Reuters Money

Tax deductions are popular, but penalties may work better

October 27, 2011

The National Zoo's baby panda Tai Shan munches on a carrot in the Giant Panda Habitat of the new Asia Trail area at the zoo in Washington October 11, 2006. REUTERS/Molly RileyWhen making tax policy, there’s a choice between carrots or sticks: Does the government give taxpayers credits or deductions for doing the right thing (buying their homes, giving money to charity, not emitting greenhouse cases) or penalize them for doing the wrong thing?

Tax-saving ETF strategies to use before end of 2011

By Marla Brill
October 20, 2011

The final quarter marks the traditional time of year when kids dive into leaf piles, heating bills rise and investors with taxable accounts sell underwater stocks to help lower their tax bills.

Margaret Atwood on debt and consequences

October 14, 2011

Margaret Atwood REUTERS/handoutWhat might be most surprising about the myriad economic problems around the globe right now is how many major world economies seem to have been taken by surprise by the concept of debt. Maybe they should have been reading more Margaret Atwood.

Steve Jobs and giving anonymously

October 10, 2011

For all that he achieved in his life in terms of his public image, Steve Jobs was famously not a public philanthropist, unlike his equally titanic tech rival, Microsoft’s former head Bill Gates.

What the Occupy Wall Street crowd should be saying

October 10, 2011

A demonstrator from the Occupy Wall Street campaign stands with a dollar taped over his mouth as he stands in Zucotti Park near the financial district of New York September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson Are the thousands who have taken to the streets in the “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) protests a bunch of anarchistic slackers or do they have a point?

There will be tax breaks: Investing in oil and gas drilling

October 3, 2011

Seated in the conference room of his wealth management firm in San Ramon, Calif., Rich Arzaga breaks out a few tools to explain the investment advantages of oil and gas drilling programs. He’s got a fine-point pen and a sketch pad — but alas, no milkshake a la Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood.”

If you want lower property tax rates, you’ve got to ask

October 3, 2011

For years, the mantra of American homeownership was to count on home appreciation. Every year like clockwork the value went up and houses were a  growing source of wealth.

Charitable remainder trusts: How the wealthy give it away and get it back

September 30, 2011

Though he first attended the Hollywood Bowl more than 30 years ago, Ron Moormeister remembers well those Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts. His voice waxes rhapsodic as he recalls the lineup: Mandy Patinkin, Julie Andrews, a Tchaikovsky Spectacular complete with the bombastic 1812 Overture.

The rich respond to Obama’s “Buffett Rule”

September 21, 2011

Once the debt ceiling rancor faded, financial gurus and observers had little reason to think debate on taxing the wealthy would ignite again before Nov. 23. That’s when the 12-member congressional super committee issues its recommendations on finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.

Would Obama’s payroll tax cut hurt Social Security?

September 9, 2011

The Congressional Super Committee hasn’t even started cutting Social Security, but advocates are already expressing concern on a different front: the payroll tax cut extension proposed last night by President Obama as part of his jobs plan. Those payroll taxes fund the Social Security program.