Global Feed

Would a tax break be enough to change your shopping habits? One Scandinavian country is hoping to test that theory, and possibly permanently reshape consumers' attitudes, when it comes to many common household goods. Brian Beatty of Zen Cog Bicycle Company in Jacksonville, Florida, repairs a bike. (Photo by Jax REcycle via Flickr) It's not a new idea. Taxes have been used for, well, forever to try to encourage or discourage certain behaviors. That's why we have sin taxes on things most of us agree are not good, like smoking. And that's why we get tax benefits for actions perceived... Read more →

While the two major party presidential candidates have focused on corporations' overseas tax strategies, the Internal Revenue Service has been keeping an eye on individual taxpayers and their offshore accounts. Regardless of whether you call them tax havens, tax shelters or offshore accounts, they all mean $$$ for the IRS. And the IRS likes what it sees. Uncle Sam's tax agency announced last week that since it began its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, or OVDP, in 2009, it has collected $10 billion in taxes and had 100,000 taxpayers return to full federal tax compliance. The latest $10 billion in formerly... Read more →

Have global law enforcement officers cracked the biggest U.S. tax scam ever? Probably not, but it appears they have at least slowed one major criminal operation. Indian officials raided several call centers outside of Mumbai and arrested 70 people in connection with the extensive IRS impersonator tax scam. Indian investigators this week arrested around 70 people in the Mumbai suburb of Thane on charges of allegedly calling Americans and pretending to be Internal Revenue Service representatives in order to obtain payments for fake tax bills. The arrests, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal and Guardian newspapers, came the... Read more →

Whether Donald J. Trump's admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin is simply a one-sided man crush on Trump's part or a full-fledged bromance between the two is debatable. Click screenshot to watch the full Jimmy Fallon piece on YouTube. But one thing is certain. It's great fodder for late-night television comedy skits. On last night's The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon looked at the pros and cons of the relationship between the Republican presidential nominee and the divisive Russian autocrat. Of course, The Donald's taxes were part of the presentation. As Trump might phrase it, some people say that one... Read more →

Welsh officials are sooooo happy. On Sept. 12, lawmakers in Wales introduced the country's first homegrown tax in 800 years, finally, as a new government fact sheet says, producing "Taxes made in Wales for Wales." Dolwyddelan Castle in Wales, built by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth in the early 13th century to watch over one of the valley routes into Gwynedd. It was in the latter part of that century that the Welsh nation last passed a tax law. (Photo by United Kingdom National Archives via Open Government Licensing/Wikipedia) We'll see how long that excitement lasts. I will, however, cut the people... Read more →

Donald J. Trump's taxes are still under wraps, but a revealing statue of the Republican presidential candidate could be yours if you're willing to bid enough. Naked Donald Trump statue in Los Angeles (by @birdman via Instagram). Click image for a full view, if you dare. Surprise reveals across the country: Earlier this month, five identical life-size statues of a nude Trump appeared overnight on street corners in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle and New York City. The NYC clay version of the GOP White House hopeful was removed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.... Read more →

The European Commission (EC) says Ireland illegally provided tax breaks to U.S. based technology giant Apple. Because of that alleged improper tax arrangement, the EC says Apple must pay Ireland $14.6 billion in back taxes. "This selective tax treatment of Apple in Ireland is illegal under EC state aid rules, because it gives Apple a significant advantage over other businesses that are subject to the same national taxation rules," according to the EC statement on the tax ruling. "The Commission can order recovery of illegal state aid for a ten-year period preceding the Commission's first request for information in 2013,"... Read more →

It was a good Summer Olympics in Rio not only for Team USA, which won 121 medals, but also for Nike. A Nike factory store (NikeFactoryStoreVaughanMills_Wikimedia) The Oregon-based athletic apparel and shoe maker got lots of attention for its neon yellow/green shoes that most of the U.S. athletes sported on track and atop assorted medal podiums. Now, however, Nike is in an unwanted tax spotlight. Nike vs. IRS: Nike Inc. is fighting a nearly $223 million tax deficiency notice from the Internal Revenue Service. Uncle Sam's tax collector says the company owes the money after the agency rejected the way... Read more →

Apple CEO Tim Cook is not apologizing for the corporate tax strategies that the California-based multinational technology giant employs. Apple's headquarters is in Cupertino, California, but it takes maximum advantage of international tax breaks. (Photo by Joe Ravi, license via CC-BY-SA 3.0) U.S. tax law currently allows Apple and a slew of other global enterprises to keep money overseas and not pay tax on it until the funds are brought back, or repatriated. "And when we bring it back, we will pay 35 percent federal tax and then a weighted average across the states that we're in, which is about... Read more →

Only one thing is worse than getting a notice from the tax collector. Getting a notice that says you owe. OK, there is something that's even worse. That's the tax man telling you that you owe $18.4 trillion dollars. The United Kingdom's tax office recently sent a British taxpayer a notice saying he owed trillions. He handled the apparently erroneous tax bill notice in the right way. (Photo by Images Money via Flickr Creative Commons) Yes, trillion with a T. An amount with at least 13 digits before the decimal point. That's what happened this month to Giles Hembrough. Britsh... Read more →

The next time you think that paying your U.S. taxes stinks, be thankful you're not living in a place where that is literally true. Garbage trucks at Intel Bengaluru, India, offices as dispute over property taxes escalates. (Photo via PublicTV India Twitter feed) Global computer chip maker Intel found out that owing taxes in India can really stink. When workers arrived at Intel's office in Bengaluru, India (some might recognize it as Bangalore) on Monday, Aug. 8, they found loaded garbage trucks parked on the company's campus. The annoyingly aromatic vehicles were directed to the high tech company's facilities in... Read more →

Donald Trump's revised tax plan, which many economists and tax experts have decried as the latest version of Republican supply-side economics, is still getting a lot of attention. The biggest criticism is that the tweaked tax proposal, despite Trump's populist spin, still gives ways too much to the wealthy. Just who would win and exactly how much in the Trump vs. Hillary Clinton tax battle will continue to be debated (though perhaps not formally…) until Nov. 8. Delaware, considered by many to be America's top domestic tax haven, welcomes drivers and taxpayers looking to keep money out of tax collector... Read more →

It's official. Or as official as anything ever is with Donald J. Trump's run for the White House. The Republicans' 2016 presidential nominee will not be releasing his personal income tax returns. Click image to view the full interview. Tax question/response at 1 minute, 27 seconds. Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman, appeared today on CBS This Morning and, in response to a query by Norah O'Donnell, reiterated his candidate's position on keeping the returns private. "Mr. Trump has said that his taxes are under audit and he will not be releasing them," said Manafort said. Trump originally indicated he would... Read more →

Fact checkers got a head start last night when Donald J. Trump's speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination was leaked to the media. Click image to see NBC News' fact check highlights of Donald J. Trump's Republican presidential nominee acceptance speech. Of course, folks still had to watch the full 76 minutes that Trump talked in case he decided to deviate from the teleprompter. So few tax remarks: As a tax geek, I was disappointed that Trump had so few words about taxes. The word "tax" or "taxes" only showed up eight times, and not until well into (about the... Read more →

Dog lovers in Greece beware. That pooch you're petting could be working for the tax collector. Greece, which by some estimates is losing up to 16 billion euros ($17.62 billion U.S.) each year to tax evasion, is now looking for four-legged help. Dogs are assigned many tasks, like the ones the canines in this U.S. Army video are being trained to complete. Click image to watch what these Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois going through their military paces. Greek tax officials are recruiting dogs to sniff out potential tax dodgers who are hiding untaxed money, reports Reuters. Intertwined... Read more →

Sports fans tend to be, well, fanatic. To many, it's what a player does during the game, not his or her off-field antics that matter. Moment of the Champions League final with FC Barcelona's Leo Messi, left, going against Patrice Evra of Juventus at Olympiastadion in Berlin on June 6, 2015. (Photo by Biser Todorov via Wikimedia Commons) That kind of no-questions-asked support was what the Barcelona football -- or soccer, as most Americans call the sport -- team was counting on in the wake of its star player's tax evasion conviction. Public outreach, tax backlash: Last week after Lionel... Read more →

Boris Johnson, one of loudest voices calling for Britain's exit from the European Union, or Brexit, is in the spotlight again. The tumult continues across the pond, as Boris Johnson, described by many as the United Kingdom's version of Donald Trump, has now ended, at least temporarily, his political career. Johnson today announced he would not seek the post of Great Britain's Prime Minister. Current PM David Cameron announced his plans to resign that position just hours after the United Kingdom's June 23 vote to leave the European economic confederation was confirmed, essentially telling the pro-Brexit faction, "you broke it,... Read more →

It's been a crazy weekend, with much of Sunday spent with my mom, who's a major golf fan, and not a bad player herself when she was younger. She still has her hole-in-one trophy. Since I spent most of the day at my mother's, I didn't get around to blogging today. But because part of our conversation between lunch and pedicures and shopping (both for clothes and food) was about Brexit and the U.S. presidential election and, of course, how they converged at Donald Trump's renovated Turnberry, Scotland, golf course and resort, the following tax-related golf quip seemed an appropriate... Read more →

If you have substantial funds in foreign bank accounts or investments, you may need to file a Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. And you need to do so by next Wednesday, June 30. That's a firm deadline. No filing extension is allowed. Because of the no-give for this filing, the due date earns this week's By the Numbers honor. FBAR triggers: The filing is known as the FBAR, which is a sort-of scrambled acronym for the form's name. Although the Internal Revenue Service is intensely interested in tracking potentially taxable money wherever in the world it's... Read more →

June is jam-packed with special days. It kicks off with the official start of the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane season, which seems a bit late since we've already seen two storms form this year. Then there's Flag Day, Father's Day and the arrival, here in the Northern Hemisphere, of summer. And I'm not even counting things like today's National Doughnut Day and all the June weddings that will be special calendar dates for those happy couples. And yes, there are some tax connections to all those days. They are duly noted over in the ol' blog's right column, just under... Read more →