Categories
Taxes

The Social Benefits of Tax Exemption in India

There is a compassionate part hidden among all of us. And, the thought of getting out there and doing something for the society also must have crossed our minds many times. But, how often have we actually gone ahead and done it? We get so caught up in our daily humdrum that our benevolence takes a backseat. But, as they say, ‘where there is a will, there is a way.’ So, one of the many ways that can provide you a platform to actively participate in social causes is to engage with a charity. Every charity works towards benefitting, uplifting, and sustaining the society by encompassing factors related to social, legal, environment, ecology, health, economy, education, welfare, and the like. The cause of each non-governmental organisation directly or indirectly reflects the broader perspectives of global organisations such as the UN, UNESCO, WHO, ILO etc. Since charities work at the ground zero level of the society; their involvement with a cause brings about a more sustainable outcome. Hence, when you get involved with a non-governmental organisation it provides you an avenue to constructively participate in a cause.

In view of the significant role of charities and to encourage participation of individuals and businesses in various causes, the Government of India has made the provision of tax exemption in India for all charitable donations. Yes, as per Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, contributing donations to a registered charitable trust can avail the donor 100% or 50% exemption on the donated amount based upon the type of charitable trust and the clauses of the Income Tax Act. The exemption is applicable for both online donation and offline donation. However, due to ease and convenience, many donors have started taking the online mode of contributing charity. And, since non-governmental organisations understand the worth of each penny, the donor can be rest assured that their money is being utilised in the right way. Hence, considering this form of tax exemption is quite a noble way to contribute towards the society.

Let’s take a couple of instances, if a donor identifies with an environmental cause such as afforestation and contributes towards Save Green, then his taxable income will be utilised towards increasing green cover and initiating several environment-friendly programmes. Similarly, if a donor identifies with child education and nutrition, then contributes towards TAPF, a non-governmental organisation in India. So, essentially you are contributing towards a healthier and educated society. And, you are also being a catalyst in nation-building.

Well, as you can decipher from the above-mentioned instances, your taxable income has the potential to transform the society in many different ways. Hence, don’t you think making an online donations or offline donations to charities can make the most of the tax exemption in India to upkeep your benevolence, save your hard-earned money while also partaking to uplift the society?

Categories
Mortgage

The Role of Islamic Finance in Economic Stability and Social Justice

One of the most distinguishing times for the US Islamic home financing industry began in February 2007. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) sent out a press release announcing that it would no longer buy the most risky subprime mortgages and mortgage backed securities. Two months after the announcement, a leading subprime mortgage lender filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Three months after that bankruptcy filing, nationwide financing entities warned of "difficult conditions" ahead. Manifestations of such difficult conditions appeared on the horizon of the financial market when once well-established mortgage companies suddenly began to file for Chapter 11. Similar circumstances reached the UK as the Bank of England cleared an authorization to provide liquidity support to Northern Rock, the country fifth largest mortgage lender. Five months later, Treasury of the United Kingdom became the owner of Northern Rock.

Up until that point, the gravity of these "difficult conditions" was not fully understood by most of the populace. Late in 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was authorized to lend $ 85 billion to the AIG. This was the beginning of the most serious recession in the United States since the Great Depression. What followed was a chain reaction that led to an unprecedented global financial crisis, as the world suffered from rising unemployment, rampant foreclosures, and severe skepticism of financial instruments.

This led to a renewed spotlight on an unfamiliar market segment that appeared comparatively more stable and, more importantly, far more ethical: the Islamic financing sector. From the financial centers in Malaysia to the Middle East, spanning across over seventy countries, Islamic finance in the US increased from $ 5 billion in the 1980s to $ 1 trillion in 2010. This phenomenal growth caught the attention of global investors who were seeking to safeguard their investments through more ethical and reliable financial instruments. When financial sector workers realized that these Shariah-compliant instruments avoided many of the worst effects of the global financial crisis, it became an attractive investment vehicle to support a more diverse portfolio. The Shariah-compliant financial sector has avoided investment in predatory lending businesses and overly leveraged financial instruments due to the strict ethical nature of the Shariah governance system. News and media outlets started to cover this ancient yet unfamiliar industry in hopes of learning from the mistakes of the conventional banking sector.

The concept of the modern Islamic financial services industry is rooted in the principles of Islamic legal jurisprudence that deals with financial transactions, a branch of Islamic jurisprudence called Fiqh Al Muamalat. Fiqh Al Muamalat is a framework under Islamic Law that charts the conduct of Muslims in commercial or economic endeavors. Islamic finance products and rulings are based on specific injunctions from the Quran that prohibit certain features of financial transaction models and related economic activities.

The Quran forbids interest, also called usury or riba. The underlying reasoning is that Islam considers lending to be a charitable act to help another member of the society in his / her time of need – therefore, profiting from someone's hardship is strictly forbidden. In the conventional banking system, when interest is charged on a loan, the risk of that transaction is transferred to the borrower while the lender gains profit from the interest-based transaction. There is no consideration for the hardships endured by the borrower in the event they undergo any loss from the transaction.

By its nature, Shariah law prohibits unethical financial practices. It also promotes wealth distribution among all people to reduce poverty and inequity. This is manifested in the prohibitions of activities such as excessive speculation, gambling, and investing in products that are harmful for society as deemed by Islamic law (alcohol, pornography, etc). The structure of Islamic financial products and services, especially its prohibition in speculative transactions, has helped the industry escape most of the adverse effects of the global financial crisis. The governance model of Islamic financial institutions has been praised as an ethical alternative by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Economic experts have suggested that Islamic financial principles can be leveraged to promote financial inclusion that uplift the quality of life in developing nations. Islamic financial principles can also contribute to financial stability and economic development around the world.

Categories
World

New York City transit workers and the fight for social equality

As 40,000 New York City bus and subway workers remain on the job after five-and-a-half months without a contract, there is increasing sentiment for a counter-offensive against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s demands to impose draconian concessions.

The brewing fightback, however, is not simply a struggle against a single transit agency. It is part of a broader battle by the whole working class against the capitalist system and both corporate-controlled parties. In order to pump more profits into the pockets of the financial aristocracy, the Democrats and Republicans are starving vital services of resources and seeking to reduce workers to the conditions of virtual slavery.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), on behalf of Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo and backed by Wall Street, is attempting to implement a far-reaching restructuring of the public transit sector. Its demands go beyond “normal” wage and benefit cutting. Instead, the MTA is demanding an expanded use of contractors, an introduction of part-time employment for subway and bus personnel, and the abolition of the eight-hour day. It also wants to reduce vacation time and impose penalties on workers who become ill.

Following the model of such “gig economy” companies as Uber and Amazon, government agencies want to make temporary, part-time labor with poverty wages and few benefits the norm in the public sector as well.

Transit officials announced a plan to cut between 1,900 and 2,700 jobs over the next three years, first through attrition then via layoffs. Already the agency has eliminated 79 subway cleaning jobs, with the go-ahead of the union, as they move to purge the system of higher-paid and more experience transit workers and replace them with low paid contractors and temps whom they can exploit without limit.

This attack is combined with service cuts, fare hikes and a new tax on drivers. The MTA recently axed 11 bus routes and is currently “reviewing the possibility” of scaling back or eliminating more subway and bus service. Fare hikes are now an annual occurrence, which will be supplemented in 2021 with a congestion pricing scheme, a regressive tax on drivers pushed through by governor Cuomo with support of Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio and Transport Workers Union (TWU) local 100.

Cuomo and the MTA have also engaged in a cynical public relations campaign to blame the fiscal crisis on workers supposedly abusing overtime and then on “fare-beaters.” Some 500 cops have been added to crack down on passengers avoiding fares, a move hailed by the TWU, and police have been assigned to spy on workers clocking in and out of work.

The cause of the MTA’s growing debt, now estimated at $44 billion and rising, is not transit workers or working-class passengers trying to eke by. It is the result of the looting of the city by the super-rich. The MTA is one of the largest issuers in the $3.8 trillion municipal-bond market and its bonds are found in the portfolios of the richest people looking for havens from municipal taxes. In addition to paying interest to these wealthy bondholders, the MTA also pays out millions in fees to banks like Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America/Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

Under capitalism everything goes to the rich. There are unlimited resources to bail out Wall Street, provide unlimited corporate tax cuts and wage endless wars. The ballooning stock market allows the ultra-wealthy to shuttle from luxury townhouse to penthouse suite, while workers fight for wages that barely cover rent and homeless take shelter in the subway system.

Transit workers are fighting alongside striking teachers in Chicago, GM and other autoworkers, and masses of workers and youth from Chile to Lebanon who are pouring into the streets in unprecedented numbers to oppose social inequality.

The main obstacle to the unification of the working class are the trade unions, like the Transport Workers Union, which are allied with the Democrats and defend without question the capitalist system and the economic and political dictatorship of the financial elite. The United Auto Workers union just betrayed the 40-day strike of GM workers, accepting the closure of plants and a vast expansion of temps. In Chicago, the teachers’ union is scrambling to end the two-week strike of 25,000 educators.

Today is the first major rally called by the TWU after nearly half a year without a contract. While the MTA has put forward its demands for blood, the TWU has refrained from articulating any demands for improved conditions for transit workers. The last thing the TWU wants is a strike. That is not just because it fears fines and losing automatic dues checkoff, but above all because it would win popular support and could become the catalyst of a direct confrontation with the union-aligned Democratic Party.

As former Local 100 president and current TWU national president John Samuelsen told a New York Times reporter, as he was caught leaving a lavish fundraising affair of businessmen for Cuomo, “the governor has been the best governor for the trade union movement ever.”

If transit workers are to take forward their struggle, they must take the initiative in their own hands through the formation of rank-and-file workplace committees, which are independent of the TWU and based on what transit workers and their families need not what the corporate-controlled politicians and union bureaucrats say is affordable.

These committees should demand a 40 percent wage hike to offset years of stagnating wages, the conversion of all second-tier, temp and contract workers into full-time workers with full pay and benefits, and the extension of industrial democracy, including workers’ control over safety and working conditions.

Transit workers must unite with every other section of the working class—logistics and retail workers, teachers, health care and service workers and college and high school youth—to build up a political counter-offensive of the working class against the capitalist system and for socialism.

A radical redistribution of society’s wealth to meet the needs of the majority will not be achieved through appeals to the conscience of the rich or through the capitalist Democratic Party, like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claim. It will only be achieved through a frontal assault on the private fortunes of the super-rich and the expropriation of their ill-gotten gains. The debts owed to the banks and wealthy bondholders must be canceled as part of a program of transforming the giant banks and corporations into public enterprises collectively owned and democratically controlled by the working class.

Transit workers are not facing a limited trade union struggle but a political fight, which requires mobilizing the entire working class to fight for socialism. The Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site are fighting to build the revolutionary leadership for this struggle.


Categories
Auto Loans

Car Loans for People on Social Security

Since 1974, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has helped several blind, aged and disabled Americans. Today, the SSI program is a source of income to approximately eight million people of America.

Car lenders often have a problem in approving your loan request, if you receive income from SSI or any of the following sources:

>> Social security benefits

>> Disability income

>> Workers compensation

>> Unemployment benefits

>> Pension

>> Interest income

>> Cash from friends and relatives

Why do Lenders have a problem with People on Social Security?

Lenders categorize income in two parts:

1. Earned Income

You earn wages, net-earnings and other such incomes because of your job or business. Such income is considered earned income.

2. Unearned Income

SSI, compensation and other social security benefits that you receive without doing any work are considered unearned income.

Lenders believe that unearned income is unstable. It is possible that you may receive less income in future due to change in government policies. Also, the unearned income is necessary for your survival. It is usually inadequate to make regular monthly payments on a car loan.

So, if you have unearned income, lenders will not approve your car loan application easily.

How to get a Car Loan if you are on Social Security?

People with social security are considered risky borrowers. So, to get approved for a car loan, your goal must be to reduce the lender’s risk and ensure regular payments. Following are the ways in which you can fulfill your goal:

1. Income from Job

There are several factors that determine your loan approval. Earned income is one of them. If you are currently employed, you can ask the lender to consider your income from the job.

2. Duration of Employment

If your earned income is slightly lower than the lender’s minimum monthly income requirement, you can convince him of regular payments by providing a proof of your stable employment. Show your Employment Verification Letter to the lender as it includes the duration of your employment.

3. Inexpensive Car

Expensive car results in higher risk to a lender and lowers your chances of approval. So, it is important that you choose an inexpensive car. If you opt for a cheaper car, the loan amount will be reduced along with the lender’s risk. So, he will have no problem in approving your loan application.

4. Down Payment

Down payment is the upfront amount that you pay to the dealer. It will lower the loan amount and lender’s risk. Getting a car loan will become very easy if you can manage a down payment of at least ten percent of the total car price.

5. Co-Owner

A co-owner has the right of ownership as well as shares the responsibility of the car loan. You can ask your spouse or children to co-own the car. If anyone is willing to share your responsibility, lender’s risk will be reduced and you will have no problem in getting the loan.

6. Co-Signer

There is also the option of finding someone to co-sign your loan agreement. If you can find someone to assume the responsibility of regular payments, lenders will approve your loan application. But, remember that co-signer needs to have good credit score and lower debt-to-income ratio.

If a car is a necessity for you, it is important that you do not let anything to create an obstacle in getting a car loan. Social security is a boon for you. Follow the tips mentioned in this guide to ensure that it doesn’t become a bane for you.

Categories
Insurance

Here’s What You Must Know About Social Security Disability Insurance Law

If your medical condition prevents you from taking a job or find employment, you might be eligible to get disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance Law. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the Social Security Administration has set up a few norms.

– The person cannot work as before

– The person has a condition, usually physical disability, which prevents him in engaging in profitable activities to earn a living.

– The disability is expected to last at least for a year or has been the same for more than a year.

– The person has a disability that can eventually result in death

– The person cannot take up or adjust to a job, because the medical condition makes it hard to do so.

It might be confusing for people to understand if they qualify for SSDI benefits, which is why many choose to get in touch with a lawyer. As for the amount paid, it largely depends on the average of past earnings of the person. As for 2017, the monthly disability payment on an average was $1171, with maximum benefit reaching about $2,687.

When to seek legal help?

Thanks to the formalities involved, one can be denied SSDI benefits, and such cases are not uncommon. In fact, legal experts and lawyers can solve the issue for you. The first step is to understand if you are actually eligible to get the benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance Law. Your lawyer will explain everything in detail, following which the follow steps are to be taken.

– Completing the application. The paperwork involved in Social Security Disability Insurance Law application can be complicated at best. Many people are not sure of how to go ahead, which is why they seek legal expertise on the matter. The lawyer’s team can ensure that the trail of papers is completed as per requirements.

– Assistance with the reconsideration. Applications are often rejected, as mentioned earlier, and if that has occurred, do not panic or lose hope. Talk to your lawyer, who can file a request for reconsideration. Do not delay with the step, because the reconsideration request must be filed within 60 days after the first application is rejected.

– The third step is about Administrative Law Judge Hearing, which is required when the request for reconsideration is denied, as well. Another application will be moved by your lawyer before an Administrative Law Judge.

If your lawyer is competent, you can win the case in your favor in no time. It is important that you choose the right attorney for Social Security Disability Insurance Law application and follow-up procedures, if required. Take your time to evaluate the legal services available, and don’t shy away from asking relevant questions. Keep in mind that your lawyer can save considerable time and money, and their payments are usually linked with the services they provide. Ask for references and meet your legal team in person before taking the final call on moving an application.