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From identity thieves impersonating the IRS to tax preparers behaving badly, scammers are on the prowl this tax season.
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More than 1,000 current and retired Chicago teachers, police officers and other city workers are expected to rally at the state capitol Wednesday to fight possible cuts to their retirement benefits amid the city's brewing pension crisis.
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Athens is abuzz with a rumor: Greece might leave the euro zone and adopt a new currency -- a Greek euro, so to speak, something of a cross between a drachma and a euro to be used only internally. Some hungry economists have jokingly given the new money a nickname: the "Gyro."
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After already having gone through 150 careers, including police officer and astronaut, Barbie's newest gig is an entrepreneur.
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Facebook buys messaging app WhatsApp for $16bn (£9.6bn) in its biggest ever purchase, with an additional $3bn given to WhatsApp's founders and employees.
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President Obama today proposed eliminating corporate tax loopholes and using the money to cut the business tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent. The tax code "is unnecessarily complicated and forces America's small businesses to spend countless hours and dollars filing their taxes," he said in a statement.



Strange, then, that a plan to simplify the business tax code and cut rates would spark a condemnation from small business groups. This chart tells you why:





The lower rate would only apply to companies organized as C corps, which pay

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corporate income taxes. They make up less than 6 percent of business tax returns, according to IRS data. (They account for closer to two-thirds of all business revenue and income.) For the rest of the business world, including partnerships, sole proprietors, S corps, and limited liability companies, their business earnings flow through to owners' personal income and are taxed at individual income tax rates.



Eliminating tax breaks without lowering individual income tax rates could effectively raise taxes on some small business owners, says Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association, a Washington trade group. "The business deductions are relatively unified. A deduction's a deduction, whether you're a C corp or a sole proprietor, for the most part," he says.



McCracken likes some parts of the Obama proposal: A plan to make permanent deductions for capital investment (such as equipment and software) and research and development. (Yes, the tax reform supposedly eliminating deductions includes plans to expand deductions.) Still, he says, reforming the corporate tax code and letting the Bush tax cuts expire could leave non-corporate business owners facing a federal income tax rate of over 40 percent next year on earnings over $250,000.



The National Federation of Independent Business, a frequent foe of the Obama White House, panned the proposal, saying in a statement that "the focus should be on individual rate reform." Not every small biz lobby agrees. Small Business Majority, a group that generally supports Obama's policies, praised the plan and noted that "reforming the tax code will eliminate dozens of loopholes that consistently leave small businesses paying an unfair share of taxes."



McCracken says the plan is short on specifics but looks like a mixed bag. He favors reform that would tackle the individual tax code alongside corporate taxes. The chances of any major tax plan passing in Congress this year, he notes, are very slim. So even if corporate tax reform spells trouble for small businesses, they probably don't have to worry about it any time soon.

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CrowdTwist, a social loyalty rewards platform, has today announced two new heavy-hitting board members, Carol Kruse and Shiv Singh. Kruse spent nearly 10 years at Coca-Cola, where she led the interactive marketing team as global vice president of Digital. She then went to ESPN and served as a senior vice president and then CMO. Currently, Kruse holds the position of CMO at Tough Mudder. Singh, meanwhile, works as SVP of global brand and marketing transformation for Visa and was formerly the global head of digital for PepsiCo. If you’ve ever heard of the social platforms Pepsi Sound Off o
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r Pepsi Pulse, those were Singh’s idea. Before his stint at Pepsi, Singh led the global social media team at RazorFish for 11 years. With CrowdTwist’s focus on brands and brand engagement, these board members will surely add some extra edge to the company’s growth in 2014. Here’s what CEO and co-founder Irvin Fain had to say about it in a prepared statement: As the first company to extend loyalty programs beyond the traditional “spend and get” models, we’re helping marketers account for customer value in a truly multi-channel world including mobile, social media, online and offline spend and more—we’re not just capturing more data, we’re making data more meaningful for marketers. Carol and Shiv have both been at the forefront of innovative marketing technologies and forging stronger relationships with consumers. Their expertise in addition to Eric’s years of relevant experience will be instrumental in supporting our continued growth in 2014. CrowdTwist has raised a total of $6.75 million since launching out of TechStars in 2011.