Your Money Adviser: With New Tax Law, I.R.S. Urges Taxpayers to Review Withholdings

Supported by Business Day With New Tax Law, I.R.S. Urges Taxpayers to Review Withholdings Photo You can adjust the amount of money withheld from your paycheck by filling out a W-4 form and submitting it to your employer. Credit Barbara Woike/Associated Press The Internal Revenue Service is urging taxpayers to do a “paycheck checkup” to make sure they are having their employers withhold the correct amount of taxes.
It’s generally advisable to check your withholding from year to year, or when you have a significant life change, like getting married or divorced. But it’s especially important this year, the I.R.S. said, given changes in the tax code after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was approved last year.
The law changed tax rates and brackets and limited or ended certain deductions. It also increased the standard deduction, which reduces your taxable income without your having to itemize deductions on your return. In addition, the law removed personal exemptions and increased the chil..

Vocations: Fighting Disease is a Battle Often Won With Spreadsheets

Supported by Business Day Fighting Disease is a Battle Often Won With Spreadsheets Photo Christina Tan, the New Jersey State epidemiologist, says it’s critical to maintain vigilance in monitoring for flu and other infections and respond flexibly to emerging disease trends.
Credit Bryan Anselm for The New York Times Christina Tan, 48, is the state epidemiologist at the New Jersey Department of Health in Trenton.
What is your role in protecting people’s health?
The main function is to track and monitor both common and unusual diseases in the state, and characterize their distribution. We provide our data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so they can compile national pictures of disease trends and problems, whether from infectious diseases or cancer. We also work to prevent recurrences.
What’s your background?
I’m a doctor of internal medicine and also completed a fellowship related to my current position.
During medical school at what is now the Icahn School of Med..

Economic View: How to Think About Corporate Tax Cuts

Supported by Business Day How to Think About Corporate Tax Cuts Photo Credit Andrew Roberts Corporate tax cuts will put billions of dollars back in the hands of businesses this year. Naturally, people want to know how those businesses will spend it. But the answer doesn’t really matter, at least not for understanding whether the tax cuts were a good idea.
That’s because the economic case for corporate tax cuts has almost nothing to do with what corporations do with the extra cash.
Economists generally recognize that corporate tax cuts have two quite distinct effects.
First, a tax cut increases the incentive to invest. A lower corporate tax rate gives investors in a new factory a larger share of the income that factory generates. And that in turn leads more investment projects to pass the cost-benefit test that tells a company whether it’s worth building the factory in the first place.
This incentive effect drives most economic models of investment, and few economists debate its un..

The Saturday Profile: Being Dead, He Learned, Is Hard to Overcome

Being Dead, He Learned, Is Hard to Overcome Photo Constantin Reliu, who was declared dead by a Romanian court, in the apartment in Barlad, Romania, that he used to share with his wife. Credit Andrei Pungovschi for The New York Times BARLAD, Romania — Reliu Constantin hadn’t been home in almost 20 years. His family had not heard from him in all that time, and he hadn’t sent any money back. All efforts to locate him in Turkey, where he had gone for work, had been fruitless.
Under the circumstances, it seemed entirely reasonable that his estranged wife asked a Romanian court to declare him legally dead. A death certificate was issued in 2016. The only problem was that Mr. Constantin was very much alive.
But that was just the beginning of Mr. Constantin’s troubles, as he discovered when he finally returned home in January. In a plot twist straight out of a Kafka novel, a different Romanian court this month refused to overturn his death certificate, leaving him in legal limbo, between life ..