A: The initials PLC stand for public limited company, a type of business registration in Britain. The initials AG stand for aktiengesellschaft, which means joint stock company, a registration used in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Both registrations are similar to the corporation designation commonly used in the United States.
Deducting Half of Household Expenses
Q: I am a widow with no mortgage who is sharing her two-bedroom house with a student. We share the entire house equally. May I deduct half of the household expenses from the rent I declare as income?--C. L.
A: By all means. The Internal Revenue Service views your situation as your renting half the house. So, declare your rental income and deduct half of your household expenses. You should have no problem.
You Must Pay In to Get Benefits
Q: I am a 63-year-old retiree who recently moved to the United States from a foreign country. I have never worked in the U.S. and have made no contributions toward Social Security. However, I am now paying U.S. income taxes on my pension and I am a permanent alien resident. Does this now make me eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits?--M. A. W.
A: No. To qualify for Social Security and old-age medical benefits you must have contributed to the Social Security system for a minimum period of time. In your case, as a 63-year-old, you would have had to contribute to Social Security for 9 1/4 years in order to receive benefits from it.
Carla Lazzareschi cannot answer mail individually but will respond in this column to financial questions of general interest. Please do not telephone. Write to Money Talk, Business Section, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, Calif. 90053.