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| August 15, 2018

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U.S. economy surges to 4.1% growth rate. Trump thinks it’ll continue. Economists disagree

July 27, 2018 |

The nation’s economic growth surged this spring to top 4% for the first time in nearly four years, but analysts have some advice: Enjoy it while you can.

The U.S. economy probably won’t do that again for a while.

Although President Trump promised that the “amazing” second-quarter figure “isn’t…

L.A. Times – Business

Facebook’s stock plummets as social media giant’s growth rate falls short

July 26, 2018 |

Facebook Inc.’s widely held stock plummeted in early trading Thursday after the company warned that its growth is slowing amid privacy concerns and other controversies at the social media giant.

Other major technology stocks also fell.

Facebook tumbled $ 39.90, or 18%, to $ 177.60 a share shortly…

L.A. Times – Business

Trump escalates his criticism of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes

July 21, 2018 |

Before this week, it had been more than a quarter-century since a sitting U.S. president publicly pressured the independent Federal Reserve on interest rates.

On Friday, President Trump did it for the second day in a row.

In unprecedented back-to-back statements, Trump escalated his criticism of…

L.A. Times – Business

Liver Cancer Death Rate Went Way Up From 2000 to 2016

July 18, 2018 |

Mortality for all cancers combined has gone down for US adults—but between 2000 and 2016, death rates from liver cancer went up 43%, according to a new CDC report . The cancer itself isn’t getting any deadlier—the increase in mortality rates is due to more people developing the disease,…

Tax loophole from 1960s could let the wealthy use lower corporate rate for themselves

July 13, 2018 |

An obscure tax provision from the 1960s that was left untouched by President Trump’s overhaul could let wealthy individual investors seize for themselves the largest corporate tax cut in U.S. history.

The measure — signed into law by President John F. Kennedy — was designed to prevent Americans…

L.A. Times – Business

Rising fuel costs help drive inflation to highest rate in six years

July 12, 2018 |

Consumer prices rose in June at the fastest pace in more than six years, lifted by more expensive gas, car insurance and higher rent.

The Labor Department said Thursday that inflation jumped 2.9% from a year earlier, the largest annual gain since February 2012. Core prices, which exclude the volatile…

L.A. Times – Business

Eurozone House Prices Rise at Fastest Rate in 11 Years

July 12, 2018 |

Eurozone house prices rose at the fastest pace in 11 years during the first three months of 2018, a development that is likely to reinforce the European Central Bank’s determination to end a key stimulus program in December. What’s News Europe

Japan Wants to Scrap Its Progressive Crypto Tax Rate

June 26, 2018 |

Japan Wants to Scrap Its Progressive Crypto Tax Rate

Cryptocurrency traders in Japan currently can be taxed as high as 55% on their profits. However, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso, wants to change how crypto transactions are taxed, from a progressive rate to a uniform rate.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Aso Wants to Change Crypto Taxation

Japan Wants to Scrap Its Progressive Crypto Tax RateThe Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, said at the Upper House budget committee meeting on June 25, as reported by Reuters:

The profits gained by virtual currency transactions should be changed from current ‘miscellaneous income’ to ‘declaration separate taxation.’

Japan Wants to Scrap Its Progressive Crypto Tax RateCurrently, capital gains from crypto transactions are taxed as miscellaneous income. Accounting software company Freee described, “Miscellaneous income is subject to comprehensive taxation, and the tax rate is decided according to the amount combined with other income such as salary income.”

The National Tax Agency (NTA) explained that Japan has seven income tax brackets, with the tax rates ranging from 5% to 45% based on earnings. On top of the progressive tax rates, inhabitant taxes are levied in Japan by prefectural and municipal governments at the rate of 10%. The Policy Research Institute of the Japanese Ministry of Finance commented:

The maximum income tax rate now stands at as high as 55% including 10 percentage points for the local individual inhabitant tax.

Under the current rule, cryptocurrency traders could, therefore, pay up to 55% in capital gains tax.

Moving to Uniform Tax Rate

The Deputy Prime Minister’s proposal would enable crypto profits to be taxed at a uniform rate, the same presently enjoyed by stock traders. Pwc explained that in Japan:

Capital gains from sales of certain securities (including shares/equity interest in corporations, warrant bonds, etc.) are taxed separately from other sources of income at a flat rate of 20.315% (i.e. 15.315% national tax and 5% local inhabitant’s tax).

Japan Wants to Scrap Its Progressive Crypto Tax Rate
Taro Aso.

Ever since the Japanese government declared crypto profits are taxed as miscellaneous income, many industry participants have criticized this tax treatment. 11,786 of them soon signed a petition on calling for the NTA to tax crypto profits like they do stocks.

Recently, reported that 331 taxpayers with miscellaneous incomes of 100 million yen (~US$ 914,000) and over from sources other than public pensions in Japan declared cryptocurrency income.

As Taro Aso, the 59th Prime Minister of Japan, suggested the change, he also conveyed his doubt that people will understand the reason for the change. “From the viewpoint of the international nature of virtual currency uncertainty and tax fairness, etc,” Reuters quoted him expressing that it is doubtful “public understanding can be obtained” for the tax rate “equal to a uniform rate of 20%.”

How do you think Japan should tax crypto profits? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Daily Mail, and the NTA.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japan Wants to Scrap Its Progressive Crypto Tax Rate appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Quebec Hikes Electricity Price: Crypto Miners to Pay up to 3 Times Current Rate

June 23, 2018 |

Quebec Hikes Electricity Price: Crypto Miners to Pay up to 3 Times Current Rate

The Canadian province of Quebec has reportedly decided to charge cryptocurrency miners up to roughly three times the current price after they flooded utility Hydro-Quebec with requests for mining operations. In addition, several crypto-related proposals have been submitted including one that requires crypto firms to bid for power.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Price Hike for Crypto Miners

Quebec Hikes Electricity Price: Crypto Miners to Pay up to 3 Times Current RateQuebec, a province in eastern Canada, offers one of the lowest power rates in North America. Its electricity is generated, transmitted, and distributed by the country’s largest electric utility, Hydro-Quebec, which was formed by the government in 1944, and currently has over 4 million customers.

The utility has been courting cryptocurrency miners for months to use its surplus electricity. However, due to an overwhelming number of requests for crypto mining operations, the province has decided that it “will make electricity prohibitively expensive for cryptocurrency miners until it figures out how to deal with a surge in demand from the energy-hungry industry,” Bloomberg reported this week, adding:

Provincial regulator Regie de l’energie authorized utility Hydro-Quebec to charge 15 cents per kilowatt hour to blockchain companies, about three times the price they have enjoyed up to now. The temporary pricing doesn’t apply to existing clients and their operations, which total about 120 megawatts.

Quebec Hikes Electricity Price: Crypto Miners to Pay up to 3 Times Current Rate“Blockchain companies will be required to bid for power and spell out the jobs and investment per megawatt that they will generate,” the utility further proposed. “The starting bid is 1 Canadian cent ($ 0.0075) per kilowatt hour above the rate the industry had previously enjoyed — roughly a 20 percent increase.”

Furthermore, Hydro-Quebec unveiled a plan Thursday, which requires approval from the regulator, “to allocate as much as 550 megawatts” for crypto mining on top of the 120 megawatts that are already in operation or approved, the publication detailed. A selection process will also be proposed which “will enable Hydro-Quebec to survey the industry on what it considers a fair price and to gauge what investment and jobs the applicants will generate,” a spokesman for the utility, Jonathan Cote, explained.

Overwhelming Demand from Crypto Miners

According to the publication, crypto miners flooded Hydro-Quebec with “requests that it says exceed its short- and medium-term capacity.” Cote told the news outlet on Thursday:

We don’t want to send a message to the market that this is the price for cryptocurrencies in Quebec…It’s more that requests are suspended until we have the proper framework determining conditions for that market.

“The temporary price is expected to be in place for several weeks until the regulator sets a tariff that will then be applicable to all,” the news outlet explained.

Quebec has been trying to attract crypto miners with its inexpensive electricity and cold winters, as previously reported. However, Hydro-Quebec indicated in January that it will not be able to meet the scale of power demanded by crypto miners. Prior to the rate hike decision, it started turning down new applications for crypto mining operations and considered halting mining operations during winter.

What do you think of Quebec hiking the electricity price for crypto miners? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Hydro-Quebec.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Quebec Hikes Electricity Price: Crypto Miners to Pay up to 3 Times Current Rate appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Covered California sees big rate hike from federal tax law, but not from Trump’s legal moves

June 17, 2018 |

Covered California’s premiums are expected to rise significantly next year. But the head of the state’s insurance exchange said the Trump administration’s legal bid to dismantle protections for people with preexisting medical conditions will likely not contribute to the increases.

Health plans…

L.A. Times – Business