The U.S. Corporate Tax Rate

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Is the U.S. Corporate Tax Rate the Highest in the World?

There is a popular belief that the current corporate tax rate in the country is very high, and a reduction of the prevailing rate will stimulate investments which will have a wide range of positive effects on the economy. Those who support this theory are referring to the current rate which stands at 39.1% (the highest in the industrialized world). According to proponents, this income tax rate is putting U.S. corporations at a competitive disadvantage. But is there more to the story?

Income Tax rates by Country based on OECD 2005...
Income Tax rates by Country based on OECD 2005 data. “OECD Tax Database”. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development . . Retrieved 2007-01-30 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The truth is that US companies pay the highest corporate tax rate, but the vast majority of them have perfected the art of not paying it. According to official government records, the amount of corporate tax collected by the government has reduced significantly over the years. The ratio of the corporate tax paid to the total pre-tax profit earned by US corporations is the lowest in history.

A recent report by the CTJ (Citizens for Tax Justice) had some shocking revelations. The organization analyzed the federal income taxes and pre-tax profits of 288 Fortune 500 corporations that recorded huge profits for the five years leading up to the year 2012. The following are some of the findings:

While the federal corporate tax rate stands at 35%, the 288 most profitable companies only paid a tax rate of 19.4% over the 5-year period. What is more shocking is that General Electric, Boeing, Verizon and Priceline.com did not pay any federal income tax over this period. 93 corporations (33.3% of those analyzed) paid a tax rate of less than 10% over this 5-year period.
Of the 288 Fortune 500 firms, 111 paid at most zero percent taxes for at least one year during this five year period. What’s interesting is that these corporations had a pre-tax profit of $227 billion, but paid no taxes. Whatever, the corporate tax rate in the country, the big companies usually find ways of paying less than they are required to.

Higher Mortgage Rates?

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Higher Mortgage Rates In 2013?

The news that renters and home buyers do not want to hear is that 2013 will almost certainly see higher housing costs, higher rents and various mortgage fees.

This year also sees the introduction of several new mortgage regulations, and anyone applying for a mortgage will potentially be affected by these.

English: Sign of the times - Foreclosure
English: Sign of the times – Foreclosure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you apply for a FHA mortgage and have a lower down payment, you will have higher rates for your mortgage insurance.

In an ongoing effort to add to its reserves, the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) has implemented various raises to insurance premium costs since 2008, and analysts seem to think that trend will continue. One such increase will be a 0.1 percent increase in the yearly insurance premium that is added to the monthly mortgage payment of borrowers. Currently, the charge for FHA borrowers is about 1.25 percent.

Janneke Ratcliffe of UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina points out that once rates rise, this seemingly small increase will be noticeable.

Rental prices are rising due to a poor job market, a high number of foreclosures and tight mortgage lending, and in addition, the supply of rentals is low in many areas. Real estate firm Reis pointed out that in the 4th quarter of 2012, apartment vacancies stood at 4.5 percent, an 11 year low.

Whereas earlier refinancing options have not worked effectively, President Obama is likely to push for more effective legislation to help owners with an ‘underwater’ property, predict some analysts, including Julia Gordon of the Center for American Progress.

Consumers could be affected for better or worse when a series of new mortgage regulations are introduced early this year. One of the most important is a rule stipulating that a borrower must prove to a lender that they are financially able to pay back the loan.

Mortgage rates usually go up when investors move from Treasury bonds and mortgages to stocks, and this week was no exception. A 30 year fixed mortgage increased to 3.77 percent, while a 15 year fixed increased to 3.03 percent and a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage increased to 2.78 percent.

Chris Christie and Taxes At 10% Realistic Or Rediculous

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A ten percent income tax for every citizen in New Jersey is Governor Chris Christie‘s plan. His belief is that to change the present economic crisis requires a radical approach to income taxes. A fiscal conservative he proposing to cut the state’s spending at the same time he is promoting income tax cuts.

Christie views himself as an economic visionary who is willing to take tough actions to pull his state out of its economic quagmire. His speaking engagements on radio, television, and at town hall meetings make him appear as a current Republican candidate for president, but his goal is the 2016 election. He is confident his plan will work for New Jersey and the Nation. In California, Illinois, and New York, Democratic governors are taking an opposite approach to his plan. They are raising taxes for all citizens and making sure the upper-class proportionally pay an equal share of their taxes. These Democratic governors want to lower the deficits in their states. Borrowing on empty bank accounts will only create more debt. States cannot be competitive if their economic standing is low and they have no money for their states infrastructure and basic needs.

Tax policies, which put on increased burden a state’s ability to be economically solvent are seen by many leaders as unrealistic. His plan which borrows from a bankrupt account may not be what New Jersey needs. His plan is radical, but similar to elective surgery the people of his state may want a second opinion.

 

 

Tips for Tax Lien Investing

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When it comes to tax lien investing, there are several tips you need to keep in mind. First of, it would be better to buy liens at smaller countries. The individuals who are bidding for large companies to invest their money in tax lien certificates are institutional bidders. Since there will be less liens to go around, it’s possible they won’t bother to attend tax lien sales at smaller countries. Besides, the liens may also be smaller.

If you buy smaller liens, then you may get higher interest rate because there will be less competition. It would also be advisable to stay during the off times of a sale. Prime examples of these are lunch breaks, end of the day, and last day of a sale. When you catch the people asleep, then you can get the good liens.

Also, try to go up to the clerk and ask if there are any more liens for sale. This is very important because there are investors who will purchase too many liens and at the end of the day, they’ll realize that they can’t afford to purchase all of them. These will not be re-auctioned by the county. For this reason, most will sell them to you over the counter at the maximum percentage interest.

Setting max bid amounts is another thing you should do. Don’t hesitate and wait until the bidding has settled and the bidders have dropped off. Afterwards, you can go for the decent sized increase but don’t forget your limits. It would also be a good idea to buy from company names that you recognize. Buying from commercial properties would mean that the liens will definitely redeem.

Remember that in tax lien investing, you put your money into tax liens that are created by county governments. Large sums can be provided but you may also face risks. A great tip would be to understand the risks before getting involved in this market.

Investing in tax liens is lucrative. That’s because you can get higher returns unlike in traditional forms of investment. If you foreclose on the property and sell the house, then the returns can be amplified. But as mentioned earlier, this isn’t a foolproof investment and it could be difficult to get your money back if the IRS has a lien on the property or if the homeowner files for bankruptcy.

Advantages of Incorporating in Nevada

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Nevada has spent the last several years revising its corporate code to become more suitable to small, privately held companies to incorporate in.

Nevada boasts no corporate taxes, maximum privacy and protection of private assets.  Other benefits include; many tax advantages, total privacy of shareholders, nominal annual fees, and no minimum initial capital requirements to incorporate.

Some of the tax benefits include no state corporate taxes, no franchise tax, no tax on corporate shares, and no personal income tax.

Probably the most appealing advantage is the protecting to your personal assets when you incorporate your business in Nevada.  The way a corporation is set up completely separates your assets from that of the business.  The business becomes its own entity even if you are the only owner.  In the case of a sole proprietorship, if a lawsuit is filed against your business your personal assets may be seized also.  Incorporating in Nevada provides you with a corporate veil that is almost iron-clad.  In the last 30 years the corporate veil has only been pierced twice.

The law that Nevada has established to protect personal assets from individual business owners also protects corporate officers and directors from any person liability.  As long as the company acts in a lawful manor Nevada offers unbeatable corporate protection.

State residency or the need to hold meetings in the state of Nevada is not necessary.  Stockholders, directors and officers do not need to be residents of Nevada.  They don’t even need to be U.S. citizens.

Nevada is the one of the best states to do business in. If you set up your business and incorporate it in the state of Nevada you will be able to take advantage of all the tax benefits and be protected in every way possible, there is no better way to run your business.

By: Shannon John

Marketing Manger, Laughlin Associates, Inc.

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