For three years, the Internal Revenue Service has been stepping up its oversight of taxpayers who report more than $10 million in income. In 2011, the IRS audited almost 30 percent of them.
While the percentage of individuals audited overall has held steady at 1.1 percent for the past few years, the rate has been climbing for the ultrarich. In 2010, 18 percent were audited, up from 10.6 percent in 2009, according to an IRS report.
The IRS created a special unit in 2009 to examine the tax returns of the wealthy after nearly 15,000 Americans with offshore bank accounts voluntarily came forward to avoid prosecution for tax evasion.» Read more
One Texas billionaire really wants President Obama to lose the election. And he’s putting part of his considerable fortune to work to try to make that happen by donating millions to super political action committees, or PACs.
Harold Clark Simmons, whose net worth is estimated at $10 billion, doesn’t state a preference for a particular Republican candidate. He just wants a Republican president and a GOP majority in the House and Senate. In a profile in the Wall Street Journal, he called Obama a socialist and says Republicans will rescue the economy from the current president’s agenda. He’s in favor of business deregulation and tax reform.» Read more
The House Republican budget proposal for 2013 calls for reducing the current top income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, resulting in Democrats accusing the Republicans of protecting rich taxpayers at the expense of the middle class.
Uncle Sam wants your income.Under the new budget, introduced by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, there would be two individual tax brackets, 15 percent and 25 percent. The alternative minimum tax, which was designed to eliminate deductions that favor the wealthy, would be eliminated. It’s not the first time the AMT has come under fire since it began sweeping in more middle-class taxpayers instead of targeting only the wealthy.» Read more
When it comes to consumer confidence in an improving economy, much depends on your personal situation and where you live (especially as it relates to housing and jobs). Though the stock market rally is increasing individual wealth for investors — on paper at least — a strong economy is key for those seeking to amass wealth the traditional way — by building a business.
So what do the numbers tell us? Signs of an improving economic environment include a drop in claims for unemployment benefits, which is leading to a rise in consumer confidence not seen since before 2008. Retail spending also ticked up 1.1 percent in February.» Read more
Those in the highest echelon of income earners — the 1 percenters — are speeding past the rest of the population when it comes to rebuilding wealth after the recession of 2007 to 2009.
A study by E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics at Berkeley Emmanuel Saez, “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States,” shows that in 2009 to 2010, the 1 percenters captured an astounding 93 percent of income growth. The stock market, which has doubled in three years, is responsible for most of the gains of the wealthy since the recession, while the majority of Americans are still suffering from a sluggish housing market and jobs recovery.» Read more
When it comes to passing down an inheritance, most families think of money and tangible assets. But there’s another legacy that’s even more important to the preservation of families –the noneconomic one.
Typically, it’s not until after the financial paperwork, such as wills, trusts and family business agreements, is in place that families begin thinking about how they want their heritage, or identity, to be communicated to subsequent generations. But planning for this type of legacy can and should begin even earlier, giving multiple generations the opportunity to work together on the family story.
“More and more, families are recognizing the importance of family heritage,” says Susan Dsurney, family wealth adviser and CPA at GenSpring Family Offices.» Read more
Think you’ve experienced the pain of investment losses? Everything being relative, the net worth of Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, dropped an astounding $478.4 million in a day. As of March 2, his total net worth was $68.5 billion, making his one-day loss much less significant as it» Read more
If you got rid of the outer trappings of wealth, would you gain inner wealth? One woman says yes, and is trying to convince others that backing away from what she calls “a greedy consumer society” provides a better quality of life and personal freedom. Heidemarie Schwermer, a 69-year-old German woman, is putting her money» Read more
Would you say the rich or the poor are more likely to break the law while driving, support unethical behavior at work and even take candy from children? Turns out, it’s the rich, according to a series of seven experiments conducted by researchers and reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Perhaps it’s» Read more
A majority of rich Americans in a new survey support raising the age at which people are eligible for Social Security. Of the 1,000 individuals in the Bank of America survey, 58 percent say they don’t expect to tap into their Social Security benefits until after their normal retirement age of 66 because they plan» Read more