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The Morning Briefing: Tax Wars

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"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about tax in the United States.

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about taxation in the United States and UK.

1.) Tax Wars kick off as U.S. Senate readies vote on buffett rule. The nation's tax wars kicked off in earnest on Monday, as Senate Democrats readied a vote on forcing a minimum 30 percent income tax on ultra-high income earners and Republicans and their allies fired back by warning of higher taxes for all Americans.

2.) Romney's mortgage-tax plan is a drop in the bucket. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was overheard this weekend saying he'd tinker with the ever-popular mortgage-interest tax deduction to help achieve his goal of cutting individual tax rates across the board by 20 percent.

3.) Small businesses hope support at hand in budget. Small business hopes the May 8 federal budget will contain initiatives to support struggling firms, as a new survey found that over a quarter of bosses are not expecting an improvement in the economy for years. Research by business software provider MYOB found that just 19 per cent of business owners and managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expect the economy to improve within the next 12 months.

4.) Six percent of UK's wealthiest pay less than 10 percent tax: data. Some six percent of Britain's wealthiest people used tax reliefs to reduce their tax bills to less than 10 percent, according to data published by Britain's finance ministry on Monday, which it said highlighted the need to make the tax system fairer.

5.) Why Eric Cantor's $46 Billion tax boondoggle will cause a real headache for small businesses. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the House GOP are pushing a $46 billion boondoggle they call the "Small Business Tax Cut Act of 2012". So what do actual small businesses get? A big headache, according to a new "tax complexity analysis" of Cantor’s bill from the Joint Committee on Taxation (Congress's nonpartisan tax experts) and the IRS.

Bonus: Not ready for Tax Day? Tips to file for an extension.

Image credit: Scott Robinson

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure