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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

>Holiday to add 3 days to tax filing deadline

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Taxpayers will get an extra three days to file their federal tax returns this year, and they can thank the nation's capital for the extra time.

The filing deadline is delayed because the District of Columbia will observe Emancipation Day on Friday, April 15. By law, local holidays in the nation's capital affect tax deadlines the same way federal holidays would, the Internal Revenue Service said.

Taxpayers will have until midnight Monday, April 18, to file their 2010 returns. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 17 to file their returns.

Most taxpayers can file their returns when ready, but some will have to wait to file until mid- to late February because of late changes to the tax law passed by Congress in December.

The IRS said it needs more time to reprogram its processing systems.

Those who must wait to file include people who itemize their deductions, taxpayers who claim a deduction for college tuition and fees, and teachers who claim a deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses.

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>7 insurers sue Toyota

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Hundreds of disgruntled drivers have sued Toyota Motor Corp. over its sudden acceleration issues, hoping to get paid for their safety concerns with Toyota vehicles. The Japanese automaker now faces a more formidable opponent that legal experts say has plenty of time, money and resources to challenge it in court: insurance companies.

Seven insurers filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles last week, looking to recoup more than $230,000 to cover crashes blamed on sudden acceleration.

Allstate Corp. also sued Toyota late last year.

While Toyota brushed off the latest litigation and said disputes between automakers and insurance companies are common, legal experts say the world's No. 1 automaker can't be pleased that it's squaring off against an industry that knows its way around a courtroom.

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>Shell interested in BP

BP PLC shares jumped after a report that Royal Dutch Shell PLC considered a takeover bid during the oil spill and the lawyer in charge of BP's $20 billion compensation fund said only half the cash may be needed.

Shell still is interested in a merger, the Daily Mail newspaper reported Tuesday, citing unidentified people close to the company.

Shell considered a bid for BP last year when the shares were at their nadir after the spill, according to the Daily Mail. BP has recovered since the end of June after the company set up an escrow account demanded by President Obama to pay for cleanup and economic losses.

-- Bloomberg News

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>Vietnam shrimp exports rise

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- Vietnam earned an estimated record $2 billion for its shrimp exports last year, as Americans paid more to satisfy their appetites, partly due to demand generated by the Gulf Coast oil spill, an industry group said Tuesday.

Vietnam exported an estimated 240,000 tons of shrimp last year, compared with 210,000 tons, valued at $1.7 billion, in 2009.

Japan remains Vietnam's largest shrimp market with 57,000 tons of shrimp, valued at $528 million, shipped there in the first 11 months of last year, the association said.

The United States was Vietnam's second-largest market in terms of volume, but Americans paid higher prices, with 48,000 tons generating $511 million in the first 11 months of 2010.

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>'Patronage' dividend paid

Western Division Federal Credit Union, one of the region's largest credit unions, paid its members a special "patronage" dividend exceeding $750,000.

Under the program, each member who paid enough interest or received enough dividends to qualify received about 12 percent of interest paid on loans and 50 percent of dividends received on savings during the year -- in addition to regular dividends.

In all, since 2003, the member-owned institution has paid more than $4 million in patronage dividends.

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