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Congress Passes Tax Reform But How Does it Affect You

first_imgRepublican leaders have reached a final agreement on the comprehensive tax reform package. Both the House and the Senate passed their bills this week, and the measure now awaits formal signature by President Trump. The final agreement sets the corporate tax rate at 21 percent and the top tax rate for individuals at 37 percent. Pass-through business entities that pay taxes through the individual side of the tax code would get a 20 percent deduction.The primary issues of interest and impact to soybean farmers and how they are addressed in the final agreement are summarized below.Pass-through rates/structure – the final agreement will reflect the Senate bill approach of pass-through entities paying at the appropriate individual rate with a 20 percent deduction. The vast majority of farms are structured as pass-through entities, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships and limited liability companies, whose owners pay taxes on profits through the individual code. These pass-through entities account for 85 percent of U.S. agricultural production, according to USDA data.Interest deductions – the ability to deduct business interest was maintained for entities with gross receipts under $25 million.Cash accounting – the ability for farm operations to use this accounting method was maintained.Stepped-up basis was maintained.Expensing/depreciation – businesses will be allowed full and immediate expensing of purchases with the benefit phasing out by 20 percent every year after 2022. The Section 179 expensing limits to $1 million (compared with $500,000 under current law) and the phase-out threshold is boosted to $2.5 million.Estate tax – the exemption level is doubled from $5.49 million to $11 million for individuals, and $22 million for couples. The final agreement does not fully repeal the estate tax as the House bill proposed to do after six years.Like-kind exchanges – are maintained but limited to property only (not equipment).State, Local, and Property Tax Deductions – the agreement limits deductions for state, local and property taxes paid to a combined total of $10,000, however it retains the current law allowing farmers to deduct in full the property taxes on agricultural land in production.Net Operating Losses – while the ability to carryback losses is repealed for general businesses, an exemption was provided for agriculture that allows farmers to carryback losses for two years.The Domestic Production Activities Deduction (Section 199) that benefits cooperatives will be repealed but the agreement allows cooperative members to claim a new 20 percent deduction on payments from a farmer cooperative. Also, the cooperatives themselves could claim that deduction on gross income minus payments to members, with certain limitations. Leaders of the national farmer cooperative organizations have indicated this favorable treatment for gross income will help minimize the potential increase in the tax burden on farmer-owned cooperatives.Another tax priority for ASA is an extension of the biodiesel tax credit, which expired on December 31, 2016. While the biodiesel tax credit and other expired temporary credits were not addressed in the comprehensive tax reform bill, there is an effort to have a separate tax extenders package included on another legislative vehicle that is passed before the end of 2017 or early in 2018. ASA is actively working to secure reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit before the end of 2017. We will be providing updates as appropriate and urge state affiliates and members to continue advocacy efforts with your congressional delegation.Throughout this process ASA has been actively engaged along with other agricultural groups to communicate the tax policy priorities for farmers. ASA Washington staff participated in numerous meetings with the White House, congressional staff, and our industry partners. As the process moves to final passage and enactment, ASA will communicate the final outcomes.last_img read more

Add an outdoor wireless security camera to your home for 48 Update

first_img Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Post a comment 4:11 The Cheapskate Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. How to buy the right security camera for you Review • Amazon Fire HD 8 review: Affordable media consumption for Prime members 0 Amazon Tags CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Amazon Fire HD 8 Security Cameras Mobile Accessories Tablets This full-featured security camera is wireless, weatherproof and rechargeable. But is its app any good? That’s the $48 question. WiYA Lately I’ve been testing a variety of outdoor-friendly security cameras — dedicated ones and video doorbells alike. I haven’t tried this model, which is brand new, but the price demands I share it. For a limited time, and while supplies last, the WiYA rechargeable wireless security camera with free cloud storage is $47.99 when you clip the on-page 10%-off coupon and apply promo code QJTCI4WV at checkout. That’s considerably less than you’d pay for any number of higher-profile cameras — most of which charge extra for cloud storage (see below).Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. See it at AmazonOn paper, this camera ticks all the important security-cam boxes:1080p videoTwo-way audioNight visionPassive infrared (PIR) sensorWeatherproofRechargeable batteryCloud and local storageAlthough you could certainly use this as an indoor camera, its IP66 rating means it should be able to withstand all manner of outdoor weather. The battery is good for three to six months on a charge, according to WiYA, a pretty wide range. How often you need to recharge probably depends on how often you access the live feed and how you’ve set motion-detection sensitivity.One definite highlight here is the free, unlimited rolling cloud storage, which keeps your videos for seven days. If there are paid tiers available as well, they’re not listed on the product page.All that being said, I’ve learned that most of these cameras are only as good as their software. The WiYA relies on an app called VPai Home, which has only a few user ratings (probably because it’s so new) for both its Android and iOS versions. Those ratings: mixed.Meanwhile, the camera itself currently has no Amazon customer reviews, again because it’s very new.Here’s my thinking: A visible outdoor security camera is almost certainly a theft deterrent. For not much more than the price of a “dummy” camera, you can get a real one that offers motion detection and free cloud storage. If the app turns out to be overly problematic, send the thing back.Your thoughts?Read more: The best smart-home security cameras for 2019Bonus deal: This is the $14 selfie stick I’m taking on vacationblitzwolf-bw-bs3-selfie-stickEnlarge ImageThis selfie stick does all the things for only $14. BlitzWolf My summer vacation is coming up, and I’m not going to make the same mistake as last year: Forgetting to pack a selfie stick. Make fun of me all you want, but I learned the hard way that my arms weren’t long enough to fit my family and the Colosseum into the frame.You can buy a cheapie stick for $5 to $10, but I’m going to make the argument for spending just a bit more on something like this — the BlitzWolf BW-BS3 selfie stick for $14.29 with promo code CNETBWBS3. Regular price: $21.99. (Note that if a seller other than BlitzWolf appears, or the code doesn’t work, that means it’s sold out.)See it at AmazonI own one of these. I like it because it doubles as a tripod: The feet fold right out from the base. Plus, there’s a removable, rechargeable Bluetooth remote for triggering the camera shutter.It feels solid, too, not cheap and flimsy like a lot of the, well, cheap and flimsy sticks out there. And it folds up to become about as compact as these things can get. (The phone holder cleverly “hugs” the base of the stick.)Trust me when I say you’ll quickly start to find this thing indispensable for vacations, weddings and other group-photo occasions.Bonus deal No. 2: A used Amazon Fire HD 8 32GB for $40This doesn’t quite rival Amazon’s Prime Day deal, but today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the used Fire HD 8 32GB (2018) tablet for $39.99. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers, $5 for everyone else. That’s about the lowest price I’ve seen on a 32GB model.See it at WootIndeed, the Fire HD 8 with 32GB sells new for $110; the 16GB model runs $80. The aforementioned Prime Day deal had the latter (briefly) for $28.These units are likely to have minor cosmetic blemishes on the casing, though the screens should be pristine, which I consider no big deal. However, if you prefer something that looks more like brand new, Amazon proper has the certified-refurbished Fire HD 8 16GB for $39.99. (It’s available in black or blue, but Woot’s deal is for the black version only.)Either way, you’re getting a 90-day warranty. Me, I say take the extra storage and hang the odd scuff or two. Your thoughts?last_img read more

Oracle ordered to pay HP 3 billion in Itanium case

first_imgA California jury ordered Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) to pay Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Co (HPE.N) $3 billion in damages in a case over HP’s Itanium servers, an Oracle spokeswoman said on Thursday.Oracle said it would appeal the verdict.The Itaniuum processor is made by Intel Inc (INTC.O).Oracle decided to stop developing software for use with HP’s Itanium-based servers in 2011, saying that Intel made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of its life and was shifting its focus to its x86 microprocessor.But HP said it had an agreement with Oracle that support for Itanium would continue, without which the equipment using the chip would become obsolete.In the first phase of trial in 2012, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg ruled that there had been a contract. The jury on Thursday decided damages.”HP is gratified by the jury’s verdict, which affirms what HP has always known and the evidence overwhelmingly showed,” John Schultz, executive vice president and general counsel of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said in an e-mailed statement, saying that Oracle’s decision to stop the software development “was a clear breach of contract.”In a statement, Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley said the company had been providing all its latest software for Itanium servers since Kleinberg’s decision.”Now that both trials have concluded, we intend to appeal both today’s ruling and the prior ruling,” Daley said.last_img read more