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HEALTH
March 13, 2006
Although the article "And Now, Four-Star Hospitals" [March 13] provides a balanced view of specialty hospitals' benefits, the concerns regarding alleged harm from specialty hospitals are not well-founded. There is no evidence of any general hospital closing because of competition from a specialty hospital. A Medicare Payment Advisory Commission study found any financial harm suffered by general hospitals from specialty hospitals was temporary, and that specialty hospitals' competition actually forced general hospitals to do a better job. A Health and Human Services study found quality was consistently high at specialty hospitals, and that mortality rates were lower than at general hospitals.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 1986
It is suggested that a similar article be addressed to big business, and the rich, to forgo the many tax goodies and tax shelters which enable them to pay nothing or very little in federal taxes. Also ask the speculators in securities, commodities, real estate and other items to subject their capital gains at regular income tax rates as applied to wages and salaries. Ask those who sell their homes to forgo the $125,000 exclusion from income taxes and pay regular taxes on the gain.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2013 | By David Lazarus
As pre-enrollment begins for Obamacare, Albert is exploring his options. He wants to know more about health savings accounts. Good idea. Health savings accounts, or HSAs, can be a good fit for some, but not for all. Basically, a health savings account is like an IRA for healthcare. Money you put into it isn't subject to federal taxes. It can also roll over from one year to the next if unspent. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions If you withdraw money from an HSA for non-medical purposes, there are penalties.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Hiking, camping, hunting and fishing, among other outdoor activities, help generate $85.4 billion in annual spending in California, more than any other state in the country, according to a new study. Spending on outdoor recreation in the state also helps support 732,000 jobs and generates $6.7 billion in state and local taxes, according to the study by the Outdoor Industry Assn., the trade group for outdoor retailers, manufacturers and others. The report represents the first time that the organization has broken out the spending by individual state.
NATIONAL
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.
NEWS
April 26, 1989 | ROBERT A. ROSENBLATT, Times Staff Writer
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.) knows that statistics are strange and changeable things. When he was writing a law several years ago to provide an insurance fund for workers' pensions, government experts told him that an annual premium of 50 cents per worker would be enough. Let's double it to be sure, Bentsen said, and the premium was set at $1 a year. Today, the pension insurance system costs $16 a year for each worker, Bentsen said the other day, laughing at the memory of how wrong the actuaries can be. But now this same Lloyd Bentsen is making a big political bet that the experts have guessed right in figuring the cost of Medicare's catastrophic-illness program, which offers beneficiaries unlimited days of hospital care and coverage of prescription drugs.
NEWS
July 23, 2011 | By Jane Engle, Special to the Los Angeles times
Finally, good news from the gridlock in Congress. Or maybe not. The federal government Saturday stopped collecting taxes on airline tickets, so flying suddenly got cheaper, right? Wrong. Many airlines just increased their airfares to match the tax drop. At stake can be about $30 on a $300 ticket, the Associated Press says. What happened is that squabbling lawmakers failed to extend laws that authorize the government to collect the airline ticket tax and other aviation-related taxes.
NATIONAL
January 15, 2013 | Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's limousine will display the District of Columbia license plate reading "Taxation without Representation" during inauguration activities and through the remainder of his term to call attention to the district's lack of voting power in Congress. The decision, announced by a White House aide, comes in response to a resolution unanimously passed by the D.C. Council calling on Obama to display the slogan during the inaugural ride down Pennsylvania Avenue to highlight what the resolution calls the "fundamentally unfair and undemocratic condition of district residents.
NEWS
August 17, 2012 | By James Rainey
Mitt Romney is really sick of talking about his taxes. But he won't release more than two years of returns (the 2011 return is said to be on the way), so people are going to keep asking for more. On Thursday in South Carolina, Romney took the bait of a reporter's question to talk about his taxes, certainly against the fervent wishes of Republicans, who would love to see the issue firmly tabled. “Over the past 10 years, I never paid less than 13%,” he said. “I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that.
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