Review Category : Business

Tax Tip: What happens when you can’t pay the IRS?

iStock/ThinkstockYou’ve gone through your receipts, crunched the numbers, checked them twice and now you’re ready to file your taxes. But there’s one problem: You can’t pay everything you owe Uncle Sam.

Certified public accountant Richard Lavina says don’t panic.

“If you can’t just shell out one check, you know, a huge check for hundreds of thousands of dollars, what you can do is set up a payment plan,” he says. “There are plenty of CPAs that can do that. It’s a nice option, as opposed to saying, ‘Uh, ok, here’s $10,000 right here.'”

Just make sure you keep the agreement because if you don’t, the penalties add up quickly.

And remember: There’s only one way to guarantee you won’t owe the IRS.

“You could always overpay them. The IRS loves when you overpay. That’s essentially what you have when you have withholdings and they give you a refund because you paid or withheld, as an employee, too much throughout the year,” Lavina explains

If you need to change your withholdings for next year, do it now.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Virgin America will disappear into Alaska Airlines in 2019

Virgin America(SEATTLE) — The Virgin America name is embarking on its final voyage.

The parent company of Alaska Airlines announced Wednesday that it would be phasing out Virgin’s name following the merger of the two companies last December.

“After careful consideration, the combined company will adopt Alaska’s name and logo, retiring the Virgin America name likely sometime in 2019,” a statement said. However, the combined airline
will adopt many of the brand elements that Virgin America enthusiasts love about their favorite airline, including enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, music and the relentless desire
to make flying a different experience for guests. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe.”

Vice President of Marketing Sangita Woerner,said they wanted one name for their airline in order to be more consistent and efficient.

The combined forces of the Alaska Air Group make up the fifth-largest carrier in the nation.

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Starbucks to open 12,000 new locations by 2021

Starbucks(NEW YORK) — If you already feel like there’s a Starbucks on every street corner, get ready to see a whole lot more of the coffee chain’s stores.

The company announced on Wednesday plans to open 12,000 new stores globally by 2021, 3,400 of which will be in the U.S.

The new locations will amount to more than 240,000 jobs around the world, including 68,000 positions in the U.S. alone.

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Starbucks to open 12,000 new locations by 2021

Starbucks(NEW YORK) — If you already feel like there’s a Starbucks on every street corner, get ready to see a whole lot more of the coffee chain’s stores.

The company announced on Wednesday plans to open 12,000 new stores globally by 2021, 3,400 of which will be in the U.S.

The new locations will amount to more than 240,000 jobs around the world, including 68,000 positions in the U.S. alone.

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Cheerios’ free flower seeds become thorny issue

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — General Mills’ heart was definitely in the right place when it took its Honey Nut Cheerios spokes-insect “BuzzBee” off its boxes, to raise awareness of declining bee populations.

However, botanists are decrying a “bring the bees back” campaign that had consumers sending away for free packs of wildflowers to plant because some of the seeds will grow into invasive plants that aren’t bee-friendly.

The company reportedly gave away some 1.5 billion seeds as part of the campaign, which actually began in Canada.

“At worst these things can potentially introduce weedy plants where they might not currently exist,” said Eric Mader, a native plant specialist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “At best … I don’t know if there is a best.”

Experts agree private planting of the seeds wouldn’t necessarily be harmful but doing so on public land — either deliberately or accidentally — could lead them to spread in an uncontrolled manner.

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Tax Tip: How moonlighting can affect your taxes

iStock/ThinkstockA lot of people are doing the side hustle these days, working a second job — or more — in addition to their full-time career. But when it comes time to file your taxes, that extra money may cost you.

“We saw a lot of independent contractors — they either drove for Uber or they listed a property on Airbnb, and they’re getting for the first time income into their household outside of their W-2,” says certified public accountant Richard Lavina. “Little did they know at the time that they’ve got to pay a tax bill because there are no withholdings.”

Lavina says that means big changes to the way you file your taxes. And while you may have to pay more this year than you’d hoped to, you can plan ahead for next year.

“Organization’s key. If you know you’re going to be moonlighting throughout the year, it’s best to get with an adviser and estimate how much you’re going to be making off that contracting job and set up at least quarterly payments,” he says.

You can also find the forms for this kind of payment on the Internal Revenue Service’s website, IRS.gov.

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Italian grandmothers taste test pasta at three price points

Grace Wong/ABC(NEW YORK) — Ease and affordability make pasta a perennial favorite, but today artisans have turned this humble pantry staple into nouvelle cuisine.

By using ingredients like spring water, quality semolina flour and pushing the dough through a bronze extruder, a pound of gourmet spaghetti could cost 10 times more than the average price of supermarket spaghetti. But does pricier mean tastier?

ABC News’ Good Morning America asked Luca Donofrio, head pasta maker at Eataly in New York City, to create a blind taste test comparing dried spaghetti at three different price points: $1, $2.50 and $10 a pound.

Donofrio cooked the pasta and dressed it simply with olive oil and garlic, and we invited three experts, or “nonnas” (that’s Italian for grandmother), to take our taste test. The “nonnas” were asked to pick their favorite and which one they thought was the most expensive.

It was a three-way split vote for favorite, and a split vote again for the most expensive, but Nonna Romana Sciddurlo chose the pasta labeled “C” as her favorite and the most expensive.

Sciddurlo, like the other grandmothers who took the test, considers herself a pasta connoisseur — she makes her own pasta and has had her recipes featured in her granddaughter’s cookbook called Cooking with Nonna.

The pasta Sciddurlo chose? The pasta that cost $1 a pound, showing tasty doesn’t have to be expensive.

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This Texas company lets you spend spring break driving real tanks, firing rounds and blowing stuff up

iStock/Thinkstock(UVALDE, Texas) — Deep in the heart of South Texas, visitors are getting the chance to fire a real-life war machine.

DriveTanks.com has set up shop at an 18,000-acre ranch in Uvalde, Texas, about two hours west of San Antonio, where people can take control of real tanks on battlefield courses set up with special effects to recreate scenes that seem right out of “Saving Private Ryan.”

Watch the full story on ABC News “Nightline” tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET.

The company is the brainchild of Todd DeGidio, a former Houston police officer and Green Beret.

His collection has tanks from various countries, including the United States, Germany and Russia, as well as “big guns,” such as anti-tank guns, a Howitzer and a few mortars, and machine guns all from different wartime periods, including World War II and the Korean War.

“We have all kinds of guns from around the world from every period,” he said.

The company’s crown jewel is the 1944 Sherman tank, the same model that Brad Pitt drove in the movie “Fury.” It’s a working tank that shoots live ammunition, meaning participants can launch a solid steel, 14.5-pound projectile at over 2,500 feet per second.

DeGidio gives new participants a quick run-through of how to drive the tanks — they are stick-shift — and then guides them through the courses.

John and Patti Albritton brought their tank-buff son Josh and his pal Ethan, both 12 years old.

“[Josh] loves tanks. He loves World War II history, any kind of history, so here we are,” said his mother Patti Albritton.

DirveTanks.com offers various packages, none of which are cheap. Shooting the Flamethrower is $300, but driving a tank over an old car runs about $1,000. Firing the Sherman tank costs about $3,000. DeGidio said one group spent a full day and over $30,000 on the experience.

“That’s everything we had and shooting everything we had,” he said. “It was even hard for us to keep up with them.”

Frank Wong and his family came from Katy, Texas, about three hours away, for the opportunity to drive a British Chieftan tank, and got a chance to roll over the top of an old Audi sedan.

DeGidio said they have hired security to make sure no one comes in and tries to steal their machines.

“We have armed guards that are within 30 seconds from the building [where the tanks are parked],” he said. “We make sure that this stuff is all secure and approved magazines, explosive bunkers, stuff like that … we do an over and beyond on that department.”

DriveTanks.com says they have “no set age limit” on who can drive or shoot on their courses, leaving that decision “entirely up to the parents and the capability of the kids to follow instruction,” according to the website. They say they have had kids as young as 8 years old shoot and as young as 12 years old drive.

Josh got his chance to pull the Sherman’s trigger — slicing right through an old minivan. Both he and his friend Ethan cheered when they hit their target.

“I’ve seen amusement parks and roller coasters and stuff, but this is nothing compared to that,” Ethan said.

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Uber ensures drivers their happiness is one of the company’s priorities

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Uber has pledged to improve service to its drivers on Tuesday amid increased negative publicity about driver experience, according to BBC News.

The announcement also follows the departure of the company’s former president Jeff Jones, who said Uber’s company values were “inconsistent” with his own.

The company admitted policies are “stacked against drivers” and going forward, drivers will have more ability to defend themselves against rider complaints.

Rachel Holt, the manager of Uber’s operations in the US and Canada, says the company is undergoing a fundamental re-examination of “everything we do.”

Holt adds, “”We need to bring more humanity to the way we interact with drivers.”

Last month, the company’s CEO Travis Kalanick was recorded arguing with a driver. He was publicly chastised, and soon after conceded a need for “leadership help.” The company responded by saying it would hire a COO.

Uber also announced it is continuing to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and an alleged “toxic” working environment.

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Google promises to crack down on “hateful content”

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Google promises to “take a tougher stance on hateful, offensive, and derogatory content” in response to major companies pulling online advertising from the Google-owned YouTube, according to a BBC News report.

Marks and Spencer, Audi, RBS, and L’Oreal are just some of the major companies that have gone forward with removing advertising.

The move also comes after an investigation revealed advertisements from high profile companies appeared alongside content from extremist group supporters on YouTube.

Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler wrote in a blog post:

“We have a responsibility to protect this vibrant, creative world – from emerging creators to established publishers – even when we don’t always agree with the views being expressed… Recently, we had a number of cases where brands’ ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values… For this, we deeply apologize. We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us. “

Schindler outlined how the company looks to increase brand safety levels and controls for advertisers.

The CBO adds that Google will higher “significant numbers” of people “to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising.”

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