Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why We'll Always Need Tax Accountants

Today's Wall Street Journal has a story illustrating why tax accountants are in such demand. For those following the world of state taxes, it probably comes as no surprise that Illinois and Wal-Mart are locked in a dispute over the retailer's strategy of shifting revenues to a subsidiary based overseas, even though the unit's purpose is to receive money from stores in the Prairie State. It also mentions the state's dispute with McDonald's over a Delaware unit that owns restaurants in the Virgin Islands, and Minnesota's challenge of Burlington Northern Santa Fe's paying interest to Delaware subsidiaries doing business in Canada.

If you never considered the amount of state tax revenue big retailers are on the hook for, consider the lengths to which they'll go to, er, mitigate them.

It's a hugely complex issue, with the resolution often involving discussions between corporate and state tax departments, attorneys and specialists on the ground. You don't see many articles about it in the general business press.

Why Wal-Mart Set Up Shop in Italy [WSJ - $]

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