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Tax Deduction

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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.
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BUSINESS
January 8, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tom Coburn on Wednesday introduced legislation requiring federal agencies to disclose more information about settlements that end government investigations, such as whether the money paid by companies is tax-deductible. The bipartisan bill -- Warren is a Massachusetts Democrat and Coburn an Oklahoma Republican -- reflects widespread concern on Capitol Hill that banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other companies often cut deals to avoid potentially steeper penalties and court costs for violating federal laws.
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BUSINESS
October 24, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
The do-gooding spirit is thriving in the U.S., with 81% of Americans planning to maintain or boost their donations this year, according to a new report. That's nine percentage points higher than 2011 and 18 points above 2010, according to Fidelity Charitable, which offers programs to boost altruism. The average American plans to give $2,400, up from $2,100 last year. Three-quarters of the 571 respondents said they don't donate in order to benefit from tax deductions. Seven in 10 are influenced by their experiences with illness or death, while two-thirds say it's a holiday tradition to give.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Representatives of more than 200 charitable organizations plan to go door to door Wednesday on Capitol Hill to convince members of Congress that it would be a mistake to eliminate or reduce tax deductions for charitable donations. “The Congress is desperate to find some revenue,” said Steve Taylor, senior vice president and counsel for public policy for United Way Worldwide, the nation's biggest charity. “The Democrats want revenue to undo the effects of sequestration," Taylor said, adding that Republicans wanted to reduce or eliminate deductions to lower taxes.
OPINION
December 18, 2011 | By Jack Shakely
Psst: Want to know a way to reduce our national debt by a quarter of a trillion dollars over the next decade, and remove an often abused and possibly unconstitutional section of the tax code? Are you sure you do? You may want to sit down. Get rid of the federal charitable-giving tax deduction. I know that statement will create a firestorm. I ran the California Community Foundation for 25 years, and the foundation — not to mention your alma mater, the Girl Scouts, the AARP and many other charities — think pretty highly of the tax deduction.
OPINION
December 13, 2004
Eighteen years ago, Congress and President Reagan enacted a tax reform that tidied up the mess quite a bit. Since then, Congress and presidents of both parties have made a new mess, and President Bush is right that it is time for another cleanup. He has called an economic conference this week to mull over some proposals. The politics may require the lion's share of the mulling. The mechanics of personal income tax reform are straightforward: You end deductions for this, that and the other.
BUSINESS
February 1, 2002 | Bloomberg News
The Internal Revenue Service said it won't challenge a $10.4-million court victory by Rite Aid Corp. in July, opening the door for companies that want to claim a tax deduction for selling affiliates at a loss. The agency said it won't pursue the Rite Aid case to the U.S. Supreme Court on the advice of the U.S. solicitor general. That keeps intact an appeals court ruling that the agency overstepped its bounds in drafting rules prohibiting companies from deducting losses when a subsidiary is sold.
NEWS
February 15, 1986 | JACK NELSON, Times Washington Bureau Chief
The Reagan Administration's renewed campaign to limit the federal tax deduction for state and local tax payments has run into stiff opposition, despite support from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) and Sen. Russell B. Long (D-La.), the committee's top-ranking Democrat, for at least a scaling back of the deduction. New York Gov. Mario M.
BUSINESS
December 20, 2010 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
Fifteen years ago, Carol Nietmann and her husband bought a spacious house in Maryland near Chesapeake Bay. And thanks to the time-honored tax deduction for mortgage interest, she said, their new place was a little bigger and a little nicer than they would otherwise have thought they could afford. Much the same has been true for millions of Americans up and down the income scale. Perhaps the most sacred of all the sacred cows in the tax code, the home mortgage deduction has long been seen as crucial to a major element of the American dream ?
REAL ESTATE
November 26, 2006 | Tom Kelly, Special to The Times
We have heard all about prices slowing -- even dropping -- in some regions of the country. One reader recently wrote that "at least the loss on my home sale will give me a tax break." Not so. Most homeowners understand that they can pocket up to $500,000 of tax-free capital gain ($250,000 for single people) on the sale of a primary residence. That huge benefit, which can be used every two years, was made possible by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Two senators introduced legislation Wednesday to outlaw tax deductions by companies for penalties paid as part of government settlements, responding to concerns that JPMorgan Chase & Co. could end up with a huge write-off if it settles civil investigations with the Justice Department over mortgage bonds. Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said they wanted to close a loophole that allows companies to "reap tax benefits" for payments made to settle allegations of "illegal corporate behavior.
OPINION
September 12, 2013
Re "Politics and the pulpit," Editorial, Sept. 8 How is this for an idea not only to remove politics from the pulpit but to do away with all IRS deductions for charity: Eliminate all 503(c)(3) deductions, period. You want to contribute to a favorite charity? Do it, but without the incentive of a tax deduction, which after all raises some questions about how committed you are to the cause. Consequently, a whole bunch of IRS agents wouldn't have to monitor these deductions. And look how it would simplify your tax return.
BUSINESS
July 12, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: Everyone talks about Roth IRAs and how beneficial they are. But I am self-employed, my husband contributes 16% toward his 401(k), our house is paid off, and we no longer have dependents to deduct on our 1040 tax return. My contribution to my traditional IRA is the only tax deduction we have left. Should I consider a Roth anyway? If so, why? Answer: A Roth would give you a tax-free bucket of money to spend in retirement. That would give you more flexibility to manage your tax bill than if all your money were in 401(k)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2013 | By Evan Halper
California lawmakers have long complained about being shortchanged by Washington, D.C.: California taxpayers put a lot more into the U.S. Treasury than the state gets back in federal spending. One politician is proposing an unorthodox approach to grabbing some of those dollars back. Sen. Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) is promoting a scheme through which he says taxpayers could seize on a loophole that recently emerged in federal tax law to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for higher education.
NEWS
February 8, 2013 | By Doyle McManus
In my Wednesday column , I argued that the federal tax deduction for home mortgage interest should be trimmed -- because instead of helping first-time homeowners, a worthy public policy goal, it mostly subsidizes big mortgages. I wasn't surprised to learn that a lot of readers disagreed. Angry emails flooded in. Many of the objections were well reasoned, although one reader just called me a Marxist. He must not have noticed that Mitt Romney, who's not a Marxist, also proposed capping the mortgage deduction -- actually, all itemized deductions -- during his presidential campaign.
BUSINESS
January 13, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: Recently, someone from an insurance company proposed that I stop investing through my 401(k) at work and instead invest in his insurance company contract with after-tax dollars. He claims the funds would be guaranteed so that I would never lose principal, although there would be a cap on how much I could make in any given year. His claim is that it is better to forgo the tax deduction I would get from my 401(k) contributions so that I can take the money out of this contract tax-free in 20 or 30 years.
NEWS
August 5, 1993 | GREG JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Congress is considering changes in business travel and entertainment allowances, a move that could deal a blow to Orange County's convention-dependent hotels, restaurants and attractions, said Michael Rhodes, president of the Orange County chapter of California Restaurant Assn. "The big change is the deductibility for a spouse or dependents accompanying the employee on a business trip," said Don Dahl, an Irvine-based tax partner with Arthur Andersen & Co.
BUSINESS
July 25, 1999 | KATHY M. KRISTOF
Tax accountant Ralph Anderson has some seasonal tax-planning advice for all of you who have at least some self-employment income: Write off your summer vacation. Well, OK, that's an overstatement. But experts agree that if you couple business with leisure, at least a portion of any trip (it need not be in summer, of course) can be deducted.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
You may be unaware of the local ramifications of one of the proposals currently at play in the danse macabre that passes for fiscal negotiations in Washington. This is the plan to cap federal tax deductions at either a set figure or a percentage of income. Either way, it would strike deepest and hardest mostly at residents of California, as well as other populous states with high levels of government services, high state and local taxes, and relatively expensive housing. The mortgage interest and state and local tax deductions are among the most important tax breaks that would be capped under this sort of proposal.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
The do-gooding spirit is thriving in the U.S., with 81% of Americans planning to maintain or boost their donations this year, according to a new report. That's nine percentage points higher than 2011 and 18 points above 2010, according to Fidelity Charitable, which offers programs to boost altruism. The average American plans to give $2,400, up from $2,100 last year. Three-quarters of the 571 respondents said they don't donate in order to benefit from tax deductions. Seven in 10 are influenced by their experiences with illness or death, while two-thirds say it's a holiday tradition to give.
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