Tag Archives: tax

FBI finally goes digital, stops using paper

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have finally ditched paper files for a new computer system, an effort that took 12 years and cost more than $600 million.

The system, called Sentinel, includes elements resembling Web browsers, with tabs and movable windows, and forms that are filled out in a question-and-answer format similar to consumer tax software.

An FBI special agent demonstrated the system, which went live July 1, to reporters Tuesday. Agents can share files electronically and can track changes made by others. RSS feeds, commonly used in Web browsers to aggregate news topics, can be used to track updates on files.

Agents can also use a search feature, entering a phone number, for instance, to see if it occurs in other active cases or leads.

One of the biggest hurdles to getting agents to accept the system, Mr. Johnson said, has been their reluctance to believe it’s really happening.

 

Source: The Wall Street Journal - FBI Files Go Digital, After Years of Delays

 

 

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Amazon’s ambitious new plan for same-day delivery – and how it will destroy retail

But now Amazon has a new game. Now that it has agreed to collect sales taxes, the company can legally set up warehouses right inside some of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Why would it want to do that? Because Amazon’s new goal is to get stuff to you immediately—as soon as a few hours after you hit Buy.

It’s hard to overstate how thoroughly this move will shake up the retail industry. Same-day delivery has long been the holy grail of Internet retailers, something that dozens of startups have tried and failed to accomplish. (Remember Kozmo.com?) But Amazon is investing billions to make next-day delivery standard, and same-day delivery an option for lots of customers. If it can pull that off, the company will permanently alter how we shop. To put it more bluntly: Physical retailers will be hosed.

Can Amazon pull it off? It’s sure spending a lot of money to try…Amazon is investing $130 million in new facilities in New Jersey that will bring it into the backyard of New York City; another $135 million to build two centers in Virginia that will allow it to service much of the mid-Atlantic; $200 million in Texas; and more than $150 million in Tennessee and $150 million in Indiana to serve the middle of the country. Its plans for California are the grandest of all. This year, Amazon will open two huge distribution centers near Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, and over the next three years it might open as many as 10 more in the state. In total, Amazon will spend $500 million and hire 10,000 people at its new California warehouses.

 

Source: Slate - I Want It Today: How Amazon’s ambitious new push for same-day delivery will destroy local retail

 

 

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Goodwill – a leader in recycling e-waste, creating green jobs

The following is a press release from Goodwill of Orange County, California. It discusses the great success the company has had managing e-waste and creating green jobs.

Check out your local Goodwill to see if they are also accepting e-waste, there is a good chance they are!

 

Turn Your E-Waste Into New Opportunities.

We all know those old TV sets, computers, printers and other electronic stuff (known as e-waste) can reek havoc on the planet if tossed into the landfill.

What you might not know is that, by donating it all to Goodwill’s E-waste Solutions program, you’ll be providing job training and green jobs to people with disabilities and other barriers–while helping to save the planet. That’s what we call turning your e-waste into a brand new opportunity.

Since 1924, Goodwill has pioneered our own “Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Renew” manifesto by creating a sustainable platform that provides jobs, revenue and a greener environment. We make it easy to be green by providing a safe and free service to the community, where we in turn are able to recycle computers, TVs and other electronics.

  • Reduce: By making recycling easy, we reduce the amount of toxic materials that would otherwise end up in our landfills
  • Reuse: We repair what we can and re-sell to bargain-driven families in the community who can’t afford the latest electronics
  • Repurpose: What we can’t repair, we disassemble and separate the metals that is in turn sold to reputable state recyclers

True to its mission of creating new opportunities, Goodwill of Orange County has been a ‘green’ business long before the term was coined.

 

All Orange County Goodwill Locations Accept E-waste at No Charge

As a California State Certified e-waste collector we’ll gladly accept all your electronics, working or not, at one of our Orange County donation centers. Tax receipts are provided. If your business has 20 e-waste items or more to donate, call us and we’ll pick them up — free of charge.

Click here to see what items we can accept and what items we cannot accept.

 

ViaOrange County E-Waste Solutions

 

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California’s budget troubles – say hello to billions in tax revenue from Facebook’s IPO

California is hoping for another Google-effect like the one that happened in 2005, after the company’s IPO. From 2004 to 2005 the revenue from capital gains taxes in California shot up $14 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg, whose initial public stock offering in two weeks could value the company at $96 billion, will cut in the state for an estimated $189 million in cash, according to calculations from PrivCo, which researches private companies.

The federal government will be in the money too, collecting an estimated $714 million in federal income tax from Zuckerberg.

And that’s just the payout from Zuckerberg. The windfall for California from the rest of the IPO could net California hundreds of millions more.

…the IPO could pump nearly $2.5 billion into state coffers over the next five years.

via LA Times

 

// Photo - Håkan Dahlström

Apple goes on hiring spree in Israel, Ireland (to start domination of Europe?)

Apple is to hire 500 people in Ireland.

The consumer electronics giant will increase the headcount at its European headquarters in the southern city of Cork over the next 18 months from 2,800 at present, a spokesman for the company said.

He said the jobs would “support our growing business across Europe.” The Cork operation provides distribution, supply chain management and back office functions.

While workers are still being laid off as consumer spending continues to shrink, Dublin has succeeded in attracting Google and Facebook thanks to its low corporate tax rates and educated, English-speaking workforce within the eurozone.

via Reuters

And, in Israel:

The “major hiring campaign” by Apple will kick off in the next few weeks, according to Israel’s Ynetnews. The new positions will work at Apple’s R&D center in Haifa.

The company is expected to rely on the assistance of a “headhunter” who will handle the hiring of “dozens of candidates simultaneously.”

The new employees will join the roughly 200 personnel at Anobit, a flash memory company that Apple purchased in late 2011 for a rumored $490 million price. That strategic acquisition is expected to help Apple secure capacity of flash memory for devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook lineup.

Apple’s new hires will be located in Haifa’s Scientific Industries Center, an international technology center known as Matam. Other companies with operations there include Google, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

via Apple Insider

 

// Photo – eriwst

We all pay taxes – Barack & Michelle made $800k, donated $170k, & paid $160k in taxes

As we all get finished with our taxes so do the President and First Lady. It turns out that the Obama’s came in with a 20.5% tax rate on income of $789,674 (married filing jointly), including donations worth $172,130.

The bulk of that income came from presidential salaries, $394,821, and book sales, $441,369.

In 2010, their income was $1.7 million with the increase due to book sales, and in 2009, it was more than $5.5 million from book sales and Barack’s Nobel Peace Prize award money.

In comparison, Mitt Romney pulled in an estimated $20.9 million in 2011, and is paying a %15.3 tax rate on that. It seems that both our politicians are paying lower rates than average Americans.

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Debate over oil subsidies – Senators voting to protect them received on average 4x more contributions

The debate goes much deeper than who received money, but these numbers are still important:

In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed. The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

A Think Progress Green analysis shows:

  • The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.

Democrats who joined the Republicans in defeating the bill include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Jim Webb (D-VA).

The oil industry also spent over $146,000,000 on lobbying last year.

55 percent of Americans want to see the subsidies stopped.

via Think Progress Green

 

Thx to Justin Bacon

The British Monarchy Is Rich But Gives It All Away

The Queen is one of the richest ladies in England, worth over £7 billion (pounds) from the property she owns.

Yet, due to an Act of Parliament from the 1700s, she gives it all away. Over £200 million every year, in fact, this year it was £230 million.

In return she receives about £40 million, most of which she returns to the State for official functions to include paying staff salaries, maintaining estates, and hosting around 50,000 people every year.

All in all, it means that she donates £2 and 60 pence to every person in the UK.

A pretty cool deal, which makes it all the more strange that most think she is a freeloader. I think the common perception is that she is broke, borrowing money, and wasting taxpayer dollars.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. She even opted to pay taxes on this stipend in 1992.

Can you imagine giving away hundreds of millions of dollars to only get 20% back, and then offer to give even more back through taxes?

You can read the full story on this here, check out the property she owns which makes her so wealthy, or learn about her various stipends.

It helps to remember that back in the day, the king was typically the richest person in the kingdom. Money was the source of his power and required to rule. In fact, the most problematic kings in history were the poor ones, relying on others, in debt, and forced into awkward/bad situations…