Tax rates Feed

Tax reform, or at least tax cuts, will top Congress' agenda when it gets back from August recess. But will Representatives and Senators actually rewrite the tax code the way most Americans want? Today's Shout Out Saturday piece says maybe not. Donald J. Trump reportedly is now backing a corporate tax rate of 20 percent to 25 percent, up from the 15 percent rate included in his April tax overhaul outline. That slightly higher business tax rate jibes with what corporate executives and business lobbyists say is attainable. That, however, is not what American taxpayers want, according to a recent... Read more →


"We looked at healthcare and said let's make sure that we do tax reform better and differently." — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) talking about what's next legislatively after the GOP failed earlier today to deliver on its seven-year pledge to end Obamacare. House Speaker Paul Ryan has been pushing his "A Better Way" economic and tax plan for years. Will he finally succeed in 2017 as a Republican-led Congress and White House turn their attention to tax reform? Doing a better job in rewriting the tax code than they did during the recent Affordable Care Act repeal and/or replace... Read more →


Californians who just can't kick their nicotine habit are now paying substantially more for their addiction. Effective April 1, the Golden State's tobacco tax went up by $2 per a pack of cigarettes. The state's tax on smoking now is $2.87 per pack. And while that is indeed a massive jump, it's just catching up on years of a low tax rate. It's been 20 years since California increased its cigarette tax. The tax increase, the final tax amount and the years it's taken for California to get here each were in the running for this week's By the Numbers... Read more →


Whenever I want to escape the crazy that is real life, I turn to the movies. Sometimes it's my favorite tax-themed films. Amanda Abbington and Martin Freeman, pictured here on the set of "Sherlock" with Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the show's title character behind them, have separated. (Photo courtesy PBS Masterpiece) Other times when I can't get away for a couple of hours, I surf entertainment news. Go ahead, judge me. Then admit you've done the same! In perusing the web recently, I stumbled across a list of celebrity couples who have split. In addition to the usual Brangelina and... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service would really, really like if all of us would use tax software to prepare and e-file our taxes. It even gives around 70 percent of filers the chance to do so for free at the aptly named Free File section of the IRS website. But a lot of taxpayers who qualify for Free File decide instead to pay a tax pro to file their returns, according to a new survey by NerdWallet. Tax pros preferred: More than 1 in 3 taxpayers, or 38 percent, who make less than $50,000 annually hired a tax professional, according to... Read more →


Time is rapidly running out to make year-end tax moves, but if you're a septuagenarian, here's one that you definitely cannot afford to overlook. If you're 70½ or older, congrats and happy, happy on all those full and half birthdays! Remember, though, that now you must take out at least an IRS-specified amount from your tax-deferred retirement account(s) by the end of the year. Miss the deadline and you'll owe a major tax penalty. (Birthday party photo courtesy Today's Senior Network) Half birthday tax trigger: If you're 70½ and have a traditional IRA (or more than one of these accounts)... Read more →


The Dow is again flirting with the 20,000 mark. It closed today at 19,974.62. The run-up has finally prompted you to evaluate your portfolio to make some year-end rebalancing and, of course, tax moves. Good for you. But don't undermine that effort by making these tax mistakes. 1. Buying a tax bill: Timing is everything, especially when it comes to investments. If you buy a mutual fund just before it issues capital gains distributions, you've also bought yourself a tax bill. Worse, Morningstar's Christine Benz points out, by adding a holding to your taxable account before it makes a payout,... Read more →


Small business owners are hoping that their shops are filled with lots of paying customers this annual Small Business Saturday. The first Small Business Saturday was Nov. 27, 2010. That initial year, it was the creation of the financial company American Express. In 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously made the day official. The day celebrates small businesses and encourages supporting them and how they impact communities. They also are hoping that by this time next year, their top tax rate will be just 15 percent. More business tax breaks ahead? That lower business tax rate, a 20 percentage point drop... Read more →


It's that special tax time of year, when the Internal Revenue Service releases its annual inflation adjustments for more than 50 tax provisions. This is the first in a series on the 2017 tax year inflation adjustments. Links to the other posts are at this end of this article. For 2017, the total is 55 amounts changes, ranging from the widely used tax rate tables and income brackets and standard deduction and exemption amounts to the more arcane treatment of dues paid to agricultural or horticultural groups and the tax on arrow shafts. As much fun as it would be... Read more →


Remember back in July when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie indicated that he might end the Garden State's tax reciprocity agreement with neighboring Pennsylvania? The Benjamin Franklin Bridge spans the Delaware River and connects Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden, New Jersey. It is used by commuters who live in one state and work in the other. He wasn't kidding. Friday, Sept. 2, was the last day for either state to stick with or pull out of the agreement for another year. And as the long Labor Day holiday began with lots of folks heading off for one last summer hurrah --... Read more →


The European Commission (EC) says Ireland illegally provided tax breaks to U.S. based technology giant Apple. Because of that alleged improper tax arrangement, the EC says Apple must pay Ireland $14.6 billion in back taxes. "This selective tax treatment of Apple in Ireland is illegal under EC state aid rules, because it gives Apple a significant advantage over other businesses that are subject to the same national taxation rules," according to the EC statement on the tax ruling. "The Commission can order recovery of illegal state aid for a ten-year period preceding the Commission's first request for information in 2013,"... Read more →


Apple CEO Tim Cook is not apologizing for the corporate tax strategies that the California-based multinational technology giant employs. Apple's headquarters is in Cupertino, California, but it takes maximum advantage of international tax breaks. (Photo by Joe Ravi, license via CC-BY-SA 3.0) U.S. tax law currently allows Apple and a slew of other global enterprises to keep money overseas and not pay tax on it until the funds are brought back, or repatriated. "And when we bring it back, we will pay 35 percent federal tax and then a weighted average across the states that we're in, which is about... Read more →


Donald J. Trump has rewritten a lot of rules so far this presidential election season. Today, however, he learned one of the old ones when it comes to taxes. Sometimes you have to compromise. Donald J. Trump, the 2016 Republican presidential nominee, presents his economic policies and revised tax plan to the Detroit Economic Club on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. Click image to watch the C-SPAN video of the full speech. Zero tax rate zeroed out: In a speech today at a packed Detroit Economic Club, the Republican presidential nominee presented a glimpse of his economic plan, including some changes... Read more →


If you need further evidence of how the 2016 presidential election has become a political Bizarro World, check out the list of billionaires who have disavowed one of their ostensible peers, self-proclaimed -- we're still waiting for the tax return proof -- billionaire Donald J. Trump, and opted instead to support Hillary Clinton. Bizarro World DC Comic panel courtesy DC-Wikia Meg Whitman, former Hewlett Packard executive and one-time California gubernatorial GOP candidate, says she's with her, meaning Clinton. Beaucoup billionaires: She joins fellow billionaires Michael Bloomberg (former New York City mayor and news/investment media mogul), Mark Cuban (owner of the... Read more →


This post was updated Thursday, July 27, 2017. Summer is winding down. That means school soon will be back in session. And that means several states are holding sales tax holidays. A young man double checks and checks off school supplies from his back-to-school shopping list. That's a great way to make the most of your state's sales tax holiday. (Photo by Daniel X. O'Neil via Flickr Creative Commons) Sixteen states have scheduled these annual tax-free shopping days in 2017, ranging from a couple of days to a full week. Early events: Three states kick off the summer of 2017... Read more →


The Fourth of July is over, but if your neighborhood is anything like mine, you'll be hearing fireworks for another week or so. Yes, my neighbors are pyrotechnic scofflaws. Even if you don't participate in the literal lighting of firecrackers or bottle rockets post-July-4, there are still plenty of metaphorical tax fireworks that you can take advantage of as we head into the heart of summer. Here are five easy tax moves to consider in July. 1. Get storm ready. We've had four named tropical systems so far this Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane season. So far, thank goodness, there's been... Read more →


While most of the world this week was watching the court battle begin over pop icon Prince's estate, some U.S. House members were trying to reconfigure federal law to capture more tax money from more estates. "Requiring more of the wealthiest estates to pay the estate tax and raising the estate tax rate are commonsense steps we can take toward making our tax code fairer," House Ways and Means Committee ranking minority member Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) said in announcing introduction of H.R. 4996, the Sensible Estate Tax Act of 2016. The estate tax has been around in some form... Read more →


The presidential candidates are duking it out for their parties' nomination, with things heating up on both the Democratic and Republican sides as the hopefuls look to New York's primary. So far The Donald and Cruz and Hillary and Bernie haven't gone head-to-head over their tax plans. A couple of publications, however, are facing off, over ways to calculate what we'd pay under their various tax proposals. Figures don't lie, but…: Last month, Vox published a candidates' tax calculator that it created in conjunction with the Tax Policy Center (TPC). The folks at Vox and TPC made it clear that... Read more →


All of us tax procrastinators -- and yes, I use "us" because I'm one of them -- still have three weeks to file our 2015 returns. But in the spirit of delaying my current personal tax task a bit longer (c'mon; 21 days is plenty of time!), I'm taking some more time today to look at what the top four presidential candidates' tax plans might mean for my future tax bills. Projected tax bills for a jointly filing married couple with no kids making $150,000 a year. The Tax Policy Center and Vox have made finding out easy with a... Read more →


Happy New Year! No, I haven't hit a time warp, although that could be cool! But I digress. Today is the start of the Year of the Monkey. Although 2016 is the Year of the Monkey, Chinese New Year parades still tend to be led by dragons. The Lunar New Year that began today is the biggest holiday in China. Thanks to the large communities of Chinese heritage throughout the world --- and because folks will jump at any chance to party -- it's a festive time worldwide. Although China officially operates on the international Gregorian calendar, the traditional lunisolar... Read more →