April 10, 2018

Paying with a credit card is an almost entirely electronic process except for one notable step: the signature. Although this final part of the transaction is meant to provide another layer of security, many consumers quickly squiggle something down on the line just to get the procedure over with. Then there are people like Doug Taylor, who goes the extra mile by signing his receipts with a doodle of a little dog wagging its tail. “It gets a laugh, most Continue reading

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January 30, 2018

Yesterday, the filing period officially opened for the 2018 tax season, an annual event that many Americans dread. Along with the standard pain that comes with writing checks to Uncle Sam, people also get stressed by worrying whether or not they calculated their tax bill correctly. Matters can become even worse for these anxious earners if they receive a phone call from the Internal Revenue Service regarding back taxes they never knew about.

But while these calls are certainly intimidating, Continue reading

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November 10, 2017

Even before the release of the Paradise Papers this week, Apple has faced plenty of criticism over the years for exploiting foreign loopholes to avoid paying taxes. The most prominent example of this occurred in 2013 during a Congressional inquiry of CEO Tim Cook. A Senate committee brought in the executive for questioning after they discovered Apple had hidden billions in taxable income through a series of “ghost companies” in Ireland. Cook admitted nothing, however, telling legislators, “We don’t depend Continue reading

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November 9, 2017

This week a group of investigative journalists released an enormous cache of leaked documents called the Paradise Papers. Like last year’s Panama Papers incident, these records detail the offshore financial activities of some of the world’s richest people and companies. But while 2016’s leak focused mainly on the tax avoidance strategies of foreign entities, the Paradise Papers are full of names that will be familiar to Americans. The video below provides a quick overview of this complex story. Tomorrow, we’ll Continue reading

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restaurants-strugglesWhile retailers have seen sales drop in the years since the Great Recession, restaurants have largely enjoyed a boom time. American eateries benefitted from a shift in consumer spending habits away from products and towards “experiences” like meals and travel. And as demand increased, so did the supply of restaurants. Chipotle, for instance, has added 57 stores so far this year on top of the 240 locations it opened in 2016.

The burrito chain’s aggressive expansion is even more astounding Continue reading

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February 28, 2017

GlobalPanoramaFor 82 years, the accounting firm PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCooper) has tallied the votes and handed out the envelopes at the Academy Awards. Although it’s not the company’s most lucrative contract, the Oscars are nevertheless one of the crown jewels of PwC’s clientele. Not only does the awards show give the firm a marketing boost, but it also acts as evidence for PwC’s ability to handle situations in the spotlight smoothly.

But as anyone who watched Sunday night’s broadcast knows, that Continue reading

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July 29, 2016

While the U.S. corporate tax rate looks tough on paper, this brief video demonstrates how large companies can use legal loopholes to drastically decrease what they owe to Uncle Sam.

Questions:

1. Should companies be able to exploit legal loopholes to lower their tax rate?

2. Would corporations be more likely to leave the U.S. if the government enforced stricter corporate tax standards? 

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April 12, 2016

For decades some wealthy people and businesses have avoided paying taxes in their home countries by setting up “shell companies” in tropical locales like the Cayman Islands or the Bahamas. The lax tax rates of these nations allow individuals and organizations to quietly keep their money out of government coffers. In today’s digital age, however, it’s a lot harder to keep a secret than it used to be. Just ask the clients of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, the Continue reading

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July 30, 2015

Trading commodities is a complicated business. Employees in the industry not only have to possess financial intelligence, they also must be able to seemingly predict the future based solely on projections and estimates. For years traders like these thrived in the “pits” of Chicago and New York’s stock exchanges, shouting about everything from livestock to produce as they searched for deals. These financial foot soldiers eventually became pop culture icons, with frantically yelling floor traders appearing in everything from serious Continue reading

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Even though the effects of the recession have eased in the last few years, some small businesses still can’t find banks willing to lend them money. After all, many financial institutions are looking to invest in established companies with little to no risk involved, qualities that most small businesses simply do not have. That’s where OnDeck Capital comes in. This lending startup touts itself as a disruptive financial force that can make loan assessments and send cash to companies within Continue reading

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