Happy Hour: Facebook Outrage And Smarter Homes

Welcome to the end of the week and another edition of Happy Hour! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy your end of the week roundup of all things interesting in the land of money.

Facebook Outrage

It’s always a good thing to know the whole story. Earlier this week, Facebook took a lot of flack (should be used to it by now) over their lack of taxation. A result of going public last year provided the company with a healthy tax refund. Nothing out of the ordinary really. This happens all the time. When a company goes public and employees have a vested interest in said company (read exercised stock options), those options are considered a business expense.

Instead of telling the whole story, the media and an advocacy group wants to focus solely on the refund. Which really isn’t a story. In 2011, the IRS issued $318 billion in tax refunds. Yet, somehow, Facebook’s $429 million refund is outrageous.

What wasn’t covered, was the billions in taxes paid due to those exercised stock options. As the tax foundation points out, Zuckerberg  alone will pay close to $2 billion in taxes for 2012.

I’m curious if their outraged by their own tax refunds too.

Smarter Homes

Apparently two guys that helped rejuvenate Apple’s success branched out on their own to reinvent…the thermostat. Exciting stuff. Yet it’s been a big success since releasing their new product back in 2011.

Their version learns from the home owner’s behavior and in turn saves money on heating and cooling costs. The best part – it’s cheaper than most high-tech thermostats on the market. Of course, it only works if you let it do it’s job, instead of constantly adjusting the temperature. That said, the tech behind it is impressive.

And they are not done there. Seems, they have plans to expand into other areas of the home. The idea of simple to use, high-tech devices for the home has been nonexistent. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Last Call

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Comments

  1. says

    Regarding corporate taxes, GE paid no taxes a couple years ago and their income is higher and it is a very old company. Taxes is a controversial issue because some people think they are doing something wrong. If you they just use the system, they pay less taxes. People see the high income and think they must have cheated.

    • Jon says

      Yeah, $2 billion is a bit hard to grasp! Of course, if a refund is so important to some folks, they could always pay more upfront.

      PSA – I don’t recommend purposely paying more taxes just to get a refund, in case anyone took that seriously, lol.

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