It’s Friday. Time to clear out the miscellaneous stuff from the links over lunch:
- Taxing Items. A few items that may affect you with respect to taxes and law changes. First, if you have a business with over 200-plus credit or debit card transactions totaling $20,000 or more in 2011, there’s a new form you have to file. It is a 1099-K, “Merchant Card and Third Party Network Payment”, and needs to be sent by people who sell on eBay, Etsy and Amazon Marketplace as well as brick-and-mortar retailers that accept credit card and debit card payments. Second, if you live in California, the deductibility of property tax payments is changing: starting in 2013, you can no longer deduct Mello-Roos feels or any other special assessments like vector control or mosquito abatement. Lastly, the rules for all those power adapters you have are changing: new energy efficiency standards will come into play in 2013 to reduce “vampire” power use.
- Health Concerns. Two health concern articles of interest. The WSJ is reporting on the health risks of being left-handed. This is of interest to me, as I’m a naturally sinister person. Another article looks at the stress risks of lots and lots of AP courses, and proposes a cap on the number that can be taken. As the parent of a teen who has taken lots of AP classes each year, they forgot the stress on the parent of the teen becoming even crazier.
- Closing the Book. Alas, I must report another bookstore closure. Samuel French, a theatre bookstore is the Valley, is consolidating operations with its Hollywood store. I can’t say I’ve ever been there, but it sounds like an interesting place.
- Laws We Don’t Need. I always find it amazing that as much as people want fewer laws and fewer government intrusions, when they don’t like something, they want the government to stop it. Case in point: A lawmaker in Shreveport LA wants a law to make wearing pajama pants in public illegal. This is the same thing as legislating morality–it’s not the government’s place. Another example: Obama is proposing to streamline government by consolidating agencies and making things more efficient with respect to trade and commerce. In general, I think this is a good idea, but I’m wary of anything that threatens the Commerce Department, as it is home to one of my favorite agencies (which does great stuff): NIST (and in particular, the Computer Security Division). Yet to read the comments on the posts (1, 2) reporting on the proposal, you would come to the conclusion that such consolidation is a bad thing (at least when proposed by Obama).
Music: Fairport Chronicles (Fairport Convention): Bridge Over the River Ash