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Tax Shelters

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BUSINESS
May 27, 1989 | BILL SING
Variable annuities, one of the few legitimate tax shelters preserved under tax reform, can be a great way to invest in stock and bond mutual funds while deferring taxes on the earnings. Unfortunately, high fees and expenses on many of them wipe out most or all of their tax advantages. But thanks in part to investor concerns, lower-cost annuities are becoming more common. And thanks to new disclosure rules imposed this month by the Securities and Exchange Commission, you can more easily spot them.
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BUSINESS
October 3, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Mickey Kaus, the neoliberal (whatever that is) blogger from L.A.'s Westside, writes in the Daily Caller that he has just discovered he had no taxed income last year. "I am the 47%," he declares, referring to Mitt Romney's celebrated rant about non-tax-paying Obama voters. On this shallow foundation he erects a towering thought-edifice about whether and why Americans who pay no taxes are pro-government, as dictated by Republican "makers vs. takers" dogma.  When your adjusted gross income falls, "suddenly all sorts of deductions and breaks seem to open up to virtually guarantee that you pay no tax," Kaus observes.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 1985
The Ralph Nader approach to "tax shelters" is deceptively simple and misleading. A legal "shelter" is a tax-advantaged investment because of legislative decisions that the investment contributes to the nation's social and economic goals. Examples are searching for oil and gas to replace our declining proven reserves, new construction for homes and offices, and new machinery and equipment to create competitive industry. All of these generate additional jobs and additional taxes. Those who have higher incomes are the ones who may have capital available and we should thank them for their willingness to consider a greater risk for a greater reward.
NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
DURHAM, N.H. -- If Paul D. Ryan had “brass,” then Mitt Romney has “gall.” That's the Clintonian take on Mitt Romney for seeming to dismiss 47% of Americans who don't pay income tax when the Republican hopeful has made use of tax shelters to minimize his own federal burden. “A guy with a tax account in the Cayman Islands is attacking other people for not wanting to pay income tax?” Bill Clinton asked Wednesday. “That's like Congressman Ryan attacking President Obama for having the same Medicare savings he did. When you really bust somebody for doing what you did, it takes a lot of gall.” The former president is shouldering the burden for Obama's reelection campaign on the day of the first head-to-head presidential debate, appearing on his Democratic successor's behalf at a college campus in New Hampshire.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2000
The economy continues to do well, companies are reporting record profits, and U.S. Treasury coffers are overflowing with tax revenue few had anticipated three or four years ago. So why are U.S. companies paying less and less in taxes? The answer in large part is corporate tax shelters.
BUSINESS
December 25, 2001 | From Reuters
The Internal Revenue Service says it will forgo penalties for taxpayers who voluntarily disclose the use of doubtful tax shelters. The move will give taxpayers until April 23 to reveal the use of questionable tax shelters and the name of the shelter promoter, the agency said in a news release. The IRS said it will not impose its traditional penalty--20% of the underpaid tax--but will require taxpayers to pay the taxes that should have been paid and the interest on them, the agency said.
BUSINESS
August 27, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Accounting firm KPMG has agreed to settle a federal investigation into its tax shelter business by paying $456 million and allowing its operations to be checked by an outside monitor, the New York Times reported in its online edition. The deal, expected to be announced Monday, would mean that KPMG would be spared an indictment that could sink the firm. Several former partners could still face criminal charges, the newspaper reported. KPMG declined to comment.
BUSINESS
April 19, 1985
About 6,000 people who bought $42 million of would-be solar tax shelters from Irvine-based Southwest Solar Products now face about $70 million in taxes and penalties levied by the Internal Revenue Service. A group of 2,000 investors, many from California, have filed a lawsuit against Southwest, its principals and others involved in the tax-shelter operation. Last August, the IRS went to court to prevent the company from selling any more investments.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Prominent law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist will shut its doors and pay a $76-million civil penalty in agreements with federal prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service over allegedly fraudulent tax shelters that the firm promoted, the government said Thursday. The office of U.S. Atty.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2003 | From Bloomberg News
The use of abusive tax shelters by corporations and high-income people appears to be waning in the U.S., Treasury Department officials said as they announced rules requiring tax-avoidance deals be reported to the government. B. John Williams, the Internal Revenue Service's top lawyer, cited "strong anecdotal evidence that the investments are dropping off."
BUSINESS
September 12, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton and Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Help wealthy people dodge taxes. Go to prison. And cap it off by getting $104 million for ratting out your former clients to the IRS. In one of the largest whistle-blower cases in U.S. history, the federal government is paying that amount to a globe-trotting banker who once smuggled a client's diamonds in a toothpaste tube to avoid detection by tax authorities. The financier, Bradley Birkenfeld, later confessed his transgressions and helped the Internal Revenue Service nab thousands of Americans who had stashed money overseas to avoid paying taxes.
NEWS
August 17, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
WASHINGTON -- The Obama campaign, undeterred by Mitt Romney declaring its interest in his tax returns "small-minded," is ready to make a deal. In a letter to the Romney campaign Friday, Obama campaign chief Jim Messina asks for a total of five years' worth of Romney's tax returns, from 2007 through 2011. In return, Messina pledges the campaign will put down its sword on the issue -- but only to a point. "I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more -- neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign," Messina wrote to Matt Rhodes , his counterpart on the Romney campaign.  Messina's letter, released to reporters, points out that the request only asks Romney for three more years of returns beyond what the GOP presidential candidate has provided, and already pledged to provide -- a request Team Obama calls "surely not unreasonable.
NEWS
August 16, 2012 | By Robin Abcarian
Ann Romney gets her say tonight about the increasingly urgent - or from her perspective, unreasonable - demands for the release of her family's tax returns. After briefly dropping off the political radar, questions that have dogged presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney are back: How has he paid over the last decade in federal taxes? Will he prove it by releasing more than two years of returns? On the trail Thursday, The Times' Michael Finnegan reported that Romney swatted down the accusation (as advanced and re-advanced by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid)
NEWS
July 14, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
  To say the Obama campaign is undeterred by Mitt Romney's harsh criticism of its attacks of his business record would be an understatement. The president's reelection effort launched a dramatic new television advertisement Saturday that sets Romney's halting rendition of "America the Beautiful" from a January campaign stop in Florida against visual charges about his personal wealth and alleged outsourcing by the investment firm he led, Bain Capital, with the sharp conclusion that Romney is "not the solution, he's the problem.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2012 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown defends his soak-the-rich tax proposal as just. And besides, he says, it's popular with the non-rich. Never mind that it's the opposite of reform, that it would make California's roller-coaster tax system even more volatile. But maybe things do have to get worse before they get better. The state treasury is starved for more revenue. The governor is trying to avoid massive cuts to K-12 schools and more swats at the universities. It's probably not practical to wait for reform.
BUSINESS
August 27, 2010 | Bloomberg News
Ex-KPMG senior manager John Larson's conviction for selling illegal tax shelters was upheld by a U.S. appeals court. But the court ordered a recalculation of his $6-million fine to below $3 million. The three-judge panel in New York said the prosecution's evidence supported the jury's finding that the shelters were "marketed solely as tax-avoidance schemes. " The convictions of two co-defendants were also upheld. The court threw out Larson's fine, saying U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan hadn't followed controlling case law in making his calculation.
BUSINESS
August 9, 2003 | E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writer
An Orange County tax shelter promoter who admitted creating thousands of bogus trusts for his 500 clients is scheduled to be sentenced Monday on conspiracy and tax evasion charges that could land him in federal prison for three or more years. In documents filed with U.S. District Judge Dickran M. Tevrizian Jr. in Los Angeles, Edward J.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
The Internal Revenue Service is giving taxpayers who used dubious tax dodges a limited-time offer to fess up, pay up and avoid onerous penalties. The program covers 21 transactions, or more than half of all known tax shelters. It requires taxpayers to pay 100% of tax liabilities and interest.
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