Thursday, May 30, 2013

Key facts about the Alternative Minimum Tax

Alternative Minimum Tax

Origin: Created in 1969 in response to concerns that the wealthy were avoiding income taxes by claiming extensive deductions.

Who it affects: In 2011, the alternative minimum tax applies to married couples filing a joint return with income over $74,450, single people earning more than $48,450, and married individuals filing separately with income over $37,225. Taxpayers over those thresholds must pay the higher of the AMT or the standard tax.

Who pays: Approximately 4 million taxpayers will pay $39 billion in AMT in 2011, an average of about $9,000 each, according to the Tax Policy Center. About half of taxpayers earning between $200,000 and $500,000 pay the AMT, while less than 1% of those with incomes below $100,000 will pay it, said the center.

How about California?  In 2008, 4.2% of Californians filing tax returns paid the alternative minimum tax, the 6th highest rate among states, said the Tax Policy Center.


(Please support this blog by clicking on an ad.)

To feed itself, China buys up farms worldwide

Chinese companies have been increasingly investing in farmland and agricultural operations around the world. Some examples:

Australia: China’s Beidahuang Group announced last year plans to buy some 250,000 acres in Western Austalia to grow wheat for export to China.

New Zealand: The purchase of about 20,000 acres of dairy farms in 2012 by Chinese companies has spurred calls for limits on foreign investment in land.

Argentina: Various Chinese companies have purchased land in recent years to grow corn, cotton, and soybeans.

Cambodia: Wuzhishan, a Chinese timber company, obtained 780,000 acres through a joint venture with Cambodian company Pheapimex

Brazil: In 2008, Chongqing Grain Group started growing soybeans in the Brazilian state of Bahia. Today, about 20 million tons of soybeans are exported to China.

Indonesia: China’s Tianjin Julong Group has purchased about 250,000 acres on Kalimantan Island for production of palm oil

Mozambique: Chinese investors announced in 2012 plans to invest $250 million in agricultural projects in the Limpopo Valley

East Africa: The China-Africa Cotton Corporation has enlisted 200,000 farmers to grow cotton in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania 


(Please support this blog by clicking on an ad.)