone call, a letter or an inquiry from the agency about its spending, according to Chairman Art Pope. AFP has turned in its tax returns every year, just as the law requires, reporting that it did not spend a dime on politics — an answer that seems implausible from a common-sense perspective, but one that the IRS appears to have accepted as consistent with its vague and ambiguous definition of political activity. AFP isn’t alone; at least $134 million in ads, mail, phone calls and other political spending this election have come from tax-exempt groups that said they didn’t plan to spend money on political campaigns, according to a POLITICO analysis of records filed with the IRS and the Federal Election Commission, as well as news reports and press releases. If you’re looking for the cop on the beat for much of the outside spending in 2012 — when Republican-allied groups alone intend to spend upwards of $1 billion — stop by the IRS, one of the most feared and hated government agencies around. Except when it comes to political spending, the IRS is more like a toothless tiger.

Gunplay Pulls Gun on Accountant Caught on Tape [TMZ]
Violence against accountants must be stopped!

Man Finds Car 2 Years After Losing It During Night Of Drinking In Germany [Reuters]
A man in southern Germany has been reunited with his car two years after forgetting where he parked, Bavarian police said on Thursday. After a night of drinking in December 2010 and an unsuccessful search the next day, the vehicle's owner reported his car as missing to the Munich police. Authorities discovered it by chance last month after a traffic warden noticed that its inspection stickers had expired – 4 km from the spot where the now 33-year-old craftsman originally thought he had parked. "The weird thing is that it turned up so far away, although the owner was pretty sure of where he had left it," said police spokesman Alexander Lorenz.

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