Senate Democrats to take up jobs bill

Senate Democrats are expected to take up President Obama’s call and start rolling out their job creation package by week’s end.

They could roll out legislation as soon as Thursday and start voting on Monday, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He would like a bill in hand before lawmakers recess for the President’s Day holiday next Friday.

With the balance of power changed in the Senate, Democrats have moved away from introducing a comprehensive bill similar to the $154 billion legislation passed by the House in December. Instead, the Democrats will likely push through smaller measures in stages.

“First of all, we do not have a jobs bill,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Tuesday. “We have a jobs agenda that we’re working on.”

Sensitive to the political shift, Reid said he’s hoping for a bipartisan bill, though he declined to provide details or a cost estimate at Thursday’s press conference. [Read the full article]

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Everybody complains about the income tax, but let’s face it, paying taxes because you made money is better than the alternative.

So I was intrigued by an item in a tax newsletter I get that says job prospects are especially bright for certified public accountants, or CPAs.

Yes, it’s a newsletter for accountants, but CPA Trendlines wasn’t just cheerleading. It was quoting the latest Occupational Outlook Handbook produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor.

Labor Department analysts say that job growth for accountants and auditors should be around 22 percent through 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. And the employment prospects are even better for CPAs, according to the government.

There are many reasons for what Uncle Sam characterizes as “a very large number of new jobs” in the accounting industry. [Read the full article]

You heard right. There’s no — nada, nothing, zilch, zero — capital gains tax on the sale of assets held for more than a year.Bankrate’s 2010 Tax GuideTax tips and tools How do I … ? Filing and refundsReal estate and capital gains Family and education On the job Investments and retirement Charitable giving Your state taxes & l lt; All guide content

Bob D. Scharin, senior tax analyst from the tax and accounting business of Thomson Reuters, calls the law that took effect Jan. 1, 2008, “the ultimate tax rate reduction.” But as is often the case with tax provisions, this modification comes loaded with restrictions.

First, the elimination of capital gains tax applies only to assets owned for more than a year. Short-term sales remain taxed at your ordinary tax rate.

Then there is a monetary cap, as well as a limited time frame to take advantage of the tax break.

And it’s not for every investor. Some young investors have been expressly excluded from the zero percent option. [Read the full article]

Money gurus are always preaching long-term investing. Not only will that give you a better shot at earning more, it’ll also get you a lower tax rate when you sell.Bankrate’s 2010 Tax GuideTax tips and toolsHow do I? Filing and refundsReal estate and capital gainsFamily and educationOn the jobInvestments and retirementCharitable givingYour state taxes<< All guide content

But exactly what capital gains tax rate you pay depends on several things, including when you bought the asset, when you sold it, your overall income level, and sometimes, what tax-code changes are made in the meantime.

Currently, capital gains are at historic lows. Some taxpayers in the two lowest tax brackets could end up without any capital gains tax bill. That’s right, zero capital gains for some filers.

Others will face tax rates of just 5 percent. Most investors will see their gains taxed at 15 percent. And 25 percent and 28 percent rates apply in special circumstances. [Read the full article]

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