The escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing dominated discussions at the G-7 gathering in France.Politicsread more
The latest round of tariff announcements in the last few days means that by the end of the year, essentially all Chinese goods exported to the U.S. will be subject to duties.China Economyread more
Futures fell after Trump said the U.S. will raise tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese imports, increasing trade tensions.Marketsread more
Tensions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war escalated sharply over the last few days, with much happening as Asian markets were shut down for the weekend.China Economyread more
Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
Neither the U.S. nor China wants to be seen as the party that derailed trade talks, says William Reinsch of Center for Strategic and International Studies.World Economyread more
China said Friday it will be resuming 25% duties on U.S. autos, and a further 5% on auto parts and components.Asia Marketsread more
World leaders, environmental groups and celebrities have publicly decried the vast swaths of forest being destroyed by the fires.World Newsread more
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung says the Singapore government has been preparing for the challenge of an aging workforce "for the past 20 years."Employmentread more
Megvii is known for its facial recognition technology and while revenue grew over 350% in 2018, its losses have widened.Technologyread more
Stocks in Asia fell Monday afternoon following an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war late last week.Asia Marketsread more
As if tensions weren't running high enough in Washington, Congress has another battle on its hands: renewing a package of breaks for the 2018 tax year.
Say hello to the "tax extenders, " a series of temporary provisions in the code that have expired and must be reauthorized by elected officials retroactively each year in order for taxpayers to use them.
These extenders run the gamut: Previously, they have included write-offs on racehorses and motorsports complexes.
"At this moment, I would expect that an agreement is reached on the tax extenders package," said Nicole Kaeding, director of federal projects at the Tax Foundation.
"There seems to be interest in both chambers and relevant committees to get this done, but now the question is one of timing," she said.
Kaeding expects Congress to address the extenders in an upcoming government funding bill.
Taxpayers could be in for a headache if Congress doesn't renew the tax breaks.
"You can't claim the extenders if they aren't passed," said Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. Sure enough, the 2018 individual income tax return — Form 1040 — doesn't have any line items for the extenders.
If Congress were to pass a measure allowing the breaks for 2018, the IRS would have to revise the 1040 and tax prep software providers will have to update their programs to reflect it, said Kaeding.
What do you do if you're trying to rush your return out the door and you need certainty?
"You could either do nothing, and if the law changes, file an amended return," said Tim Steffen, CPA and director of advanced planning at Robert W. Baird & Co. "Or you can wait a month or two and see if something changes."
Here are three big extenders that are still undecided for 2018.
For the 2018 tax year, homeowners who itemize deductions on their tax return could deduct the interest on their mortgage and home equity loan or line of credit — up to $750,000 in total qualified residence loans.
The debt must go toward buying, building or substantially improving your dwelling in order to qualify for the interest deduction.
The private mortgage insurance tax extender allows you to deduct your mortgage insurance premiums as well.
Mortgage insurance premiums are an additional cost you pay each month if your original down payment generally is less than 20 percent of the sales price.
Maybe your home was foreclosed in 2018 or you got rid of your dwelling in a so-called short-sale.
If your lender canceled or forgave the loan on your principal residence as a result, there's a tax extender that allows you to exclude up to $2 million (if married) from your gross income for the discharge of the debt.
Normally, the canceled debt is treated as income and subject to taxes, but this break offers some relief.
Have a child in college?
Higher-education tuition costs and other related expenses of up to $4,000 a year could be deducted. What's more, this is an above-the-line deduction, meaning you don't have to itemize on your taxes to get it.
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