ANR: SEC Approves PCAOB's Milk Money; GOP Less Enthused About Tax Reform; IRS' Tumblr Gets No Action | 02.14.13

U.S. IRS paid record $125 mln to whistleblowers in 2012 [Reuters]
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service paid a record $125.4 million in 2012 to whistleblowers who provided evidence of tax cheating, most of it to a former employee of Swiss bank UBS AG, according to an IRS report made public on Wednesday. The IRS whistleblower program has been criticized for moving too slowly and being given inadequate resources, causing whistleblowers to grow reluctant to file claims. The program was overhauled by Congress in 2006 amid such criticism. The IRS also reported a jump in collections of previously unpaid taxes and penalties resulting from the program, up to $592.5 million last year from $48 million in 2011.

SEC Approves PCAOB Budget and Accounting Support Fee [AT]
The Securities and Exchange Commission has unanimously approved the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s 2013 budget and the related annual accounting support fee that it charges to issuers and broker-dealers. The PCAOB budget totals $245.6 million and will be funded primarily by the collection of an accounting support fee totaling $234 million. The annual support fee was mandated under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. “It is critical that the PCAOB has the resources it needs to get the job done,” said SEC chairman Elisse B. Walter in a statement. “This budget review and approval process allows the SEC to determine appropriate funding levels and ensure that funds collected from issuers and broker-dealers are used efficiently and effectively.”

GOP leaders waver on tax reform [The Hill]
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has cast doubt on the likelihood of a big GOP tax push, and when Obama called for comprehensive reform in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, key Republicans sat on their hands. “There’s a debate going on about whether we can get to the kind of tax reform we want given the outcome of the election,” Boehner told television anchors before Obama’s address. “We’d love to do tax reform,” he said. “Lower rates for all, clean up the code, make it simpler. But why go through all that effort if it isn’t going anywhere, or why go through that effort if the outcome would be unacceptable?”

11 EU states to introduce tax on stock trades [CNN]
European Union finance ministers have cleared the way for 11 members of the eurozone to introduce a tax on trading aimed at raising billions in euros from the financial services industry and deterring speculation. The countries planning to introduce the tax include the eurozone's top four economies, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Austria, Estonia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia are also on board. The group of states decided to move ahead after attempts to adopt a trading tax at the EU and eurozone-wide level failed in 2011. The United Kingdom, Europe's leading financial center, will not adopt the new levy and abstained during the vote, along with Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and Malta.

Nothing For Nothing: HP Pays Dearly For Ernst & Young Tax Testimony [Forbes]
Not bad work if you can get it.

Silicon Valley accounting firms' sunny outlook [SVBJ]
That is, one step above "neutral."

No One Reblogs the IRS' Tumblr [Mashable]
Act surprised.

House Holds Hearing Today on Tax Reform and Charitable Contributions [TaxProf]
Get your DVR set to CSPAN.

England grants Usain Bolt a competition tax exemption [DMWT]
Not all track stars are having a bad February.

It’s cool to be Polish [Presseurop]
People have grown used to thinking of Poland as a country of emigrants — just ask the British, the Irish or the Germans. Yet more and more foreigners are now applying for Polish citizenship.

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