A New York energy investor pleaded guilty on Monday to charges that he engaged in a years-long scheme to avoid paying more than $45 million in income and other taxes stemming in part from his sale of an oil company. Morris Zukerman, a former Morgan Stanley banker who serves as chairman of investment firm M.E. Zukerman & Co, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to one count of tax evasion and one count of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service. The plea came just a month after Zukerman, 72, was indicted following a two-year grand jury investigation.
The United States has dismissed a summons enforcement action against UBS AG after the bank complied with an Internal Revenue Service summons for bank records held in its Singapore office, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday. The IRS served an administrative summons on UBS for records pertaining to accounts held by Ching-Ye "Henry" Hsiaw in order to determine Hsiaw's federal income tax liabilities, the department said. UBS had refused to produce the records, and the United States filed a petition to enforce the summons, it said.
By Rory Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The California legislature agreed on Wednesday to a $122.5 billion spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 and sent it to Governor Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign it. Lower-than-expected income tax revenues in April caught state officials by surprise, and Brown said the state could take in $1.9 billion less than anticipated in taxes over the coming fiscal year. Democratic leaders in the state Senate praised the budget for making investments in the social safety net and early childhood education.
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to protect the identities of wealthy individuals and others who make anonymous, or "dark money," donations to politically active nonprofit groups. The measure, which drew lobbying support from billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, was approved in a 240-180 vote along party lines. It would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from collecting the names and addresses of donors who contribute $5,000 or more to 501(c) organizations, a name that refers to the tax code section that covers them.
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican-controlled oversight committee in the U.S. House of Representatives announced on Monday that it will consider a measure censuring the head of the Internal Revenue Service on allegations related to scrutiny of conservative groups. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who is already facing a Republican-led impeachment effort, would be condemned for conduct inconsistent with "trust and confidence" under a measure due to come before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday. Republicans, including the committee chairman, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, allege that Koskinen failed to comply with a House subpoena as lawmakers sought evidence that the agency targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny.
A bill to slash funding for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service and other financial regulators passed a key committee in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday after a long partisan fight. The expansive legislation would also place a halt on the payday lending restrictions that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently proposed. The Appropriations Committee voted 30-17 to approve the bill allocating funds for financial services and general government, which now goes to the full House.
(Reuters) - The U.S. solar energy market will nearly double new installations this year to 14.5 gigawatts, led by utility projects that developers scrambled to bring online in anticipation of the expiration of a key federal tax credit, according to a report published on Thursday. Solar installations rose 24 percent in the first quarter, accounting for 64 percent of all new U.S. electric generating capacity during the period, the report by GTM Research said. Utility-scale projects were rushed through last year on the expectation that a key federal tax credit would expire at the end of 2016.
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The corporate income tax is a major revenue source for the U.S. government, but it has been shrinking for decades and the three main presidential candidates could not differ more dramatically on what to do about it. Republican Donald Trump and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have starkly contrasting plans, some more detailed than others, for taxing corporations.
Chicago will be able to spread out state-mandated higher payments to its police and fire pensions after the Illinois Legislature on Monday overrode the governor's veto of a bill that became entangled in a political impasse. The Senate voted 39-19 and the House voted 72-43 to undo Republican Governor Bruce Rauner's veto on Friday that the city claimed would lead to a $300 million property tax hike. The bill gives Chicago short-term budget relief but will add to the city's big pension funding gap.
French police said Thursday they had raided the French headquarters of McDonald's and seized documents last week as part of an investigation into tax fraud. Agents of a special corruption, financial and tax crime unit searched the premises west of Paris on May 18, taking away company files, a police source said. French authorities suspect McDonald's has been illegally lowering its tax bill by channelling French earnings to Luxembourg, where its European headquarters is based, and where corporate taxes are much lower.
U.S. state personal income taxes tumbled in the key revenue month of April due to lower investment returns from weaker equities and energy prices in 2015, a Reuters analysis of state data found. This April, personal income tax (PIT) revenue fell by an average of 9.88 percent compared to the same month last year in the 32 U.S. states and Puerto Rico for which Reuters has data. Taxes on wages and investment income are a top revenue source for the 43 states that collect it.
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fighting charity fraud could become more difficult under a Republican bill in Congress to prohibit the U.S. Internal Revenue Service from collecting the names of top donors to charities and other nonprofit groups, critics warned on Tuesday. Meant to protect the privacy of wealthy individuals who make anonymous, or "dark money" donations to politically active nonprofit groups, the bill would eliminate a decades-old IRS donor-identity disclosure requirement for a range of tax-exempt groups that includes hospitals, universities, community and sports organizations. In a related development, the IRS itself plans to propose new regulations eliminating donor-reporting requirements for most tax-exempt organizations, according to a document posted on a White House Office of Management and Budget website.
Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen should be impeached within weeks, said Jim Jordan, chairman of the House of Representatives Freedom Caucus, in an interview. Bashing the tax-collecting agency is a perennial Capitol Hill practice, but Jordan and a handful of other conservatives have been pushing it further than usual. "When someone violates the public trust in such a way as this individual has, and that agency has, then that's what warrants ... impeachment," Jordan said.