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Federal Taxes

NATIONAL
January 23, 2012 | Staff and wire reports
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reportedly paid about $3 million in federal income taxes in 2010 on income of $21.7 million. Romney's tax returns show most of his income came from investments. He also gave nearly $3 million combined to charitable causes and the Mormon Church, helping reduce his effective tax rate to less than 14%. The former Massachusetts governor agreed to make public his 2010 federal tax returns, and his estimates for 2011, after opponents on both the left and right charged that he was hiding his income and assets.
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NEWS
January 19, 2012 | By James Oliphant
Under fire from his GOP rivals, Mitt Romney on Thursday pledged to eventually release his tax returns, but suggested they would be made public only after he had secured the presidential nomination. "I'll release my returns in April, and probably for other years as well,” Romney said at the Republican debate in South Carolina, adding that he would do so if he were the nominee. He swiftly tried to pivot off the issue to President Obama, whom he accused of playing "90 rounds of golf" while doing little to cure the nation's economic woes.
NEWS
January 19, 2012 | By Paul West
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, paid $994,708 in federal taxes on gross income of $3,142,066 in 2010, according to copies of the couple's joint tax return that his campaign released at the start of Thursday night's GOP debate. The 31.5% tax rate paid by the Gingriches is roughly double the amount that rival Mitt Romney said this week he pays on his own, much larger income. Romney said in Thursday night's debate that he would make his 2011 returns public, and perhaps some from earlier years, when the latest return is completed later this year.
OPINION
January 18, 2012
King's real message Re "Obamas mark King's birthday by doing something for others," Jan. 17 To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day of service shows that we've forgotten King's true legacy. King was an activist, not a direct service volunteer. Activism and service are both good ways to help somebody else, but they're not interchangeable. In service, we deal with the results of the system: When our neighbors are hungry, we feed them. In activism, we aim to change the system itself: When our neighbors are hungry, we demand a fairer economic structure.
NATIONAL
January 17, 2012 | By Maeve Reston and Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times
Mitt Romney has made his successful business career a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, saying his hands-on experience in corporate America is precisely what the country needs. But when it comes to showing sensitivity to the economic anxiety many Americans are feeling, he has proven to have a less-than-deft touch. A fresh example came Tuesday as Romney campaigned across South Carolina for the state's Saturday primary and discussed his personal income and the possibility, under pressure, of releasing his 2011 tax return for public examination.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Harney
Though its demise drew little attention because of the partisan year-end brawl over the payroll tax cut extension in Congress, a key mortgage financing benefit disappeared at the end of December: the ability of large numbers of home buyers and owners to write off the premiums they pay for mortgage insurance. The loss of that tax deduction — plus mandatory new fees imposed by Congress on all new conventional and FHA loans — could effectively increase the costs of homeownership this year.
BUSINESS
November 9, 2011 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Former Oregon Rep. Wester Cooley pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court to a tax charge related to the allegedly fraudulent sale of stock in an online auction site. Cooley, who served in Congress from 1995 to 1997, had been charged with seven felonies surrounding the sale of more than $10 million of private stock in Tujunga-based Bidbay.com and related companies from 2000 to 2003. Under an agreement with federal prosecutors, Cooley, 79, pleaded guilty to the single tax fraud charge Monday before U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson.
BUSINESS
October 18, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan would probably be seen as just another cockamamie tax scheme were it not for his surprising ascendance to front-runner ranks in the Republican Party primary. Yet one of the more interesting questions raised by the plan hasn't gotten much attention: What accounts for the enduring popularity of such tax nostrums, when they never pencil out? Cain's proposal, which purportedly would replace today's federal tax code with a flat 9% personal income tax, a flat 9% corporate tax and a flat 9% national sales tax, has the surface appeal of an advertising slogan.
BUSINESS
September 19, 2011 | By David Shaffer
For more than three years, the SoyMor Biodiesel plant sat idle — victim of a slump that took down more than a quarter of the plants in the industry. But biodiesel is booming again, and a sign of the revival happened recently in this small southern Minnesota town. Workers started up the plant, and soon the fuel was flowing. "Everybody kept their fingers crossed and hoped it would be a lot shorter," rehired worker Aaron Kuennen said of the long layoff as he unloaded tanker trucks full of soybean oil Thursday.
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