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France's public deficit tops government target in 2013

By Leigh Thomas PARIS (Reuters) - France cut its public sector deficit less quickly than planned last year, missing the government's target and presenting a new setback for President Francois Hollande. Figures on Monday also showed that the euro-zone's second-biggest economy grew in the last quarter of 2013 largely because consumers pinched by rising taxes tapped their savings to finance spending.

Feds turning corner in deficit fight, posts $2.16 billion surplus in January

OTTAWA - Ottawa has posted its second consecutive monthly surplus in January, this time worth a whopping $2.16 billion. The January windfall follows a $1.15-billion surplus recorded the previous month and suggests the Harper government is turning the corner in its battle to reverse eight consecutive years of deficits. For the first 10 months of the 2013-14 fiscal year, Ottawa's deficit stood at $10.5 billion compared to $13.9 billion for the same period last year.

Finland to raise taxes, cut spending to bring down deficit

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The Finnish government will raise taxes and cut spending to bring down the budget deficit, Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said on Tuesday. The budget framework agreement, where the government sets spending and taxation plans for the next three years, led to the small Left Alliance exiting the government as it rejected the austerity measures. The government still commands a parliamentary majority.

Canadians living outside country may be surprised to learn they owe Ottawa taxes

MONTREAL - Globalization is luring Canadians every year to work, travel or retire in low- or tax-free countries with the mistaken belief that they can shed their tax obligations at home. But experts in the field say the only way to legally free yourself of Canadian income tax is to completely sever ties with the country and become a permanent resident elsewhere.

Canadians living outside country may be surprised to learn they owe Ottawa taxes

MONTREAL - Globalization is luring Canadians every year to work, travel or retire in low or tax-free countries with the mistaken belief that they can shed their tax obligations at home. But experts in the field say the only way to legally free yourself of Canadian income tax is to completely severe ties with the country and become a permanent resident elsewhere. Things like provincial health coverage, Canadian bank accounts, cars, membership in social clubs or a spouse and dependent children living in Canada affect your status as a non-resident in the government's eyes.

Gov't mulls expanding target of size-based corporate tax

The government is considering expanding the target of corporate tax based on "external standards," such as the number of employees, capital and other ways of measuring the scale of operations, sources close to the matter said Tuesday. The move is aimed at imposing a tax on both profit-making and loss-making companies and securing financial resources to cover a possible decline in tax revenues if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decides to cut the country's effective corporate tax rate.

Gov't mulls expanding target of size-based corporate tax

The government is considering expanding the target of corporate tax based on "external standards," such as the number of employees, capital and other ways of measuring the scale of operations, sources close to the matter said Tuesday. The move is aimed at imposing a tax on both profit-making and loss-making companies and securing financial resources to cover a possible decline in tax revenues if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decides to cut the country's effective corporate tax rate.

Column: Four education tax blunders to avoid

By Liz Weston LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Uncle Sam is willing, even eager, to help you offset higher education costs with tax breaks. However, getting the biggest benefit isn't easy since the available deductions and credits come with a welter of different and often-confusing rules. Plus, most of the tax breaks are mutually exclusive - if you use one, you often can't use another.

Spain tax proposal calls for company rate cuts, VAT hike

By Paul Day MADRID (Reuters) - Spain must cut individual and business tax rates and increase levies on consumer items from alcohol to fuel to repair one of Europe's lowest tax takes, according to proposals the government took in hand on Friday. The government will use the recommendations from a group of experts to create a tax reform bill that will go to Parliament by June, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said at the government's weekly news conference.

Grab these tax breaks while you still can

By Amy Feldman NEW YORK, March 14 - As you go to do your taxes this year, it may be the last time you get to take advantage of dozens of tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. So grab them while you can. And be prepared for some tax-planning difficulties this year if you've come to rely on one of the big ones. A total of 55 so-called "tax extenders", little bits of the tax code that either fall by the wayside or get automatically renewed, expired at year-end.
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