Daily Tax Update - May 9, 2013: IRS, Australia & UK Announce Plan to Share Information to Combat Offshore Tax Evasion

THE DAILY TAX UPDATE WILL BE PUBLISHED ON A PERIODIC BASIS UNTIL CONGRESS RETURNS MAY 14 

IRS, AUSTRALIA & UK ANNOUNCE PLAN TO SHARE INFORMATION TO COMBAT OFFSHORE TAX EVASION:  The tax administrations from the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom announced a plan to “share tax information involving a multitude of trusts and companies holding assets on behalf of residents in jurisdictions throughout the world.”

According to the IRS, “The three nations have each acquired a substantial amount of data revealing extensive use of such entities organized in a number of jurisdictions including Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and the Cook Islands.  The data contains both the identities of the individual owners of these entities, as well as the advisors who assisted in establishing the entity structure.  The IRS, Australian Tax Office and HM Revenue & Customs have been working together to analyze this data and have uncovered information that may be relevant to tax administrations of other jurisdictions.  Thus, they have developed a plan for sharing the data, as well as their preliminary analysis, if requested by those other tax administrations.”

“This is part of a wider effort by the IRS and other tax administrations to pursue international tax evasion,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller.  "Our cooperative work with the United Kingdom and Australia reflects a bigger goal of leaving no safe haven for people trying to illegally evade taxes.”

BAUCUS, CAMP LAUNCH NEW TAX REFORM WEBSITE:  Today, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus announced the launch of a new website (TaxReform.gov) aimed at obtaining input from the American public on tax reform.  The website was developed with the Joint Committee on Taxation, and is intended to “serve as a platform for the American public to weigh in on tax reform.”

Baucus said, “America’s tax code today is complex, inefficient and acting as a brake on our economy.  Chairman Camp and I believe it is in need of a serious overhaul.  Over the past two years we’ve held more than 50 hearings and heard from hundreds of experts on how to fix the tax code, to make it simpler and fairer for families and spark a more prosperous economy.  Now it’s time to hear from the most important stakeholders — the American people. Through the web site TaxReform.gov and Twitter all Americans will be able to weigh in and participate directly in the debate.  We want to know what people think the nation’s tax system should look like and how we can make families lives easier.”

Camp said, “The tax code is littered with special interest provisions that Washington has put in over the last 27 years.  It is time to go line-by-line through the tax code and clean it up.  There is no reason Americans should have to spend over 6 billion hours and over $160 billion every year just trying to comply with the tax code.  Chairman Baucus and I believe in a tax code that is more effective and efficient.  A simpler, fairer tax code will help families and it will help strengthen our economy.  But Washington doesn’t have all the answers.  That is why we are joining together in a non-partisan way to invite you to weigh in on this debate.  We want you, the American people, to share your story and your ideas about how our tax code should work.”

SENATE FINANCE RELEASES INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS PAPER:  Today, the Senate Finance Committee released the fifth in a series of papers on tax reform options. The document can be accessed via: International Competitiveness

SELECT REVENUE MEASURES SUBCOMMITTEE TO HOLD HEARING ON SMALL BUSINESS AND PASS-THROUGH ENTITY TAX REFORM DISCUSSION DRAFT:  On May 15, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will hold a hearing on the small business and pass-through entity tax reform discussion draft released on March 12, 2013.

In announcing the hearing, Chairman Tiberi said, “Small businesses employ half of the private sector workforce and earn about half of all business income in the United States, so it is a major concern that nine out of ten small businesses are forced to rely on paid tax preparers because the tax code is too complicated for them to understand.  We need our entrepreneurs using their capital to invest and create jobs, not to fill out paperwork and tax forms, and one of the Committee’s top priorities in tax reform is to help them do that.” 

PRESIDENT NOMINATES NEGA AND THORNTON TO U.S. TAX COURT:  President Obama announced his intent to nominate Joseph W. Nega and Michael B. Thornton as Judges to the United States Tax Court. Joseph Nega is a Senior Legislation Counsel to the Joint Committee on Taxation of the United States Congress, a position he has held since 2008.  Judge Michael B. Thornton currently serves as a Judge of the United States Tax Court, a position held since March 1998. 

“These two individuals have demonstrated unwavering integrity and a firm commitment to public service throughout their careers,” said President Obama.  “I am proud to nominate them to serve on the United States Tax Court.”

TAX BILLS INTRODUCED MAY 8:

1. [113rd] H.R.1883 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a deduction for the purchase of secure gun storage or safety device for the securing of firearms.
Sponsor: Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] (introduced 5/8/2013)      Cosponsors(1) 
Committees: House Ways and Means; House Judiciary 
Latest Major Action: 5/8/2013 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.


2. [113rd] H.R.1885 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow eligible veterans to use qualified veterans mortgage bonds to refinance home loans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] (introduced 5/8/2013)      Cosponsors(4) 
Committees: House Ways and Means 
Latest Major Action: 5/8/2013 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.


3. [113rd] H.R.1887 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to deny certain tax benefits to persons responsible for an oil spill if such person commits certain additional violations.
Sponsor: Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-16] (introduced 5/8/2013)      Cosponsors (1) 
Committees: House Ways and Means 
Latest Major Action: 5/8/2013 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.


4. [113rd] S.900 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to regulate payroll tax deposit agents, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] (introduced 5/8/2013)      Cosponsors (None) 
Committees: Senate Finance 
Latest Major Action: 5/8/2013 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.


5. [113rd] S.906 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the technologies through which a vehicle qualifies for the credit for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.
Sponsor: Sen Crapo, Mike [ID] (introduced 5/8/2013)      Cosponsors (3) 
Committees: Senate Finance 
Latest Major Action: 5/8/2013 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.


6. [113rd] S.910 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow Indian tribes to receive charitable contributions of apparently wholesome food.
Sponsor: Sen Murkowski, Lisa [AK] (introduced 5/8/2013)      Cosponsors (1) 
Committees: Senate Finance 
Latest Major Action: 5/8/2013 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.