Hike raises cost of goods ranging from a pint of beer to a cell phone call. Politicians argue over whether it will hurt economic recovery.
This article is by Jane Wardell of The Associated Press.
Britons are being slugged with a sales tax hike that is increasing the price of everything from beer to clothing from Tuesday -- a downbeat start to a year that many economists warn could feel rougher than the recent recession.
Prime Minister David Cameron's government said the rise in so-called value added tax is "tough but necessary" to bring down Britain's massive deficit.
But the opposition argues it puts the economic recovery at risk just as the country is struggling to get back on its feet.
Those who itemize with Schedule A can't file until mid- to late February. This year's filing deadline is April 18.
Mark your calendars, fellow taxpayers. 2011 is an interesting year when it comes to filing dates.
The most notable tax timing issue primarily affects folks who itemize using Schedule A. The IRS says these taxpayers, as well as those who claim some specific deductions -- tuition and fees and educator expenses claimed directly on Form 1040 or 1040A -- will have to wait until mid- to late February to file.
Yes, this year the IRS is imitating a cable TV technician, giving us taxpayers a vague, open-ended time frame in which to cool our heels while we wail for service.
But it's not all the IRS' fault. In fact, it's mostly Congress' fault.
The IRS has to wait until laws are firmed up before it can program its computers. If it jumps the gun and the laws change, then the delay to undo/redo the programming will be longer.
New Illinois law taxes mobile homes on private property the same as stick-built homes. Owners will see much higher bills.
This article is by Jim Suhr of The Associated Press.
Larry and Carolyn Herrin bristle at chatter that a future highway construction project could cut through their one-acre spread in Fairview Heights, Ill., forcing them to move their mobile home along with its two covered porches and attached two-car garage.
A new state law could make them pay dearly for it.
The measure, scheduled to take effect Saturday along with nearly 200 other new Illinois laws, requires a factory-assembled home on private property and not part of a mobile home park to be assessed and taxed as real property. Gone would be the days of such affected properties being taxed by counties at 15 cents per square foot -- a rate that drops over time as the home ages.
Dec. 31 is the deadline to sell losing investments, open a Keogh account or donate to charity for the 2010 tax year.
Assuming you can find businesses and government offices that aren't closed for the New Year's holiday, Friday is your final chance to make some last-minute 2010 tax moves.
Here are some suggestions.
You have until Dec. 31 to go through your stuff and make a noncash tax-deductible donation. Here's how.
If you've ever thought about moving during December, I have one contraction for you: Don't.
I was stupid enough to do so this year, taking the stress of hauling my belongings to a new apartment, finding a storage unit, and trying to remember how my bed frame fits together and adding it to an already busy schedule of shopping, baking and holiday parties.
There is, however, one great thing about moving during December: It forced me to go through my belongings and make a substantial goods donation to my local Goodwill store.
Professors start website to encourage wealthy Americans to donate their tax savings to charities.
This article is by John Christoffersen of The Associated Press.
Upset the federal government recently extended tax cuts for the rich, three professors at Yale and Cornell universities have created a website that encourages wealthy Americans to give their tax savings to charities and send a political message in the process.
The professors started giveitbackforjobs.org to allow Americans "who have the means" to calculate what their tax cut would be and donate that amount to a charity.
"Extending the tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans is frankly unconscionable," Yale Law School professor Daniel Markovits said Wednesday. With the website's help, "donors can pledge their money to support the kinds of programs that will help families, create jobs, and set the country moving toward a just prosperity," the professors said in announcing the initiative.
H&R Block's inability to provide the loans this year is good news for consumers. Why pay enormous fees to get your own money?
You may have heard that H&R Block won't be offering tax "refund anticipation loans" this year.
Be grateful. You didn't want one anyway.
With all the fees added, the loans can easily cost taxpayers an APR (annual percentage rate) of 85% to 1,300%, according to the National Consumer Law Center. The loans are usually marketed to low-income taxpayers.
Homeowners who don't itemize lost a deduction, but TV producers, rum makers and race horse buyers gained.
This article is by Steve Ohlemacher of The Associated Press.
The massive new tax bill signed into law by President Barack Obama is filled with all kinds of holiday stocking stuffers for businesses: tax breaks for producing TV shows, grants for putting up windmills, rum subsidies for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
There is even a tax break for people who buy race horses.
Millions of homeowners, however, might feel like they got a lump of coal. Homeowners who don't itemize their deductions will lose a tax break for paying local property taxes.
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