Friday, February 28, 2014

Wealthy escape taxation, Senate says

Wealthy escape taxation, Senate says: Lobbyists win!
Billions of dollars in U.S. taxes are going unpaid because Americans are exploiting Swiss bank accounts, and the U.S. government has failed to aggressively pursue Switzerland's second-largest bank, a Senate investigation has found. Credit Suisse, has provided accounts in Switzerland for more than 22,000 U.S. clients totaling $10 billion to $12 billion, according to the report. The U.S. government has received only 238 names ofU.S. citizens with secret accounts at Credit Suisse, or just 1 percent of the estimated total, the investigation concluded. Pay your fair share
Now, IRS account lets you go tax-FREE at no cost too:

IRS lets you cut your tax by up to $1,000 per child
If you have a child under age 17, the Child Tax Credit may save you money at tax time. The non-refundable Child Tax Credit may help cut your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child you claim on your tax return. Check if you qualify:,-Additional-Child-Tax-Credit

Real estate is popular alternate investment after stocks and bonds
77 percent of millionaire investors say they own real estate, and 35 percent say they own Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). This is a key finding of the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Investor Pulse Poll. Additionally, after real estate and REITs, millionaire investors cite ownership of collectibles (34 percent), followed by precious metals (28 percent), private equity (27 percent), real assets (oil, gas, mining, 17 percent), private real estate funds (16 percent), hedge funds (16 percent), and venture capital (13 percent). Stock/bond funds have returned over 11% per year since 1976. REIT funds have returned over 10% since 1996:

What you need to know about ObamaCare for your 2013 tax prep.
For most people, the Affordable Care Act has no effect on their 2013 federal income tax return.
The individual shared responsibility provision and the premium tax credit do not affect your 2013 federal income tax return. Some tips for 2014:

How much subsidy do you qualify for?
With the March 31 deadline for getting health insurance fast approaching, people can now use a new website to help them find out if they qualify for financial assistance if they buy a health insurance plan on the website.
The website -- -- is based on research that shows two-thirds of uninsured adults eligible for government subsidies on the new health exchanges don't know the subsidies exist, and that more than 80 percent said they would likely obtain insurance if they had financial help.

House GOP to vote 50th time on ACA repeal
The House will vote again on repealing ObamaCare this session. It has voted 49 times to repeal, defund or roll back the 2010 health-care law since Republicans took control in 2011, according to a tally kept by Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s office.
The House will also vote to dismantle regulations on coal, gas and electric utilities despite the pollution caused by lack of regulation in the WV and NC catastrophes last month. Lobbyists are working overtime.

Mentally Ill in 11 Southern States Excluded from Care
Dashed Hopes, Broken Promises, More Despair: How the Lack of State Participation in the Medicaid Expansion Will Punish Americans With Mental Illness," released by the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) — shows that 6.7 million uninsured people with a mental illness are currently eligible for coverage under the Medicaid Expansion that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. But the majority of these individuals with mental health conditions will be left out in the coverage cold due to their state's antagonism toward the Medicaid Expansion health insurance initiative.

Workers no longer trapped by insurance, start businesses, make jobs
Now that Karen Willmus can get health insurance through Obamacare, she plans to quit teaching 9th grade English at the end of the school year. The 51-year-old found policies on the Colorado state exchange for about $300 a month. That's less than what she's paying now for employer-sponsored coverage and less than half what she paid on the individual market in 2007. Like Willmus, millions of people could quit their jobs or cut back on their hours in coming years because of Obamacare. Many Americans may opt to work less to retain eligibility for Medicaid or subsidies. But for some, Obamacare is allowing them to become entrepreneurs or retire a few years early since they'll be able to find affordable individual coverage for the first time. Instead of eating bonbons on her couch, Willmus plans to start her own business with her teen daughter publishing materials for non-native English speakers and others looking to improve their literacy. She expects to work even more than she does now and hire two or three people. Maybe ObamaCare is not so bad after all.

Doctors Become Reluctant Employees: Many Forced Out of Private Practice
Many physicians see employment as a necessary "shelter from the storm" in today's healthcare environment. When asked to select the three reasons to pursue an employed opportunity, necessity ("it is the only financially viable option") was most frequently selected as the primary motivation for choosing employment over primary practice, and the second most common answer selected as one of several motives. Doctors are looking for a work and personal life balance when seeking employment. "Our experience tells us that this trend is in response to heavy workloads, financial pressure from decreasing insurance reimbursements and rising costs of practice ownership," one recruiter said.

Investors moved all their equity money to Vanguard in 2013
As of November, all but $1 billion of the $41 billion investors added the US equities in 2013 went to Vanguard. Money managers and their owners are really worried about the indexing trend. The answer is simple: costs count. If you pay 2% a year for your 401k, mutual funds or IRA/pension contributions, the managers and owners can take up to 63% of your nest egg over time. It’s compounding. $3,000 a year grows to $1 million in 34 years.

Why WhatsApp is worth $19 B? Why not voice mail or email?
The average adult Facebook user has more than 300 Facebook “friends.” It’s an ego thing? “I fear all communication in the digital age is being reduced to shouting in a crowded theater,” Actually, the average adult has far fewer friends — perhaps just a couple in many cases, researchers say — whom they talk to regularly in their real-world social network. “The address book is a simple, reusable list for any application, and simplicity always wins.” The popularity of private-messaging applications like WhatsApp, which has more than 450 million users, suggests that despite all the technological advances in recent decades, people still crave to communicate in small groups and often just with one other person at a time. WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. It uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, so there is no cost to message. It is a Yahoo email account for your phone.
What is old is new again and worth $19 Billion??? to Zuckerberg.

TN outlaws claims for sinkholes—lobbyists win
Despite some bipartisan objections, the Tennessee House of Representatives has narrowly approved legislation that intended to reduce or prevent homeowner claims against insurance companies from damages caused by sinkholes. Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, who said the measure allows insurance companies to cancel policies “in mid-term on anyone” if they feel a claim may develop. “This is one of the most blatant bills I’ve seen to benefit one particular industry at the expense of the consumer,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner of Nashville. “Today’s it’s sinkholes. The next day it’s going to be earthquakes and the day after, it’s going to be hail,” Travis said.

Tesla, Lexus triumph in Consumer Reports' annual rankings
Among the other nine top picks, Honda and Subaru claimed two apiece, with Toyota, Audi, Ram, BMW and Hyundai taking the rest. Among Detroit brands, Buick and GMC posted the highest scores, with General Motors as a whole generally performing better than Ford or Chrysler, whose Jeep brand scored lowest among those ranked.

"It's not possible, I'm a nun," she told doctors, according to the Italian press.
A nun who was rushed to hospital complaining of acute stomach pains has given birth to a baby boy – and named him Francesco after the Pope. The 31-year-old nun began to feel severe abdominal cramps on Wednesday and gave birth just a few hours later.
This is why ObamaCare requires all employers to offer birth control to employees!

SCAMS          Why are we still paying $700 Billion a year for WWII deployments?
We are paying for 164,253 of our active-duty armed personnel to be in 150 countries around the world. We have about 50,000 in Japan and 50,000 in Germany.
Are we preparing for WWII again? There are 1,208,083[1] armed personnel in the United States. Our taxes pay for about HALF of the WORLD’s military expenditures every year.

DoD head Hagel proposes budget cut but still pay for F35 plane failures.

IRS warns of scams this year
Characteristics of these scams can include:
•    Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
•    Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
•    Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
•    Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
•    Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
After threatening victims with jail time or a driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim. Read more:

British spies caught collecting our ‘sexually explicit’ pictures—YOUR private pictures
A British intelligence agency collected video webcam images — many of them sexually explicit — from millions of Yahoo users, regardless of whether they were suspected of illegal activity, according to accounts of documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden.
It is unclear how much of the data was shared with American officials at the National Security Agency, though the British ran queries of the data using a search tool provided by the N.S.A. calledXKeyscore, according to a report on Thursday by The Guardian.
The documents show that in one six-month period in 2008, the agency collected webcam imagery – substantial quantities of which were sexually explicit – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally. Certainly a Key Score for the boys!

Who owns your account now?
First Commonwealth Financial Advisors to Cantor Fitzgerald Wealth Partners

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