Bramwell's Lunch Beat: Dewey Fraud, Internet Tax, Mexico Withheld Refunds

Sep 2nd 2015
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lunch beat

Dewey defense loses bid to toss fraud case
Defense lawyers for three former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP leaders accused of committing financial fraud failed to get the case tossed out on Tuesday, as a judge ruled there was enough evidence to send the matter to a jury for deliberation, wrote Sara Randazzo of the Wall Street Journal. Judge Robert Stolz did reserve the right to dismiss some of the 100 counts against the trio – former Chairman Steven Davis, ex-CFO Joel Sanders, and former Executive Director Stephen DiCarmine – before sending it to the jury. Assistant District Attorney Steve Pilnyak argued in court on Tuesday that prosecutors have laid out enough evidence over three months to prove the ex-Dewey leaders oversaw a scheme to manipulate the fallen law firm's books in the years leading up to its 2012 bankruptcy. Davis' lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, said “there is not one piece of evidence that Mr. Davis directed anybody to do anything improper.”

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Conservative group redoubles effort on Internet taxes
A grassroots conservative group said on Tuesday it was stepping up its efforts to get a bill permanently barring taxes on Internet access to President Obama's desk, wrote Bernie Becker of The Hill. The National Taxpayers Union said it would be urging the Senate to pass a permanent version of the Internet Tax Freedom Act before the current temporary version expires at the end of September. The House passed a permanent measure to ban states from taxing broadband access in June. The Internet Tax Freedom Act has broad backing on both sides of the aisle. But supporters have had trouble getting a permanent version passed in part because champions of a bill giving states more latitude to tax online purchases have tried to link the two measures.

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Mexico withheld millions in tax refunds from P&G, Unilever, Colgate
Mexico's government withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in tax refunds owed to Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Colgate combined as it sought to coax them and other multinationals to pay more income tax locally, wrote Alexandra Alper of Reuters. Mexico's tax authority SAT held back more than $384 million in value-added tax (VAT) from the three companies while it was probing them and nearly 270 others for possible tax avoidance after President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in late 2012. Unilever reached a deal last year to pay more income tax in Mexico, three people familiar with the negotiations said. One said the firm has since received about $131 million in VAT it was owed. Procter & Gamble and Colgate have not reached deals, sources say. Four tax attorneys and two accountants interviewed by Reuters said linking VAT refunds to income tax deals amounted to violating Mexico's constitution.

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Quick Links

  • ‘Cadillac tax' seen as broad, complex and likely to snag middle class (Associated Press)
  • Tax planning for the risk of a Bernie Sanders win (Forbes)
  • Eight things to watch for in Donald Trump's tax plan (New York Times)
  • Trump's lack of specifics on tax is hardly unique (Tax Analysts)
  • Messing with the markets: Using the tax laws to influence economic behavior (Tax Analysts)
  • How much does your state collect in excise taxes per capita? (Tax Foundation)
  • Poll: California voters oppose gas tax hike (The Hill)
  • AICPA names Cari Weston director of taxation (AICPA)
  • The case of the unreturned call for tax code simplicity (TaxVox)
  • Could a carbon tax prevent the catastrophic consequences of climate change that Obama fears? (TaxVox)

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