Corporate Casualties in 2010

With thanks to Yahoo Finance and our friends at http://www.urbandaddy,wordpress.com, for the inspiration, here are the biggest corporate casualties of 2010.

When you look at the list, some will come as no surprise to you and the rest may be interesting. Odds are those you have not heard of, are bankrupt for a reason. However, a bunch of them are automobile lines as a result of this thing called a recession:

Here is the list that meant something to me. If I missed some, please let me know.

A&P. This grocery chain declared bankruptcy in December.

American Media. The publisher of such gossip rags as the Star and National Enquirer, saw a huge hit resulting from the prevelance and quickeness of information in the Internet (Hello, TMZ.com). By November 2010, American Media had a debt load seven times the value of the company, which drove it into bankruptcy.

Blockbuster. This movie-rental chain failed to notice the future happening all around it. While Blockbuster was doubling down on retail stores and dunning its customers with loathsome late fees, Netflix wooed millions of movie fans by mailing them DVDs and offering streaming video over the Web, and Redbox set up convenient kiosks offering overnight movies for a buck. No wonder Blockbuster declared bankruptcy in September.

Hummer. Cool in the early 2000s, 2008 saw the beggining of the end for this brand when oil-prices began to spike. Hummers were looked upon as evil, and the end came after parent firm General Motors declared bankruptcy in 2009.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). This studio’s archives include classics like The Wizard of Oz, Dr. Zhivago, and Rocky, but a dearth of recent hits–plus debt piled on when a group of private investors bought the studio in 2005–led to a much-anticipated bankruptcy filing in November. MGM should be back on its feet by early 2011.

Mercury. Parent company Ford Motor has turned itself around and become nicely profitable, but it’s not bringing the middling Mercury brand along with it. The aging Mercury got sandwiched between the mainstream Ford lineup and the Lincoln luxury division, with Ford deciding two nameplates was enough. Since most Mercury models were glorified Fords anyway, few car buffs will miss it, but my wife misses her Cougar.

Movie Gallery, which ran Hollywood Video and was once the 2nd largest video-rental chain in the US, first filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2008, then filed again in February 2010 when its restructuring plan failed to gain traction, resulting in all 2400 US outlets being closed and 19,000 workers being laid off.

Newsweek. The Washington Post, which had long owned Newsweek–and lost millions on it in recent years–sold the title to 91-year-old billionaire Sidney Harman. for $1.00 in August.

Oriental Trading Company, declared bankruptcy in August, after writing off more than $400 million in debt.

Pontiac. It was once one of GM’s marquis divisions, with must-have muscle cars like the GTO and the Trans Am. But GM could never revive Pontiac’s faded glory, and when the automaker was forced to shrink following its 2009 bankruptcy, Pontiac got the boot.

Saturn, a newer GM division, and my first car, closed as well.

Yellow Pages. Is anyone surprised by this? I have 2 of them holding up my monitor, and I use http://www.Canada411.ca to look up phone numbers.

IRS Releases 2011 Tax Rates

Below is the IRS press release identifying the 2011 Adjusted tax rates, effective January 1, 2011.

SECTION 1. PURPOSE
This revenue procedure sets forth inflation adjusted items for 2011. Other inflation adjusted items for 2011 are in Rev. Proc. 2010-40, 2010-46 I.R.B. 663 (dated November 15, 2010).

SECTION 2. 2011 ADJUSTED ITEMS
Tax Rate Tables.

For taxable years beginning in 2011, the tax rate tables under § 1 are as follows:
TABLE 1 – Section 1(a) – Married Individuals Filing Joint Returns and Surviving Spouses
If Taxable Income Is: The Tax Is:
Not over $17,000 10% of the taxable income
Over $17,000 but $1,700 plus 15% of
not over $69,000 the excess over $17,000
Over $69,000 but $9,500 plus 25% of
not over $139,350 the excess over $69,000
Over $139,350 but $27,087.50 plus 28% of
not over $212,300 the excess over $139,350
Over $212,300 but $47,513.50 plus 33% of
not over $379,150 the excess over $212,300
Over $379,150 $102,574 plus 35% of
the excess over $379,150

TABLE 2 – Section 1(b) – Heads of Households
If Taxable Income Is: The Tax Is:
Not over $12,150 10% of the taxable income
Over $12,150 but $1,215 plus 15% of
not over $46,250 the excess over $12,150
Over $46,250 but $6,330 plus 25% of
not over $119,400 the excess over $46,250
Over $119,400 but $24,617.50 plus 28% of
not over $193,350 the excess over $119,400
Over $193,350 but $45,323.50 plus 33% of
not over $379,150 the excess over $193,350
Over $379,150 $106,637.50 plus 35% of
the excess over $379,150

TABLE 3 – Section 1(c) – Unmarried Individuals (other than Surviving Spouses and Heads of Households)

If Taxable Income Is: The Tax Is:
Not over $8,500 10% of the taxable income
Over $8,500 but $850 plus 15% of
not over $34,500 the excess over $8,500
Over $34,500 but $4,750 plus 25% of
not over $83,600 the excess over $34,500
Over $83,600 but $17,025 plus 28% of
not over $174,400 the excess over $83,600
Over $174,400 but $42,449 plus 33% of
not over $379,150 the excess over $174,400
Over $379,150 $110,016.50 plus 35% of
the excess over $379,150

TABLE 4 – Section 1(d) – Married Individuals Filing Separate Returns
If Taxable Income Is: The Tax Is:
Not over $8,500 10% of the taxable income
Over $8,500 but $850 plus 15% of
not over $34,500 the excess over $8,500
Over $34,500 but $4,750 plus 25% of
not over $69,675 the excess over $34,500
Over $69,675 but $13,543.75 plus 28% of
not over $106,150 the excess over $69,675
Over $106,150 but $23,756.75 plus 33% of
not over $189,575 the excess over $106,150
Over $189,575 $51,287 plus 35% of
the excess over $189,575

TABLE 5 – Section 1(e) – Estates and Trusts
If Taxable Income Is: The Tax Is:
Not over $2,300 15% of the taxable income
Over $2,300 but $345 plus 25% of
not over $5,450 the excess over $2,300
Over $5,450 but $1,132.50 plus 28% of
not over $8,300 the excess over $5,450
Over $8,300 but $1,930.50 plus 33% of
not over $11,350 the excess over $8,300
Over $11,350 $2,937 plus 35% of
the excess over $11,350

Child Tax Credit.

For taxable years beginning in 2011, the value used in § 24(d)(1)(B)(i) to determine the amount of credit under § 24 that may be refundable is $3,000.

Hope Scholarship, American Opportunity, and Lifetime Learning Credits.
(1) For taxable years beginning in 2011, the Hope Scholarship Credit under
§ 25A(b)(1), as increased under § 25A(i) (the American Opportunity Tax Credit), is an amount equal to 100 percent of qualified tuition and related expenses not in excess of $2,000 plus 25 percent of those expenses in excess of $2,000, but not in excess of $4,000. Accordingly, the maximum Hope Scholarship Credit allowable under § 25A(b)(1) for taxable years beginning in 2011 is $2,500.
(2) For taxable years beginning in 2011, a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income in excess of $80,000 ($160,000 for a joint return) is used to determine the reduction under § 25A(d)(2) in the amount of the Hope Scholarship Credit otherwise allowable under § 25A(a)(1). For taxable years beginning in 2011, a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income in excess of $51,000 ($102,000 for a joint return) is used to determine the reduction under § 25A(d)(2) in the amount of the Lifetime Learning Credit otherwise allowable under § 25A(a)(2).

Earned Income Credit.
(1) In general. For taxable years beginning in 2011, the following amounts are used to determine the earned income credit under § 32(b). The “earned income amount” is the amount of earned income at or above which the maximum amount of the earned income credit is allowed. The “threshold phaseout amount” is the amount of adjustedgross income (or, if greater, earned income) above which the maximum amount of the credit begins to phase out. The “completed phaseout amount” is the amount of adjusted gross income (or, if greater, earned income) at or above which no credit is allowed. The threshold phaseout amounts and the completed phaseout amounts shown in the table below for married taxpayers filing a joint return include the increase provided in § 32(b)(3)(B)(i), as adjusted for inflation for taxable years beginning in 2011.

Number of Qualifying Children
Item One Two Three or More None
Earned Income $9,100 $12,780 $12,780 $6,070
Amount
Maximum Amount of Credit $3,094 $5,112 $5,751 $464
Threshold Phaseout $16,690 $16,690 $16,690 $7,590
Amount (Single, Surviving Spouse, or Head of Household) Completed Phaseout $36,052 $40,964 $43,998 $13,660
Amount (Single, Surviving Spouse, or Head of Household) Threshold Phaseout $21,770 $21,770 $21,770 $12,670
Amount (Married Filing Jointly)Completed Phaseout $41,132 $46,044 $49,078 $18,740
Amount (Married Filing Jointly)
The instructions for the Form 1040 series provide tables showing the amount of the earned income credit for each type of taxpayer.
(2) Excessive investment income. For taxable years beginning in 2011, the earned income tax credit is not allowed under § 32(i) if the aggregate amount of certain investment income exceeds $3,150.

Standard Deduction.
(1) In general. For taxable years beginning in 2011, the standard deduction amounts under § 63(c)(2) are as follows:
Filing Status Standard Deduction
Married Individuals Filing Joint Returns $11,600
and Surviving Spouses (§ 1(a))
Heads of Households (§ 1(b)) $8,500
Unmarried Individuals (other than Surviving Spouses $5,800
and Heads of Households) (§ 1(c))
Married Individuals Filing Separate $5,800
Returns (§ 1(d))
(2) Dependent. For taxable years beginning in 2011, the standard deduction amount under § 63(c)(5) for an individual who may be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer cannot exceed the greater of (1) $950, or (2) the sum of $300 and the individual’s earned income.
(3) Aged or blind. For taxable years beginning in 2011, the additional standard deduction amount under § 63(f) for the aged or the blind is $1,150. These amounts are increased to $1,450 if the individual is also unmarried and not a surviving spouse.

Qualified Transportation Fringe. For taxable years beginning in 2011, the monthly limitation under § 132(f)(2)(A), regarding the aggregate fringe benefit exclusion amount for transportation in a commuter highway vehicle and any transit pass, and under
§ 132(f)(2)(B), regarding the fringe benefit exclusion amount for qualified parking, is $230.

Personal Exemption.
(1) Exemption amount. For taxable years beginning in 2011, the personal exemption amount under § 151(d) is $3,700.

Interest on Education Loans. For taxable years beginning in 2011, the $2,500 maximum deduction for interest paid on qualified education loans under § 221 begins to phase out under § 221(b)(2)(B) for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income in excess of $60,000 ($120,000 for joint returns), and is completely phased out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income of $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for joint returns).

SECTION 3. EFFECTIVE DATE
This revenue procedure applies to taxable years beginning in 2011.