November 6, 2013 |
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.
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.
July 12, 2013 |
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 |
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.
February 8, 2013 |
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.
January 13, 2013 |
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.