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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Is Their Good News In The Bad News?

From Retired Economist Scott Grannis' Blog:

This chart nicely illustrates just how weak the current recovery has been—it's actually unprecedented. According to my calculations, there is a 13% "gap" between the current size of the economy and where it would be if it were following its long-term trend growth rate (3.07% compound annual growth, which breaks down on average into 1% annual growth in the workforce and 2% annual increases in productivity). The current output gap is equivalent to lost income of $1.75 trillion, and that's inextricably bound up with the fact that there ought to be at least 10 million more jobs today if the economy were on its long-term trend growth track.

Friday, January 27, 2012

IRS Warns of Tax Refund Delays


The Internal Revenue Service warned Thursday that tax refunds could be delayed a week this tax season because of new anti-fraud safeguards.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Million Here and a Million There

While we try to get our heads around the millions in Romney's tax returns, maybe it is a good time to review the lesser millions of today's estate tax exemption.

An estate is exempt from estate taxes if it is worth less than $5.12 million this year, although change is not far off. Come 2013, if Congress doesn't make additional changes, this amount drops to $1 million. That means, for every dollar a taxable estate is above the $1 million exemption, it will be subject to federal estate taxes, up to 35%, upon the death of person creating the taxable estate. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

April 17, 2012, Deadline for 2011 1040s

IRS Launches 2012 Season with New Filing Deadline, Taxpayer Services and Reminders

The IRS has announced that taxpayers have until April 17, 2012, to file their tax returns and pay any tax due because April 15 falls on a Sunday and Emancipation Day, a holiday in the District of Columbia, falls on April 16. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until October 15, 2012, to file their 2011 tax returns (IRS News Release 2012-1IRS Fact Sheet 2012-1IRS Fact Sheet 2012-2IRS Fact Sheet 2012-3IRS Fact Sheet 2012-4, and IRS Fact Sheet 2012-5).
The IRS will begin accepting e-file and Free File returns on January 17, 2012. The IRS continues to encourage taxpayers to e-file as it is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds. The April 17 extended filing deadline applies to any return or payment due on April 15. It also applies to the deadline for requesting a filing extension and for making 2011 contributions to an IRA.

Friday, January 13, 2012

FBI warns of new banking scam

By David McMillin ·
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Posted: 1 pm ET
Some crafty criminals are aiming to steal one of the most valuable pieces of your personal property: your banking information.
In a new warning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns account holders of a new spam email scheme that involves a type of malware called "Gameover." The scheme involves fake emails from the National Automated Clearing House Association, the Federal Reserve or the FDIC. These messages attempt to trick recipients into clicking on a link to resolve some type of issue with their accounts or a recent ACH transaction. Once you click on the link, Gameover takes over your computer, and thieves can steal usernames, passwords and your money.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The Tax Relief Act extended a variety of temporary individual tax provisions that had expired at the end of 2009 or were scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. They include tax credits, deductions and various tax incentives.
All of the following were extended for two years through 2012:
  • Marriage penalty relief (the increased standard deduction and expanded 15% bracket for married taxpayers filing jointly);
  • The $1,000 child tax credit amount (previously scheduled to revert to $500 after 2010) and the expanded refundability of the credit;
  • The increased starting and ending points for the earned income credit and the increase in the credit amount for families with three or more qualifying children;
  • The liberalized child and dependent care credit rules (allowing the credit to be calculated based on up to $3,000 of expenses for one dependent or up to $6,000 for more than one);
  • The American opportunity tax credit;
  • The higher contribution amount and other EGTRRA changes to Coverdell education savings accounts;
  • The enhanced rules for student loan deductions introduced by EGTRRA;
  • The exclusion for employer-provided educational assistance (Sec. 127); and
  • The exclusion for National Health Services Corps and Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarships (Sec. 117(c)(2)).

The following provisions were extended for one year through 2011:
  • The treatment of mortgage insurance premiums as interest (Sec. 163(h)(3)(E));
  • The parity for exclusion from income for employer-provided mass transit passes and parking benefits (Sec. 132);
  • The allowance for tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes (Sec. 408(d)(8));
  • The temporary 100% exclusion of gain from the sale of certain small business stock under Sec. 1202, enacted by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, P.L. 111-240;
  • The deduction for tuition and related expenses (Sec. 222);
  • The state and local sales tax deduction (Sec. 164);
  • The deduction for elementary and secondary school teachers (Sec. 62(a)(2)(D));
  • The nonbusiness energy property credit (under the rules in effect before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-5) (Sec. 25C);
  • The credit for first-time Washington, D.C., homebuyers (Sec. 1400C); and
  • The special rules for qualified conservation contributions by individuals (Sec. 170(b)(1)(E)).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

IRS Contacts 1 in 8 Millionaires for Extra Taxes

January 5, 2012 (Associated Press) -- WASHINGTON - One in eight people earning at least $1 million annually was audited by the Internal Revenue Service last year, making them far likelier to be examined than those making below $200,000, according to IRS data released Thursday.

Monday, January 09, 2012


For 2011 only, the Tax Relief Act also reduced the rate for the Social Security portion of payroll taxes to 10.4% by reducing the employee rate from 6.2% to 4.2% (the employer’s portion remained at 6.2%). The payroll tax reduction replaced the former making work pay credit, which expired at the end of 2010. However, while the making work pay credit was phased out for higher-income taxpayers, the payroll tax reduction applied to all workers who paid payroll taxes, regardless of income level, and should be reflected in box 4 on the taxpayer’s 2011 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.

Friday, January 06, 2012

U.S. gained 200,000 jobs in December

The U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department announced. Unemployment fell to 8.5%, from a revised 8.7% in November. The department also revised the number of jobs added in November to 100,000, from 120,000. December was sixth straight month the economy has added more than 100,000 jobs.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Capital Gain Tax Rates

Capital gains. In 2003, JGTRRA (Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act) also lowered the capital gain tax rate to 15% (0% for taxpayers in the 10% and 15% ordinary income tax brackets). These rate changes also had been scheduled to expire after 2010. The Tax Relief Act’s postponement of JGTRRA’s sunset continues the lowered capital gain tax rate through 2012.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Individual Tax Rates

Tax rates. EGTRRA ( Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001) introduced a 10% tax bracket below the 15% bracket for individuals and reduced the other tax brackets to 25%, 28%, 33% and 35%. Those changes were scheduled to sunset after 2010 so that in 2011 the 10% rate would disappear (with income in that bracket reverting to the 15% bracket) and the other rates would revert to 28%, 31%, 36% and 39.6%, respectively. With the Tax Relief Act’s postponement of the EGTRRA sunset, those rates are scheduled to continue through 2012.

Monday, January 02, 2012

6 Big HealthTech Ideas That Will Change Medicine In 2012

“In the future we might not prescribe drugs all the time, we might prescribe apps.” Singularity University‘s executive director of FutureMed Daniel Kraft M.D. sat down with me to discuss the biggest emerging trends in HealthTech. Here we’ll look at how A.I, big data, 3D printing, social health networks and other new technologies will help you get better medical care. Kraft believes that by analyzing where the field is going, we have the ability to reinvent medicine and build important new business models.

Scroll down and click on top link at left dated 1/2/2012.  While you are at this site you may want to check other links.