Mercedes-Benz Went to Absurd Lengths to Avoid the ‘Chicken Tax’

Mercedes-Benz Went to Absurd Lengths to Avoid the ‘Chicken Tax’

We have, perhaps unfairly, categorized German automakers as far more calculating and efficient than their American counterparts. While there is certainly a case to be made for this positive stereotyping, there are also plenty of examples calling this perceived Germanic precision into question. One such instance is the absolutely ridiculous lengths Mercedes-Benz have been going to avoid the chicken tax on its imported vans.

Read More >

Avg. American’s charitable donations: How do you compare?

Avg. American's charitable donations: How do you compare?(Photo: Getty Images)‘Tis the season for charitable giving and for tallying up the tax break that comes with it. With that in mind, you might be wondering how much money or property the average person of your income level gives each year. Here’s a breakdown of Americans’ charitable giving, and why this information is important to know.The short answer is that the average itemized tax return includes $4,790 in charitable deductions, but that doesn’t tell the entire story.First, not everyone who donates to charity can use the charitable deduction. To get the tax break, you need to itemize deductions on your tax return. If you take the standard deduction, you cannot deduct your charitable contributions. Since about three-fourths of tax returns take the standard deduction, it’s fair to say that there are a lot of donations that go unclaimed for tax purposes. So keep in mind that the overall average quoted here only refers to taxpayers who itemize.Second, among taxpayers who itemize, charitable deductions vary widely based on income. For example, the average itemizing taxpayer with adjusted gross income (AGI) of $80,000 claims a charitable deduction of $3,040, while someone with an AGI of $800,000 could be expected to claim $22,400 of contributions.Here’s a breakdown of the average charitable deduction by income level, according to the IRS’s 2014 Statistics of Income (SOI), the latest tax year for which full, finalized data is available.

Read More >