Inflation relief checks: California, Florida... | Middle-class tax refund, payments... | Summary news 20 November
Inflation relief: live updates
Headlines: Sunday 20 November 2022
- 24 states saw increases in their unemployment rate in October
- 30-year fixed mortgage rates see biggest drop in almost 40 years
- Estimated $183 bn wiped off crypto markets after FTX collapse
- Class action lawsuit filed against FTX founder and numerous celebrity promoters, including Tom Brady
- Mass resignations at Twitter, Elon Musk closes offices to workers
- St Louis court issues another block on Student Loan Forgiveness
- White House considers extending the student loan moratorium
- Elizabeth Holmes, founder of failed Theranos, sentenced to 11 years in prison on fraud convictions
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How much can I claim from the standard mileage rate?
Each year the IRS issues a standard mileage rate, which is used by taxpayers who need to buy motor fuel for business reasons. The rate is used to calculate the deductible costs associated with operating an automobile for business.
Usually the reimbursement rate is fixed for a year but in 2022, with inflation running high and gasoline prices hitting record levels, the IRS opted to increase the rate.
From 1 July 2022, taxpayers will be able to claim a standard mileage rate for business travel of 62.5 cents per mile. This was a 4 cents increase on the rate introduced at the start of the year.
"The Eighth Circuit’s erroneous injunction leaves millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo, uncertain about the size of their debt and unable to make financial decisions with an accurate understanding of their future repayment obligations."
Black Friday is a relatively recent invention but has quickly become an important date in the diary for people looking to get some incredible offers in the lead-up to Christmas.
Many outlets offer major discounts across their product ranges to encourage shopping during the holiday period. Many also use the event as an excuse to consider major purchases for electronics and appliances as they hit record-low prices.
Here's what you need to know about the big sales day in 2022...
What will the Federal Reserve do to interest rates next?
There has been much talk about the US entering a recession but the economy has yet to experience a major slowdown. There are fears though that the aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve could tip the scales with St Louis Fed President James Bullard calling on his colleagues to raise rates to a minimum of 5% to 5.25%.
With data showing that inflation is slowing there had been hope that the Fed would ease up on future rate hikes which sent markets higher last week. But Bullard’s comments dampened their enthusiasm.
Even so though, a report from Goldman Sachs is predicting that the US will narrowly avoid a recession in 2023. While there will be a slowdown in labor demand, they expect that the slack will come from the large numbers of vacancies reducing and not from rising unemployment. At a labor conference the new Boston Fed President Susan Collins concurred with that assessment.
Twitter, the financial news hotspot?
Twitter owner Elon Musk has overseen a chaotic few weeks in charge of the platform, but he maintains that the site is the place to be for breaking news. The collapse of FTX, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has been documented in full on Twitter in recent weeks and Musk rates the coverage on the site as the best in class.
Biden takes Student Loan Forgiveness to the Supreme Court
President Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness program has been in the works for 18 months but, just weeks before it was set to go live, has been blocked by federal courts. Legal challenges in GOP-led states have slammed the breaks on Biden's proposal and left borrowers in a state of limbo with the student loan moratorium scheduled to end on 31 December.
How to check your California Middle Class Tax Refund
The state of California is still in the process of distributing one-off payments worth up to $1,050 per person, to help residents deal with the crippling price rises recorded in 2022. Most of those receiving their payments now are doing so via a pre-paid debit card sent out by the state.
But how can you tell if you card are verfied? Here's what you need to look out for...
Over 2,000 Starbucks employees at 125 stores staged a mass, nationwide walk-out on Thursday in protest at the company's reluctance to strike a new labor deal with workers' unions. Starbucks Workers United said it wants to provide a safer work environment for its members and deal with other key issues such as understaffing and overworking.
Union requests include stopping harassment from managers, allowing employees to defend themselves against aggressive customers, letting workers pick up shifts at other non-union locations and formalizing employees' roles so that they cannot be asked to do additional work.
Will inflation affect Thanksgiving travel plans?
Travel site hopper.com reports that airfares cost 22 percent more this year than in 2019, while the U.S. Travel Association claims that travellers are shifting their plans, travelling shorter distances, curtailing visits and lodging with friends or family instead of renting hotel rooms,
But, the AAA says that doesn't mean travelling isn't going to be busy. "The AAA predicts 54.6 million people will travel at least 50 miles to celebrate this Turkey Day season. It could be the third-busiest Thanksgiving travel period since AAA started tracking in 2000, but experts forecast that both car and air travel will remain just shy of pre-pandemic levels set in 2019."
Inflation eases north of the border (and in the US too)
Price pressures have begun to ease in Canada, with gas prices falling from record highs and annual inflation holding steady at 6.9 per cent in October.
Inflation in Canada reached the highest levels since 1981 in the summer, with rates steadily increasing since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. Prices were up 8.1 per cent in June compared to a year earlier.
The good news is that the latest inflation report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the inflation rate in the US also slowed to 7.7 per cent in October, which was a positive surprise for forecasters.
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