Italy's former prime minister was convicted of tax fraud. For a year, he must work at least four hours a week at a facility for the elderly. Also, a travel restriction will limit his politicking.
On this April 15, Americans are thinking about the Boston Marathon bombings of one year ago. A moment of silence was observed at 2:49 p.m. ET, the time of the first explosion.
When Democrats took control of Colorado's statehouse, they pushed through gun control, civil unions and environmental bills. Then voters pushed back, and Sen. Mark Udall is feeling the fallout.
Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy is one of the nation's most vulnerable incumbents, thanks to a weak economy. He's hoping to eke out a win using policies and strategies favored by the president.
As family members of those killed Sunday outside Jewish centers near Kansas City speak, they're focusing on fond memories of their lost loved ones. But they're crushed by the gunman's senseless acts.
Special forces will try to dislodge armed men who are occupying government buildings in eastern Ukraine. Russia's role in those protests "seems much more evident," NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.
Demi Clark was just feet from finishing the 2013 Boston Marathon when her life changed forever as a bomb went off next to the course. Now she's back for another go and a chance to inspire others.
A recent study on immigrant job-seekers in the United Kingdom reminds us again of the importance of code-switching: Unwritten cultural codes in conversation can have far-reaching impacts.
The view was great across much of the Americas early Tuesday as the moon turned red during a total lunar eclipse. If you missed it, the next one comes on Oct. 8.
The IRS says it will audit fewer people this year than it has in many years. And, in telling us that, it's walking a fine line.
It wants you to know it's tough on tax cheats. It also wants you to know that it doesn't have enough money to be as tough on tax cheats.
"We hear a lot about people going to prison for tax fraud, but at the same time, the IRS needs budgetary resources," says Joshua Blank, faculty director of the Graduate Tax Program at New York University School of Law.
With a smaller budget and staff, the agency says fewer than one percent of returns will be audited this year. The IRS hopes that number will get a hostile Congress to increase its budget.
"A less enforced tax system rewards tax evaders, which in turn hurts everyone else," says Joel Slemrod, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.
Fewer audits means the IRS is also losing the deterrent effects of what happens when someone tells all his friends about his experience, saying something like, "And, here's what they caught me on. They caught me on home office deduction, or they caught me on something else, and I had to write a big check. Geeze, I hope you don't have to go through that," says former IRS acting commissioner Kevin Brown, now with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
The IRS hopes it can simultaneously scare you, and scare Congress into giving it more money.
The deadline to file income taxes is April 15. For many businesses, deductions on things like labor and rent help to keep tax bills low. But that's not the case for marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized medical or recreational use.
It's frustrating for business owners like Erica Freeman, who runs Choice Organics near Fort Collins, Colo. She's marking a big milestone this month. After voters legalized recreational pot in the state, Freeman spent thousands opening a new shop right next to her medical dispensary.
"...a whole separate video surveillance and security systems—and all of those kinds of things," she says.
Freeman and many other licensed marijuana business owners file taxes. But because of an Internal Revenue Service code known as 280E—originally written for illegal drug traffickers—they can't write off retail expenses associated with the business.
"I mean, all of these things are necessary for the front of the house, and therefore it's really not eligible to be written off," she says.
Recent rulings from tax court have allowed businesses to write off costs associated with growing marijuana. But the income tax rate for pot shops in Colorado can be as high as 70 percent. That's according to Jim Marty, a tax accountant who works with dozens of dispensaries across the state.
"Depending on where they're at it can be catastrophic," says Marty, who adds that the situation is particularly onerous for dispensaries just starting out.
"If they have losses—real, cash-basis losses—it can be a shock to them to find out that they owe taxes in years when they haven't made any money."
In California, 280E is even a problem for nonprofit dispensaries. Aaron Smith with the National Cannabis Industry Association says stores that sell medical marijuana can't get tax-exempt status from the IRS. That means they're filing taxes as for-profit businesses.
"The cruel irony behind this is that illegal drug dealers almost never even file income taxes," he says. "So this provision really only affects the legitimate state-licensed marijuana providers."
The Association recently hired a full-time lobbyist to push reform in Congress. In Colorado, a solution could come from the courts. Arguments on one dispensary's tax case are expected to be heard later this year.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra has been getting a lot of heat from Congress for the troubles at GM. In a blog post yesterday, Barra promised "accountability" from senior leadership when it comes to dealing with future safety problems at the company.
We ask: just who is accountable? Marketplace regular Alan Sloan, senior editor-at-large at Fortune magazine has been watching Barra, who's only been in the job since January 15th, try to weather the storm which originated years ago. Sloan says Congress is villanizing the wrong person.
Click on the audio player above to hear more.
Heartbleed continues to dominate the news and scare the daylights out of all of us. The massive data flaw has thrown a huge curveball to millions of companies and the collective fix is a big, expensive deal.
"When you add up all these IT hours as well as physical costs, you know, buying additional software for security reasons for these companies. I have to believe that the cost will probably be in the billions," says tech consultant Tim Bajarin.
Another blow that's a bit harder to calculate: the PR cost
"You first need to fix the issue. Plug the hole and then secondly, you need to re-instill confidence in your user base so that Heartbleed doesn’t continue to drain you, even after the fact," says data consultant Will Riegel. He says many consumers have scaled back online shopping and other transactions and coaxing them back will require outreach.
Riegel says it will take months before we can start to assess the full economic impact of Heartbleed.
Neel Mehta, Bug Bounty Hunter
Heartbleed is going to cost a lot of people a lot of money. But even before IT departments everywhere kicked into overdrive to install patches, there were already big bucks at play courtesy of a bug bounty paid to the man who discovered Heartbleed, Google security researcher Neel Mehta. For his discovery, he received $15,000, which he charitably donated to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a group that was in the midst of crowd-funding for new encryption tools designed specifically for journalists. Though, some estimate that with the scope of security flaws like Heartbleed, future bounties could yield prizes closer to $100,000 - $500,000.
In the meantime, if you know an IT guy/gal burning the midnight oil, go ahead and buy them this shirt.
To see if low blood sugar sours even good relationships, scientists used an unusual tool: voodoo dolls representing spouses. As hunger levels rose, so did the number of pins.
Millions signed up for health insurance through state exchanges and HealthCare.gov. But another several million bypassed the exchanges and bought health coverage directly from insurers.
A tablet computer assembled in Port-au-Prince makes the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation the latest player on the high-tech stage. Economists hope such jobs help grow Haiti's middle class.
Not all whole grain breads are created equal. Choosing breads with fully intact grains (think nuggets of whole rye, wheat or millet) may help control blood sugar and stave off hunger.
The bloody 1989 crackdown in Beijing changed China, NPR's Louisa Lim explains in a new book. She also chronicles the brutal repression that took place in another city — and remained hidden until now.
For women, lower average career earnings translate into smaller Social Security payments. Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin says women shouldn't wait to start saving for retirement.
The holiday has a powerful message this year for Jews in Ukraine, who have found liberation from what they saw as a corrupt government. But with violence in the East, their story is still unfolding.