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What We Read Today 17 December 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

Falling prices of oil and the impact on the global and domestic economy (Peter Morici, Al Jazeera)  Collapsing oil prices have driven gasoline prices for regular under $2 a gallon in 13 states.  While this is a windfall to airllines, travelers and consumers in general, it has an economic cost yo others, notably oil producers and their suppliers.  Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland, discusses the economic gains and losses on Al Jazeera TV.

Click to watch video.
oil-price-decline-morici-al-jazeera-video


2015 Standard Mileage Rates (IRS Notice 2014-79)

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven (up from 56 cents in 2014)
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (down half a cent from 2014)
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (fixed by Congress, never adjusted for inflation)

Kelly Phillips, Forbes, explains why the mileage rates appear to be inconsistent.  It’s because different formulas are prescribed by law for each driving category:

If you’re wondering about the difference in the rates for business and medical or moving purposes, there’s a reason: the standard mileage rate for business is calculated using an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil while the rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. That also explains why the rate for medical or moving purposes has dipped while the rate for business has gone up. Inflation is edging costs – other than gas – up a tiny bit.

Note:  Taxpayers have the option of deducting actual expenses rather than the mileage rates allowed.  In many cases the extra work involved in record keeping and accounting is more than an additional tax deduction would make worthwhile.


Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world

Ferguson and Related News

Israel

Palestine

Syria

Russia

Greece

Norway

  • Norway's Oil Decline Accelerates (Worldpress.org)  Country with well-managed (lack of) dependency on oil revenues reacts quickly to collapsing prices with new oil projects being scrapped.

Pakistan

Afghanistan


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