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Last-minute tax breaks for donations to Chile and Haiti

A House bill was introduced yesterday which, if signed into law, will allow taxpayers to deduct last-minute, charitable donations for disaster relief in Chile from their 2009 tax returns rather than waiting to claim the deductions on their 2010 returns. In order to qualify as deductions for the 2009 tax year under the proposed bill,

BP planning to take a $10 billion tax credit

Facing a $17 billion second quarter loss and $32 billion in spill cleanup costs, BP has decided to take a $10 billion tax credit. This credit is intended as a cash loan advance for companies in trouble. The legality of the BP tax credit is under debate. In the end, the U.S. Government may see

Regulation E May Mean Fewer Overdraft Fees, More Payday Loans

Effective July 1, a new federal banking law, Regulation E, will require banks to notify customers when an ATM or debit-card transaction will result in an overdraft or insufficient funds fee. Once the regulation takes effect, banks and credit unions will not be able to pay debit-card and ATM overdraft transactions without allowing the customer

Bernanke says Fed should regulate all banks

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke opposes a draft bill now in the Senate which would remove much of the central bank’s supervisory role and limit its authority to regulation of large bank holding companies. The bill, proposed by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, would limit the Fed’s supervisory authority to banks with more
abandoned and decrepit buildings along empty street

Do payday loan shops cause urban blight?

Payday loan shops are everywhere, and some people aren’t happy about that. Coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, and convenience stores are everywhere, too. Concentrated proliferations of payday loan shops, however, have led to marked political discord not shared by other ubiquitous businesses. In legislative arenas, colorful epithets are frequently the norm when the topic turns to
A mural of the ayatollah Khomeni in Teheran, Iran

Iranian nuclear scientist goes home to the Ayatollah empty-handed

An Iranian nuclear scientist who defected to the U.S. in 2009 returned to a hero’s welcome in Iran Thursday. Shahram Amiri claims he was kidnapped by the CIA. U.S. officials say he defected on his own free will and apparently got homesick. Some speculate that Amiri has been an agent controlled by the Iranian government

Payments market shakeup: Smartphone credit card processing

Wireless carriers using contactless payment technology for Smartphone credit card processing could give credit card companies a worthy competitor. Wireless heavyweights AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are gearing up to face off against credit card heavyweights MasterCard and Visa with a test of a mobile payments system in which consumers make a purchase by holding a

Medical credit cards under investigation

In New York state, the attorney general has launched an investigation into medical credit cards. These high-rate credit cards are marketed to patients that need money now, often when they’re already in the doctor’s office. These cards, which offer an fast cash advance to pay off medical bills, are often marketed with allegedly deceptive practices.
a woman at an ATM

Why opting out of debit card overdraft coverage is a good idea

If you’re like most people, you have a debit card. By now, you should have gotten a letter from the bank asking you if you would like to continue with the bank’s standard overdraft coverage. This letter is a result of new credit card rules that require banks to ask you if you would rather
two people shaking handsacross a desk above lighted sign that says "you're hired"

HR won’t respond to your resumé?

If you’ve been out of work for a while, and your job search has resulted in nothing but silent rejections, don’t take it personally. Human resources departments have changed: Gone are the days when employers responded to resumés. Even form letters saying “no thanks” are a thing of the past. HR departments are busy A