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New IRS Ruling Acknowledges Married Gay Couples Nationwide

Aug 30, 2013, 2:34 pm EDT
New IRS Ruling Acknowledges Married Gay Couples Nationwide

The government, announced on Thursday, that married gay couples will be able to file joint federal tax returns even if they reside in a state that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage.

The new ruling, issued by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service, will allow same-sex married couples to move to different areas of the nation and still be recognized as married. The rules only identify gay couples that have been married in an area where it is legal, including U.S. territories, foreign nations and the District of Columbia. The ruling will acknowledge all married same-sex couples as married for federal tax purposes. This includes income, gift and estate taxes. The ruling also affects all federal tax provisions where marriage has an affect, including taxpayer’s filing status, personal exemptions, dependent exemptions and standard deductions, reports The Seattle Times.

The ruling affects over 130,000 married, same-sex couples in America, who will have to use the married filing jointly or married filing separately status for 2013’s taxes. Read 

Feds Won’t Block Marijuana Laws in Colorado and Washington

Aug 30, 2013, 12:14 pm EDT

Recreational pot smokers in Colorado and Washington won’t have to worry about federal agents interrupting their buzz.

On Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would not contest laws legalizing limited marijuana use passed by voters in the two states last year. Attorney General Eric Holder reportedly warned the governors of Colorado and Washington that the federal government could reverse that decision if the states failed to impose proper regulations governing pot sales, the Wall Street Journal notes.

The DOJ’s decision is likely to give a boost of legalization proponents in other states. Read 

Aetna Backs Out of Another Obamacare Insurance Marketplace

Aug 30, 2013, 11:47 am EDT

A major insurance provider is declining to participate in one of the largest state health insurance exchanges mandated by President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Aetna (AET), the third-biggest health insurer in the country, says that it will not take part in New York state’s health insurance exchange. The company has withdrawn from health care exchanges in five states in recent months and is still determining which state health exchanges it ultimately with participate in, Reuters noted.

Despite delays getting insurer agreements in place, state health exchanges remain scheduled to launch on October 1 and are expected to provide health insurance coverage to 7 million currently-uninsured Americans in their first year of operation. Read 

What the Minimum Wage Conflict Means to Investors

Aug 29, 2013, 3:21 pm EDT
What the Minimum Wage Conflict Means to Investors

Another nationwide strike by fast-food workers at chains such as McDonald’s (MCD) raises a number of important questions, though the one on most InvestorPlace readers’ minds is probably “How does this issue affect investors?”

It’s difficult to answer this question without examining the minimum wage issue itself, as the investment angle is wrapped up in the very DNA of labor issues. Both Sides of Minimum Wage

First, let’s examine the employer’s view of this issue. Read 

Dairy Industry Petitions FDA to Make Controversial Change to Milk

Aug 29, 2013, 12:17 pm EDT

In a bid to combat falling sales, America’s dairy producers are asking the government to revise the official definition of milk.

The dairy industry is pressuring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to alter milk’s “standard of identity” to permit the addition of reduced-calorie sweeteners without the need for labeling. Under current law, adding artificial ingredients like sucralose or aspartame requires manufacturers to signal their presence to consumers on the label, Boston’s WCVB notes.

If the FDA adopts the proposal, milk with artificial sweeteners wouldn’t be labeled as “reduced-sugar” milk, but just as milk. Read 

NYPost Claims Weiner Paid Actors to Play Supporters

Aug 29, 2013, 11:48 am EDT

Just when you though Anthony Weiner’s bid to become New York City’s next mayor couldn’t get any stranger, one local newspaper says he is paying … for people to attend campaign events.

The embattled former congressman hired actors to cheer for him at New York’s Dominican Day Parade, earlier this month, the New York Post alleges. The paper says the actors were hired by Crowds on Demand, whose name is self-explanatory, and were paid $15 an hour to pretend they supported Weiner.

According to sources, Weiner’s campaign retained the California-based company to bump up the apparent number of his supporters at events in the wake of new allegations that he has continued improper text-based relationships with other women. He reportedly asked the company to have its employees confront hecklers, but it declined. Read 

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