Yahoo has fittingly closed a portal on tech mergers and acquisitions.
The company’s $4.8 billion sale to Verizon caps two decades of deals and non-deals that shaped internet history. Yahoo got lucky with Alibaba, but failed to capitalize on its dominance by not acquiring companies like Google, Facebook and eBay. Spurning Microsoft also was a mistake. It is a one-company textbook on timing.
Yahoo, the web creation of Jerry Yang and David Filo, captured the popular embrace of the internet back in 1994, and a large chunk of the internet’s value along with it. Its market capitalization once exceeded $140 billion, and it even occupied the exclusive Boardwalk spot in a dot-com edition of the Monopoly board game. It failed, however, to anticipate how technology would supplant human curation of the web.
Its overpriced stock was successfully deployed during the heady days of tech mayhem in the 1990s, but put to poor use. It spent $3.6 billion on the web-hosting service GeoCities and another $5.7 billion on the early internet-radio service Broadcast.com. Both services eventually faded away. Yahoo first ignored Google and then quibbled over a price tag that was lower than Broadcast’s. Mark Zuckerberg likewise rejected a $1 billion offer for his fledgling Facebook.
Yahoo kept showcasing its inverse Midas touch. The internet-ad auction firm Overture, the photo-sharing service Flickr and other promising start-ups simply were clouded by Yahoo’s miasma.
It is exceptionally tough to arrest a tech business in decline. The Alibaba deal, however, gave Yahoo the financial firepower to subsist for longer than it otherwise might have. In 2005, it contributed its own Chinese business and $1 billion for a 40 percent stake in Alibaba, an investment now worth some $30 billion. The lack of self-awareness by the founders about Yahoo’s faltering health, however, was its downfall. Mr. Yang and Mr. Filo torpedoed the generous $45 billion takeover offer in 2008 from a then-panicky Microsoft.
In the end, Yahoo may have managed to gin up a frothier auction than it deserved and thus fetched an outsize price from Verizon. It will be little consolation given what might have been. At least Yahoo has left behind a case study in M.&A. that should be of significant value.Continue reading the main story
Tax time can be stressful, and for many, the headaches start with trying to figure out which forms to use. Everyone required to file an individual federal income tax return must use Internal Revenue Service tax Form 1040, or one of its shorter versions, such as Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A.
Various income levels require you use different tax forms. So you can better choose the right one for your situation, understand the most commonly used tax forms.
Difference Between Tax Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ
The difference between these federal income tax forms is the relative simplicity of short forms 1040EZ and 1040A — compared to the longer, more complex Form 1040. Using the shorter tax forms can simplify your tax preparation. Each of these tax forms has the same set of purposes, including:
- Reporting your income
- Applying for tax exemptions
- Determining whether you owe additional taxes
- Determining whether you are entitled to a tax refund
Related: 31 Tips When Doing Your Own Taxes
Before you settle on any tax form, figure out which one is right for your financial circumstance. Here’s the difference between tax forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ:
Anyone can use Form 1040, regardless of whether they qualify to use the 1040EZ or 1040A. If you are self-employed, itemize your deductions, owe household employment tax or have $100,000 or more in taxable income, you must use Form 1040, according to the IRS. To help you determine the simplest federal income tax form you can use to file your taxes, try the IRS online tool provided on the IRS website.
Although it’s longer than Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A is shorter than the 1040 tax form, and it allows you to claim certain adjustments not available using Form 1040EZ. For example, Form 1040A can be used to file as head of household, which is more advantageous than a filing status of single. You can also claim dependents and take tax credits for child and dependent care, retirement savings, earned income, premium tax and education using Form 1040A.
As with Form 1040EZ, you can only use Form 1040A if your taxable income is less than $100,000. Other income requirements for Form 1040A differ from 1040EZ in that they allow you to include a broader category of income. In addition to wages, salary and tips, for example, your income can include dividends, pensions, annuities, IRAs and capital gains distributions. Another difference is that the 1040EZ form’s $1,500 limit on interest income does not apply to Form 1040A.
The most significant limiting factor with Form 1040A is that you cannot itemize your deductions, so you must take the standard deduction. This means you can’t write off charitable contributions, mortgage interest, medical expenses or business expenses.
Learn Now: Best and Worst Ways to Itemize Your Taxes
As the name implies, Form 1040EZ is the easiest federal income tax form to complete, but it also has the most conditions and restrictions on its use. Here’s a checklist the IRS uses to determine whether you qualify to file Form 1040EZ:
- You file your income tax return with a status of single or married filing jointly
- Your taxable income is $100,000 or less
- All of your taxable income comes from wages, salary, tips, interest income amounting to less than $1,500, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, unemployment compensation or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends
- Boxes 5 and 7 of your Form W-2 contain any tips you earned
- On the last day of the tax year, you were under age 65 and you were not blind (this also applies to your spouse if you file jointly)
- You aren’t required to pay household employment tax on household employees’ wages
- You didn’t become a Chapter 11 bankruptcy debtor after October 16, 2005
- Premium tax credits weren’t paid on your behalf or on behalf of your spouse, or on any individual, you enrolled in coverage for whom no one else is claiming the personal exemption
Unless you meet each of these conditions, you cannot use Form 1040EZ. Even if you do meet these conditions, you cannot use Form 1040EZ and claim any dependents or itemized deductions. You also cannot claim tax credits other than the earned income tax credit, or claim adjustments to income such as contributions to an IRA. To benefit from claiming dependents, deductions or adjustments and credits, you must use Form 1040A or 1040.
Up Next: Every Tax-Filing Status Explained
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: What Is the Difference Between Tax Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ?