Business Briefs – April 15, 2018

Procrastinators Rejoice: There’s Still Time To File Taxes

(AP) – If you woke up in a panic realizing that today is April 15, relax. You’ve got until Tuesday to file and pay your taxes without facing a penalty.

April 15 falls on Sunday this year and Monday is Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington D.C. That gives taxpayers nationwide until April 17 to get the job done.

Procrastinators can take some solace in knowing that as of Friday 40 million Americans hadn’t filed their taxes, according to the IRS.

The IRS says that electronic filing is the best way to avoid common mistakes. That’s because the software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers to provide missing information.

It’s quicker than dropping an envelope with the forms in the mail. Plus, electronic filers typically get their refund faster if due one.

Trump Convenes Task Force to Study U.S. Postal Service

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed an executive order establishing a task force to study the United States Postal Service. The order does not specifically mention online shopping giant Amazon or owner Jeff Bezos. But Trump has been railing against the company, tweeting wrongly that, “Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon” and that, “this will be changed.”

Farmers Are using AI to Help Monitor Cows

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Is the world ready for cows armed with artificial intelligence? No time to ruminate on that because the moment has arrived, thanks to a Dutch company that has married two technologies — motion sensors and AI — with the aim of bringing the barnyard into the 21st century. Its technology can then indicate whether a particular cow is ill, has become less productive — alerting the farmer to changes in behavior that might otherwise be easily missed.

Asia Cautious About Possible Trump Rethink on Trade Deal

TOKYO (AP) – Japan, Australia and New Zealand are reacting cautiously after President Donald Trump signaled he might reopen talks on a Pacific Rim trade deal that he pulled the U.S. out of shortly after taking office. Japanese officials say they welcome the move if it means that the president is recognizing the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Australian trade minister says there’s little appetite among the remaining partners for any renegotiation of the pact.

Trump Administration Spares China ‘Currency Manipulator’ Tag

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is again declining to name China as a currency manipulator but it did target that country and four other nations for special monitoring of practices that the administration said was making America’s trade deficit worse. In a report the administration must issue every six months, it said that no country met the criteria to be branded as a currency manipulator.