A simple rule meant to cut paperwork for U.S. companies has grown into one of the biggest multinational tax breaks around, costing the United States and other governments billions of dollars in lost taxes each year. It thrives thanks to determined business support, including a campaign two years ago that forced the Obama administration to retreat from altering it and tax professionals worldwide who exploit its benefits.
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Former House Speaker Glenn Richardson‘s political fund, enriched last week with nearly $220,000 from a separate campaign account, can legally spend the money almost any way it wishes. “He could spend it on anything he wants to,” said Rick Thompson, former executive secretary of the State Ethics Commission. “If he wanted to pay his rent or buy an automobile through the MMV PAC fund, there’s no restrictions on what he can do … under the Ethics in Government Act.”