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Income Taxes

July 17, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I'm 25 and trying to maximize my tax savings and retirement contributions. I currently have two jobs: One is the typical salaried position with taxes withheld where I earn $45,000 a year, while the other is self-employed work I do on the side that grosses about $7,000 a year. Currently I have a Roth IRA that I max out and a 401(k) that gets the equivalent of 13% of my salary when combined with my employer's contribution. Given that I don't get a refund on April 15 and end up having to pony up a lot of money, is there a way for me to set aside my self-employment income into a retirement account such that I can just bypass all taxes on it, including payroll taxes?
August 17, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy and Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - State lawmakers won't have to give up free Lakers tickets, Californians won't be able to bet on Dodgers games and Olympic medalists will probably not get tax breaks, after legislators shelved dozens of bills Thursday. Lawmakers also deep-sixed two proposals to regulate the controversial oil-extraction method known as fracking. The casualties included a measure by Sen. Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) that would have prohibited groups lobbying the Legislature from providing lawmakers with free sports and concert tickets, spa treatments, golf games and other gifts.
November 10, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - With little fanfare this week, California voters approved a plan to close a corporate tax loophole affecting out-of-state businesses, finance $2.5 billion in clean energy and energy efficiency projects and deliver another $2.5 billion to the state's beleaguered treasury over the next five years. It is a tax increase of modest proportions compared with most in California, but experts say it highlighted the politics of taxation and how some business levies engender strong passion whereas others draw little public attention or electoral opposition.
July 29, 2010 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
An eternal optimist, state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg believes he has found a solution to this summer's annual budget standoff. It's conceivable. He calls it "a pathway." Any pathway to a balanced budget, however, still seems like a long trek. We're now four weeks into a new fiscal year without a state spending plan. "We need a greater sense of urgency," says Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat. No kidding. Also some courage by Democrats to cut more spending and by a few Republicans to raise additional revenue to close a $19.1-billion deficit hole.
May 16, 2012 | Steve Lopez
In March, when I wrote that the tax increase proposals by Gov. Jerry Brown and civil rights attorney Molly Munger were unimaginative if not doomed, I got an email from Munger. She did not agree, at least with regard to her initiative. "Unimaginative?" she wrote, inviting me to meet with her. This week, I decided to take her up on her offer after watching Brown admit that the financial mess he told us about in January was nothing compared to the mess we're in now. Frankly, I don't know how the January estimates were so far off the mark, with a $9-billion hole turning into a $16-billion hole in less time than it takes to grow tomatoes.
August 27, 2012 | By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Some of the largest corporate interests in California have poured millions of dollars into an initiative campaign this year, as they have many times before. But this time, they're not asking voters to ease industry regulations or limit government power. Instead, they want approval of an $8-billion-a-year tax hike pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Since taking office more than 18 months ago, the Democratic governor has held dozens of meetings with such unnatural allies as oil companies, insurers and telecommunications interests that typically stand with Republicans, taking stock of their concerns and pitching them on the need for higher taxes.
January 1, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro, Kathleen Hennessey and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - The Senate voted overwhelmingly early Tuesday to approve legislation to halt a tax increase for all but the wealthiest Americans while postponing for two months deep spending cuts. The vote came just hours after the accord was reached between the White House and congressional leaders. After a rare holiday session that lasted through the New Year's Eve celebration and two hours into New Year's Day, senators voted 89-8 to approve the proposal. Three Democrats and five Republicans dissented, most prominently Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
July 27, 2012
Re "Level the playing field," Opinion, July 22 Joseph E. Stiglitz places much of the blame for weak economic growth and income inequality on "rent seeking" - activities focused on growing one's share of the pie rather than on growing the size of the pie itself. To the extent he is correct, it is a powerful argument in favor of a complete restructuring of our tax code, including the elimination of subsidies and loopholes. Tax breaks such as the mortgage interest deduction incentivize particular behaviors.
December 9, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
  A burgeoning underground economy is costing California about $7 billion annually in lost tax revenue and undercutting companies that play by the rules. That has state officials vowing to crack down on employers who pay their workers cash under the table to avoid payroll taxes, workers' compensation insurance and other government mandates. Agencies including the Employment Development Department and the Contractors State Licensing Board increasingly are coordinating efforts to target suspected scofflaws.
August 16, 1986 | United Press International
The author of the book "Pay No Income Taxes Without Going to Jail" was sentenced to five years in prison Friday for helping clients cheat on their income taxes. Phillip Fry, 42, former owner of the Tax Information Center, a tax and financial investment service in New Concord, had pleaded guilty to fraud.
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