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Big Companies Like FedEx and Nike Paid No Federal Taxes

Just as the Biden administration is pushing to raise taxes on corporations, a new study finds that at least 55 of America’s largest paid no taxes last year on billions of dollars in profits.The sweeping tax bill passed in 2017 by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump reduced the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. But dozens of Fortune 500 companies were able to further shrink their tax bill — sometimes to zero — thanks to a range of legal deductions and exemptions that have become staples of the tax code, according to the analysis.Salesforce, …

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Biden Tax Plan Charts New Path to Economic Growth

President Biden’s ambitious plan to increase corporate taxes does more than just reverse much of the overhaul pushed through by his predecessor. It also offers a profoundly different vision of how to make the United States more competitive and how to foot the bill.When President Donald J. Trump and a Republican Congress rewrote the tax code in 2017, most of the benefits went to the wealthiest Americans, with lower rates on businesses and on profits from investments. The guiding principle, proponents argued, was that cutting taxes on corporations and investors would encourage businesses to expand, creating more jobs and …

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Biden Team Prepares $3 Trillion in New Spending for the Economy

Whether it can muster Republican support will depend in large part on how the bill is paid for.Officials have discussed offsetting some or all of the infrastructure spending by raising taxes on corporations, including increasing the 21 percent corporate income tax rate and a variety of measures to force multinational corporations to pay more tax in the United States on income they earn abroad. That strategy is unlikely to garner Republican votes.“I don’t think there’s going to be any enthusiasm on our side for a tax increase,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, told reporters …

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The Triple Tax Break You May Be Missing: A Health Savings Account

The federal government’s pandemic relief program expanded what H.S.A.s can pay for, including nonprescription medicine like pain relief and allergy pills, and menstrual products like tampons and pads. (The I.R.S. has a full list of eligible items.)Some employers match contributions to H.S.A.s as they do retirement savings. But self-employed people and contractors can open them, too.People often confuse H.S.A.s with other types of health accounts, such as flexible health spending accounts. But unlike F.S.A.s, health savings accounts are portable: If you change jobs …

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Whistle-Blower Says Credit Suisse Helped Clients Skip Taxes After Promising to Stop

The Swiss bank also hired Mr. Wray, then a partner at King & Spalding in Washington who had served as the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division and oversaw the Enron task force. (Mr. Wray became the director of the F.B.I. three years after he negotiated the final plea deal for Credit Suisse.)“It is a mystery to me why the U.S. government didn’t require as part of the agreement that the bank cough up some of the names of the U.S. clients with secret Swiss bank accounts,” Carl Levin, then a Michigan senator …

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A Last-Minute Add to Stimulus Bill Could Restrict State Tax Cuts

WASHINGTON — A last-minute change in the $1.9 trillion economic relief package that President Biden signed into law this week includes a provision that could temporarily prevent states that receive government aid from turning around and cutting taxes.The restriction, which was added by Senate Democrats, is intended to ensure that states use federal funds to keep their local economies humming and avoid drastic budget cuts and not simply use the money to subsidize tax cuts. But the provision is causing alarm among some local officials, primarily Republicans, who see the move as federal overreach and fear conditions attached to the money …

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What Jeffrey Epstein Did to Earn $158 Million From Leon Black

He styled himself as a math whiz and “financial doctor” to the rich — even though he was a college dropout who had only a brief tenure at a traditional Wall Street firm. It was said his services were available only to billionaires, whose affairs he handled mostly from a tropical island hideaway.So what did Jeffrey Epstein do to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from a handful of wealthy clients like the private equity billionaire Leon Black?The answer: help rich people pay less in taxes.In the case of Mr. Black, the chief executive of Apollo Global Management, …

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I.R.S. Pushes Back Start of 2020 Tax Filing Season

“This would be the same experience for taxpayers if the filing season opened in late January,” the agency said. By law, the agency cannot issue refunds to people claiming the credit until after mid-February, as part of anti-fraud efforts.Updated Jan. 23, 2021, 10:05 a.m. ETThe I.R.S. said taxpayers seeking prompt refunds should file their returns electronically. “Avoid filing paper returns wherever possible,” the agency said.Certain tax forms and attachments can’t be filed electronically, said Erin M. Collins, the national taxpayer advocate, but most can.Although the I.R.S. won’t start accepting and processing returns until …

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With Higher Taxes Possible, Here’s What to Do Now

Some tax issues will play out later this year. One of them involves individuals who own businesses and pay the self-employment tax. They pay 12.4 percent of their income in Social Security taxes and 2.8 percent for Medicare, but only on the first $142,800. That cap could be lifted, making all income subject to the self-employment taxes.One strategy is for owners to convert their business from a limited liability company to a subchapter S corporation, which could reduce the self-employment tax, said Edward Reitmeyer, a partner in charge of tax and business services at Marcum, an accounting firm.But it has to …

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The Estate Tax May Change Under Biden, Affecting Far More People

Tax policy used to be fairly boring and predictable. But in the past decade, it has become dynamic in a way that tax advisers don’t like: It changes with the political party in power.That means it’s increasingly hard for individuals trying to make long-term decisions around their earnings, savings and giving. And advisers are likely to offer guidance on what is the best decision at this moment, because the future is too fuzzy.Shortly after Joseph R. Biden Jr. was declared the president-elect in November, I wrote a column looking at the opportunity costs of making tax-related …

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