taxes

Tax Refund
5:00 am
Mon February 24, 2014

TurboTax Offers Taxpayers Option Of Getting Refund In Amazon Gift Card

File image
Paul Sakuma AP Photo

From car dealers to appliance stores, businesses know tax refund season is an important time of year. The average tax refund so far this year is $3,200 and more than three-quarters of taxpayers get a refund. 

Seattle's Amazon.com undoubtedly gets a boost already from that influx of cash. But this year, the company is aiming for more.

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Tax Loophole
4:54 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Enviro Groups Urge Lawmakers To Close Tax Loophole Benefiting Oil Companies

File image
AP Photo

More than 20 environmental groups have joined together with a common priority this short legislative session: close what they say is a huge loophole benefiting big oil companies.

The Environmental Priorities Coalition includes big names like the Sierra Club, American Rivers, Fuse and the Cascade Bicycle Club. They don’t always see eye to eye on things, but when it comes to oil companies and the state tax structure, they’re all sure something’s not quite right.

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Cost of health care
11:58 am
Fri September 27, 2013

'How Much Will Obamacare Cost Me?' Try Our Calculator

No envelope backs required for this health care calculation.
iStockphoto.com

On Tuesday, if all goes according to plan, the federal health law's marketplaces for individual health insurance are scheduled to open for business.

Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014, or else they'll be liable for a tax penalty.

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Politics
5:45 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Defiance and praise as Washington High Court makes tax hikes easier

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Raising taxes in Washington just got a whole lot easier. The state Supreme Court Thursday threw out the requirement that tax increases muster a two-thirds vote of the legislature. Democrats say the ruling will allow more options as lawmakers grapple with ongoing budget woes. But Republicans vow to uphold the will of voters who have repeatedly supported a high bar for tax hikes.

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Politics
12:40 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Cliff Deal: What We Learned; What Comes Next

Although the fiscal cliff deal was passed by majorities in both chambers, it has still drawn criticism from the left and right.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:03 pm

The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.

For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.

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Fiscal Cliff
2:03 am
Wed January 2, 2013

House votes to approve 'Fiscal Cliff' legislation

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House late Tuesday evening.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:23 am

The House of Representatives voted 257-167 late Tuesday to pass a Senate-approved compromise deal that stops large tax increases for 99 percent of Americans, and delays massive spending cuts for two months.

The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

NPR's S.V. Date is reporting on the deal for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

"The eventual deal was hammered out by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. It passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

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The Fiscal Cliff
12:58 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:01 am

  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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Public Transit
11:44 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Taxpayers funding North Sounder train service at $29 per passenger

The Sounder commuter train idle at the Everett Station.
sillygwailo Flickr

It's usually easy to find an empty seat on Sound Transit's Sounder commuter trains running between Seattle and Everett.

The trains are typically one-third full, serving about 1,100 passengers on four trains a day. That's about half as many passengers as officials expected in 2003 when they made the deal to expand the service 35 miles north.

The Seattle Times reports taxpayers subsidize the service at a cost of about $29 for each passenger trip. 

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Washington State Legislature
1:17 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Judge says Supermajority tax rule violates constitution

A judge has ruled the two-thirds majority initiative violates the simple majority provision of the state constitution.

Initiative 1053 was approved by Washington voters in November 2010 and has made it difficult for lawmakers to adopt tax increases since then.

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Politics
1:33 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Documents show agency insiders questioned Great Wolf Lodge tax exemption

"Great Wolf Lodge in southwest Washington draws families from across the region to its indoor water park."
Austin Jenkins KPLU

GRAND MOUND, Wash. - Great Wolf Resorts is a Wisconsin-based chain of indoor water parks and hotels. Four years ago, the company expanded what it calls its “paw print” to the Northwest.

It opened its first west coast property at Grand Mound, Washington south of Olympia. The state of Washington declared the resort tax exempt because Great Wolf partnered with the Chehalis Indian Tribe.

Now, Correspondent Austin Jenkins has obtained internal state documents that question that tax-free status – potentially worth tens of millions of dollars.

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Washington State Legislature
11:18 am
Tue April 17, 2012

'Hollow victory' for proponents of taxing banks in Wash.

File photo of anti-poverty protesters rallying outside the Association Of Washington Business summit at Suncadia Resort in September. Photo by Austin Jenkins

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 5:04 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For liberal activists in Washington, it has become the Holy Grail of tax breaks. We’re talking about a deduction banks can claim on some mortgages. Last week, the Washington legislature voted to end this tax exemption for large, out-of-state banks. But now some on the left are calling it a “hollow” victory.

This was the scene last September outside a meeting of business leaders in central Washington.

Advocates for the poor protested JPMorgan Chase and the tax break it –- and other banks -– get on interest earnings from first mortgages.

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A Blog Supreme
2:33 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Why tax day is even worse for musicians

The contradictions between art and business are set into relief by the U.S. income tax code.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:05 pm

Tomorrow is the income tax filing deadline in the U.S., and jazz musicians in particular know it. The overwhelming majority of jazz musicians are freelance performers (and often freelance teachers, composers and other music-related service providers). But the informal aesthetics of the jazz world often extend to its business practices as well, with its handshake deals and cash payments. That makes it quite difficult to keep track of income and expenses when it comes time to report to the Internal Revenue Service.

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State taxation
8:58 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Eyman aims to renew Washington anti-tax initiative 

EVERETT, Wash. — Initiative activist Tim Eyman of Mukilteo has started collecting signatures on a measure limiting the tax power of Washington state lawmakers.

If passed, I-1185 would require a two-thirds majority in the Legislature or a vote of the people to create or raise taxes. Sound familiar?

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Law
9:42 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Democratic lawmakers seek to overturn supermajority for taxes

Washington voters consistently send Democratic majorities to the statehouse. But four times over the past 20 years they’ve also voted to require a supermajority of the legislature to raise taxes. Most recently, in 2010. Now a group of Democratic lawmakers and their allies are challenging the constitutionality of that two-thirds rule.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

IRS revives amnesty program for offshore tax cheats

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 3:02 pm

The Internal Revenue Service is brining back an amnesty program for Americans who have stashed money in offshore accounts in order to dodge taxes. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman announced the program's renewal on Monday, saying the tax dodgers would have to pay back taxes and penalties but would not face any criminal charges.

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