Briefly

China offering tax break

BEIJING (AP) — China is responding to Washington’s tax overhaul by offering foreign companies a break on Chinese taxes in a bid to retain investment.

The measure announced late Thursday is Beijing’s first major reaction to the U.S. decision to cut corporate tax rates. It follows a flurry of promises by communist leaders to spur growth in the slowing, state-dominated economy by opening more industries wider to foreign companies.

Foreign companies will be exempt from withholding taxes on profits they re-invest in industries specified by Beijing, the Finance Ministry and tax agency announced. It is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017, meaning companies would receive a refund on taxes paid this year.

Beijing wants to “attract foreign investors after a host of countries unveiled similar measures to lure foreign and domestic investment,” the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The exemption will apply to companies that re-invest profits in industries cited in government investment catalogues, the announcement said. Those include solar and wind power, “green farming” and other fledgling fields in which Beijing is trying to develop technology.

Court sides with Menards founder

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The founder of the Menards building supply stores doesn’t owe his former fiancee compensation for professional work she said she performed for his multibillion-dollar company and other business ventures during their nine-year relationship, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Debra Sands filed a lawsuit in 2008 arguing that John Menard promised her an ownership share in his various business ventures in exchange for the work she did for them. The Minnesota attorney argued that she helped him expand his assets, including finding investment opportunities, and demanded an undetermined amount of compensation equivalent to the value of her work.

But in a 5-2 decision, the high court said Sands failed to show her contributions increased Menard’s assets and ruled the pair weren’t engaged in a joint enterprise. The court also noted she was paid for some of her work.

“They’ve done a disservice to unmarried co-habitants who may find themselves in Deb’s position in the future,” said Sands’ attorney, Daniel Shulman

Menard has denied he ever promised Sands an ownership share and that they ever lived together.

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