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Capital Gains

November 25, 2012 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My wife and her brother are selling their parents' home. The parents transferred the deed to their children's names years ago. My wife should receive about $85,000 from the sale. Our yearly income (one salary; she's a stay-at-home mom) is around $75,000. My wife is worried about capital gains taxes and wants to reinvest in another real estate property because she's heard that that will eliminate the capital gains tax. Is that correct? I would really rather invest that money in our current home (finish the basement into a family room, update some items)
November 21, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
It would be bad enough if the purveyors of economic and fiscal misdirection had done no more than describe a certain event looming at the end of this year as the "fiscal cliff. " The imagery evokes an elemental crisis that can be avoided only by the heroic efforts of our statesmen in Washington. But in fact it's entirely their creation. The automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts could be avoided by the stroke of a pen. But they haven't stopped with merely applying a misleading label.
November 17, 2012
Re “ Romney blames loss on Obama 'gifts,' ” Nov. 15 Will somebody please let Mitt Romney know that the election is over and he lost? He had many, many months to present his vision for the future, and America (which he might not realize includes women, minorities and young people) rejected it. He should have let his eloquent concession speech serve as his final words. Instead, he spewed a fictitious, bigoted and condescending view of why he lost: It wasn't because he was poised to roll back women's healthcare rights, give tax breaks to the rich or dismiss 47% of the country as takers; it was because young people, minorities and the working class were bribed with gifts and blindly made their decision based on free stuff.
September 30, 2012 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My former employer is offering the one-time opportunity to receive the value of my pension benefit as a lump-sum payment. The other option is to leave the money where it is and get a guaranteed monthly check from a single life annuity when I reach retirement age. I am 40 and single, and I have been investing regularly in a 401(k) since graduating from college. I have minimal debt aside from a car payment. When does it make financial sense to take a lump sum now instead of an annuity check later?
September 21, 2012
Re "How we earned Romney's scorn," Opinion, Sept. 19 Judy Dugan's Op-Ed article is revealing. She writes as if any benefit a citizen gets from the government is an entitlement. She argues that when Congress lowered the capital gains rate to 15%, the bonus investors received was an "entitlement just as much as food stamps. " Does everything belong to the government? And is what the government lets you keep an "entitlement"? This is very different from our founding principles.
September 21, 2012 | By Ralph Vartabedian and Mark Z. Barabak
Mitt Romney paid $1.9 million in federal taxes in 2011 on income of $13.7 million, an effective rate of 14.1% that reflects the Republican presidential candidate's dividends, capital gains and other returns that are assessed at some of the lowest tax rates. Romney's tax return, which he released Friday, showed that he boosted his effective tax rate by not declaring all of the $4 million in charitable contributions that he made during 2011, instead only reporting $2.3 million. By doing so he stayed consistent with an earlier public statement that his tax rate for the year would not drop below 13%. The return does little to fundamentally change the perception of Romney's finances.
September 19, 2012 | Judy Dugan, Judy Dugan is a former journalist and consumer advocate who lives in Oxnard
My husband and I, recently retired, are among the people that Mitt Romney described with such disdain in the fundraiser video revealed Monday. We are dependent on federal and state entitlements. Romney aimed his scorn at the "47% [of Americans] who pay no federal income taxes" and "feel entitled to healthcare," among other things. Our household does not pay zero taxes, but our federal income taxes are a fraction of what we paid as full-time workers. Our Social Security income is untaxed.
September 9, 2012
Re "Private-equity shenanigans," Editorial, Sept. 6 The kind of tax manipulation you talk about may require changes to the tax code. But the common beliefs that capital gains are only for the rich and that taxes on them only affect the rich are folly. To increase capital gains (and dividends, for that matter) across the board would have huge affects on the middle class as well. Mutual funds, 401(k) plans and other investment plans have trillions of dollars invested by the average worker.
August 17, 2012 | By Alana Semuels
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Paul D. Ryanreleased two years of his tax returns Friday, days after the Obama campaign called on Mitt Romney to release three more years of his records.   The records reveal that Ryan and his wife, Janna, paid a higher effective tax rate than his Republican running mate and his wife, Ann. The Ryans paid an effective tax rate of 15.9% in 2010, or $34,233 of taxes on $215,417. They paid an effective rate of 20% in 2011 -- $64,764 of taxes on $323,416 of income. Ryan's tax returns can be found here , along with Romney's.
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