Monday, December 27, 2004
- Bush Plan Could Imperil Tax Write-Off for New York: As the Bush administration looks to revamp the tax code, New York officials say they are particularly worried about one idea being considered: eliminating the federal deduction for state and local taxes. If the president pursues this plan, New York State would lose about $37 billion per year in federal tax deductions, more than almost any other state, according to Internal Revenue Service data. The change would affect about 3.2 million households in New York, three-quarters of which are middle- and low-income, tax records indicate.
- Tax Breaks on Historic Houses Face Restrictions: A popular tax break for homeowners in historic districts may soon face some harsh restrictions, including increased penalties for owners, appraisers and promoters who help file inflated claims.
- The Bottom Line on Overhauling Social Security: How can Americans be anything but confused by the complex debate over the privatization of Social Security? Investing part of the payroll taxes we pay in stocks and bonds to produce a personal nest egg is alluring. But until there is a detailed plan to analyze, we cannot know the true consequences.
- Dodge Year-End Tax Traps (Tom Herman): Taxpayers still have a few days before New Year's to stumble into blunders that can end up being very costly. Here are just a few ways to avoid getting burned.
- IRA Heirs: Beware Dec. 31: If you inherit an IRA, it pays to keep track of a few important deadlines -- including next Friday.
- Taking Charitable Deductions (Tom Herman): Many people make major gifts to charity late each year. But the tax rules can be surprisingly tricky. Here are some frequently asked questions.
- Big Tax Break Prompts SUV Sales: Two months ago, President Bush signed into law a bill that includes a sharp cut in a special tax deduction for many new SUVs. But, thanks to another wrinkle in the tax code, some car shoppers who buy a large SUV before the end of this year can still get a sizable deduction.
- Corporate Taxes: Going, Going . . . : Given the remarkable plunge in corporate tax receipts since 2000, Congress might have logically responded this past year by closing loopholes, attacking tax shelters and raising business taxes. Instead, Congress opted to pass the most sweeping corporate tax law in nearly 20 years, a measure with tax breaks worth $143 billion over 10 years, benefiting restaurant owners and Hollywood producers; makers of bows, arrows and sonar fish finders; NASCAR track owners; even importers of Chinese ceiling fans. Between the years 2000 and 2003, corporate tax revenue went from $207.3 billion to $131.8 billion, a three-year skid that encompassed not only a recession but also a recovery, both in economic growth and corporate profits. By 2003, corporate tax receipts, relative to the size of the economy, had sunk to a level not seen since 1983 and, before that, the Great Depression.
- Student Workers Pass a Tax Test: The relationship between colleges and students who work for them has long been a source of tax uncertainty.