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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
The spectacle that was Michael Jackson's life shows no signs of abating with his death. There was the conviction of the doctor who gave him the fatal overdose of a powerful anesthetic, battles over his will, attempts to remove the executors of his estate and the wrongful death suit against the promoter of his doomed comeback tour. Now, Jackson's estate is in the midst of a fight with the Internal Revenue Service. PHOTOS: Michael Jackson | 1958-2009 The agency has told Jackson's executors that the estate owes $505 million in taxes and an additional $197 million in penalties, for a total of more than $702 million.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 5, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Bestselling erotica author Zane has been declared the biggest individual tax scofflaw in Maryland by the state's comptroller. The writer reportedly owes more than $340,000 to Maryland in back taxes. That's not all: She apparently owes the IRS about $540,000, the Washington Post reports. Zane was publishing bestselling steamy erotica for years before "Fifty Shades of Grey" was even a glimmer in E.L. James' eye. Her first work of short fiction hit the Web in 1997; she self-published three books before landing a deal with Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Robin is buying a new car. Like all car buyers, she's done her best to haggle the price down. Now, she says, she's being told that she has to pay sales tax on the full sticker price of the vehicle, rather than the discounted price. Robin asks: Is that kosher? ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions When you buy a cellphone in California, you're taxed on the full retail value of the device instead of the much lower subsidized price you actually pay. As for cars, I had to check on this one with the State Board of Equalization.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2014 | By Lee Romney
SAN FRANCISCO -- A coalition of San Francisco supervisors will move today to place a tax of two cents per ounce on sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages on the November ballot, triggering what is expected to be a costly fight with opponents who aim to defeat it. If the measure were to pass, as much as $31 million in estimated annual proceeds from the "unified soda tax measure" would go to city and public school nutrition, health and physical activity...
BUSINESS
January 31, 2014 | By Shan Li
Tax season, that time of year that spurs Americans to gnash their teeth and root out reams of old documents, officially kicked off Friday. The Internal Revenue Service started accepting and processing paper and online returns, as well as preparing refunds. Individuals have until April 15 to file their tax returns. The tax agency is actually getting a late start this year after the government shutdown delayed the opening of tax season by 10 days to Jan. 31. More than 148 million individual tax returns will be filed this year, the IRS estimated.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Moss Adams, one of the nation's largest accounting firms, has launched an online exchange for trading film and other tax credits. Called the Moss Adams Tax Credit Exchange , the marketplace allows film producers and other companies with tax credits to match up with buyers, converting credits they can't use into cash they can reinvest in their business. Buyers can purchase credits online, helping them offset state taxes owed. “We're proud to bring the exchange to our clients and future members and expect it to transform the way tax credits are purchased and sold,” said Rob O'Neill, state and local tax partner at Moss Adams.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Are California voters ready yet to change Proposition 13 so that all corporations pay their fair share of property taxes? A new nonpartisan poll indicates they might be. But a better, more relevant question is whether any state political leader - namely a governor - is courageous enough to lead the charge. Answer: Of course not. Gov. Jerry Brown told me five years ago, before he was elected to a third term as governor, that "messing with 13 is a big fat loser. " Clearly he hasn't changed his mind.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- California officials would review the growing gambling industry in the state, looking at whether regulations promote job creation and examine the possibility of imposing new taxes on the activity, under a bill approved Monday by the state Senate. Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) introduced SB 601, which would have a gaming policy advisory committee made up equally of gambling industry officials and the general public look at issues including whether current regulations impede economic growth.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - So the state of the state's governor is static - at least until he is safely reelected. Until the election year blows over, Gov. Jerry Brown is stationary - in a crouch, protecting himself politically, satisfied with the status quo. In his 30th year in elective office - 12th as governor, after failing in three bids for the presidency and one for the U.S. Senate, and growing up watching his politician father - Brown is instinctively cautious...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
Annette Bening has taken on what some might consider the most challenging role of any actor's career: persuading Californians to send the tax collector more money. The California Arts Council -- the government agency that oversees the state's arts grant program -- announced Wednesday that Bening will be the spokeswoman for its latest effort to boost its meager budget, with the extra money earmarked for arts education. A bill passed last year places a special checkoff box on state income tax forms, labeled the “Keep Arts in Schools Fund.” Taxpayers can voluntarily check the box and write in how much they'd like to add to their tax payment or subtract from their refund, resulting in a heftier payment or a lighter reimbursement.
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