19 November 2018 FT — Articles to Read

19 November 2018


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are 10 things you cannot deduct from your taxes anymore?


Central bankers face a ‘world full of uncertainties’ – Pg. 2

–          Central bankers much as “the ability and agility to manoeuvre though the current world that’s full of uncertainties”

–          The most pressing challenge for the ECB emanates from Italy.  The government’s plans to run a substantial budget deficit have led to clashes with the commission


US real estate – Pg. 7

–          …Opportunity Zones…in simpliest terms, it allows investors to reduce their capital gains by investing in deprived areas

–          …the proposed Opportunity Zones have brought together some unlikely bedfellows, with the backers including Obama progressives…Manhattan allies…and Silicon Valley pioneers

–          …Opportunity Zones may one day come to be seen as the boldest economic development plan for poor areas in a generation.  But they could also send up presenting the most generous tax deal to the rich in decades

–          The revelation that the new Amazon headquarters in Long Island City is located in one of these Opportunity Zones has only increased the interest in – and scrutiny of – the proposal

–          There is a long history of trying to bend the tax code to lift up impoverished areas.  It is a matter of wonkish debate whether Opportunity Zones will fare any better than previous efforts

–          …the aim is to shift some of the estimated $6.1tn of capital gains built up in the US – particularly in the easy-money years that followed the financial crisis – to deprived communities

–          The authors of the plan settled on a simple incentive: allow investors to defer capital gains – from the sale of property, stocks, a business, anything – as long s they reinvest the profits in one of 8,700 Opportunity Zones around the country.  These are deprived areas chosen by each of the states where the average income is less than 80% of the surrounding area or poverty levels are above 20%

–          For those who qualify, their original capital gains tax will be reduced by 10% if they hold the new investment for at least five years.  It will be cut by 15% after seven years.  After 10 years, there is an added bonus: any profits generated from the Opportunity Zone investment become tax-free

–          There is also the fact that real estate developers – renowned for their determination to avoid taxes – are expected to be big users of the funds.  At present, their favoured tax vehicle is a “1031 exchange”, which allows a developer to defer capital gains by ploughing the proceeds from one property sale into another property investment.  Opportunity Zones have been described as a 1031 exchange on steroids

–          The great appeal of Opportunity Zones, … is their flexibility – and the fact that investors can steer as much, or as little, of their capital into worthy projects as they see fit

–          Investors cannot simply park their money in a vacant lot and reap the benefits.  They must increase the value of a business or property by 100% before the investment can be sold on.  That would be far easier to accomplish in a poor neighbourhood than, for example, an up-and-coming part of Brooklyn

–          (Prof Note: For the past months I have been spending a majority of my time working on Ozone projects.  If you are not familiar…GET FAMILIAR!)


Answer: (1) Personal exemptions; (2) Alimony; (3) Non-military job-related moving expenses; (4) Home equity loan interest; (5) Theft Losses; (6) Casualty losses not from a disaster declared by the president; (7) Employee business expenses; (8) Investment expenses; (9) Tax preparation fees; (10) Legal fees paid on an award, judgment or settlement