As the tax deadline nears and stragglers race to figure out the bevy of forms (and the fastest route to the post office), here are some interesting articles in the news that you may have missed.
Wrong Address, Right Outcome
Have you ever mistakenly hit ‘Reply-All’, inadvertently revealing something you shouldn’t have to someone you shouldn’t have over email? A Swiss financial adviser did just that—the old-fashioned way, through the post—into the hands of federal authorities.
For more than a decade, the advisory firm helped 60 people in the U.S. hide $184 million in offshore accounts, aiding them in illegally evading taxes. Somehow their client information, including their addresses and deposits, found its way into the hands of federal authorities.
DOMA: Same-sex Tax Implications
As the Supreme Court considers a case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, there are some real tax implications for same-sex couples awaiting the judgment, as one H&R Block study revealed:
- Filing federal taxes jointly could save a hypothetical couple (combined income of $100,000) more than $8,000 in income taxes
- Same-sex widows currently pay a 35% estate tax (anything > $5M exemption); 0% for federally-recognized marriages
- Same-sex couples owe tax on medical benefits received from partner’s health insurance plan
- Same-sex couples are currently denied Social Security benefits (spousal and survivors benefits)
Thanks for Looking
When it comes to retail products, consumers have the power to figure out everything from price range to quality through a quick search on their mobile phone or device.
Now one store in Australia is fighting back against “showrooming,” or using a store’s product prices as a reference, and buying their goods elsewhere. The store intends to levy a $5 fee per shopper for “just looking,” while those that buy something won’t be charged.
Is this fair or not? What do you think?