Ask Tax Dad: I Just Can’t Quit Itemizing My Deductions

Ask Tax Dad: I Just Can’t Quit Itemizing My Deductions

Historically, our staff Certified Tax Cat has handled readers’ questions about taxes, but he took feline early retirement and hung up his oversized eyeglasses. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]

(frankieleon)

Federal Government Takes Taxpayers’ Refunds To Cover Decades-Old Overpayments

In a massive program like Social Security, sometimes people get overpayments ranging from a few bucks to a few thousand bucks. It used to be that if whatever government entity overpaid a family didn’t catch up with them and recoup the money, the statute of limitations on the debt would run out after ten years. A teeny section of the 2008 farm bill changed that, and now the government is snatching up taxpayers’ refunds to cover their dead parents’ decades-old debts. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(.nednas.)

Here are eleven of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Target: Stuff Your Easter Basket With Violent Video Games!

Target: Stuff Your Easter Basket With Violent Video Games!

Spring is here, and store shelves and websites are filled with Easter gift. Like these promotional items on the front page of Target. Only this looks more like a Christmas flyer. When did the Easter Bunny start bringing video games and Barbie dolls? [More]

(frankieleon)

Oh Good: 46,000 More Mazdas Susceptible To Spider Infestation

Hey, remember when a bunch of Mazda 6 vehicles were recalled back in 2011 because spiders had a tendency to infest the fuel lines and build webs, resulting in a few cracked fuel tanks and lots of nightmares? Well, it’s happening again: 46,000 more Mazda6 vehicles have been recalled. (Warning: there is a larger-than-life photo of the relevant spider species inside this post.) [More]

Airlines Perform Worse, Passengers File Fewer Complaints

Airlines Perform Worse, Passengers File Fewer Complaints

If you have very, very low standards, you’re seldom disappointed, right? That seems to be reason for Americans’ attitudes toward airlines. As an annual independent study of airlines’ relative crappiness shows that airlines are doing worse on quality measures like number of bags lost, number of flights that arrived on time, and other measures of things that can make flying a miserable experience. [More]

April Food And Supplement Recall Roundup: So Long, Organic Peppercorns

April Food And Supplement Recall Roundup: So Long, Organic Peppercorns

In our April Recall Roundup for food, supplements, and even a few over-the-counter drugs, the lemon cookies have peanut butter, the vegan hot chocolate mix has dairy, and a lot of organic peppercorns might be contaminated with salmonella. [More]

Lands’ End Divorce From Sears Complete, But They’re Still Roommates

Lands’ End Divorce From Sears Complete, But They’re Still Roommates

After twelve years together, Sears and Lands’ End have officially split. They’ve been through a lot together: Sears bought the former sailing gear retailer in 2002, before the formation of the sprawling disaster that is Sears Holdings. For a while at least, absolutely nothing will change for consumers. [More]

Adults Set Bad Example, Punch Cop In The Face During Chuck E. Cheese Brawl

Adults Set Bad Example, Punch Cop In The Face During Chuck E. Cheese Brawl

Another weekend has passed, and so has another round of kids’ birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese establishments across the country. Guests enjoyed the pizza, the games, and the animatronic animals. Visitors in New Hartford, New York probably didn’t enjoy another fixture of the chain: brawls between adults that require police intervention. [More]

Ron Dauphin

Do Not Set Bird Seed On Fire To Distract Walmart Staff From Shoplifters

Shoplifting is a crime, a scourge in the retail business, and very, very bad. Do you know what’s worse than than shoplifting, though? Setting the store on fire to distract store security while your companion shoplifts. Now a Minneapolis woman has been charged with two counts of arson, and the Walmart store where this happened sustained six-figure damage. [More]

White House Not Pleased With Presidential Selfie Used As Samsung Promo

White House Not Pleased With Presidential Selfie Used As Samsung Promo

As “selfie” has become a word that even your reclusive great-aunt knows, and everyone enjoys when celebrities snap pictures of themselves with their phones and act just like regular people. So while a picture that Boston Red Sox player David “Big Papi” Ortiz took of himself with President Barack Obama proved popular on Twitter, including on Samsung’s account. Ortiz has an endorsement deal with the electronics company. The President, needless to say, does not. [More]

Don’t Like 24/7 Billy Joel? SiriusXM Can Just Suspend Your Service

Don’t Like 24/7 Billy Joel? SiriusXM Can Just Suspend Your Service

Late last month, SiriusXM took ’40s on 4, its earliest decade-themed station, off the air and replaced it with a three-month temporary station that plays only the music of Billy Joel. Earlier this week, we shared a reader’s tip to complain and get a three-month refund for the inconvenience. Well, SiriusXM is on to us. [More]

T-Mobile Takes Employee Discounts Away, Gives Them Back After Outcry

T-Mobile Takes Employee Discounts Away, Gives Them Back After Outcry

Employee and college student discounts are a useful mobile phone deal if you’re eligible for one: they can add up to a substantial discount on your personal phone plan. They’re also a traditional part of the standard carrier pricing ecosystem. As part of its continuing efforts to become an “uncarrier,” T-Mobile decided to end these discounts. They didn’t expect the customer outcry that followed. [More]

(captplanetrocksmysocks)

Should Online Publishers Block Users Who Install Ad-Blockers?

The Interactive Advertising Bureau is a trade group for, well, interactive advertising. That’s to say clickable online banner and video ads. If you’re one of the smarmy people piping up right now to say, “there are ads on the Internet? I wouldn’t know, I use ad-blockers,” you’re part of the problem as far as the IAB is concerned. [More]

More Dish Soap Is A Worse Deal At Walmart

More Dish Soap Is A Worse Deal At Walmart

Larry has learned well here at Consumerist. When he was shopping at Walmart recently, he picked up some dish soap. Before assuming that the larger quantity was the better deal and tossing the 38-ounce bottle in his cart, he stopped to do some math. That’s when he learned that the math on these bottles was a little fuzzy. Sudsy? [More]

(Ben Roffelsen)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are ten of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Fruit Punch Oreos Exist, Are Available At Walmart

Fruit Punch Oreos Exist, Are Available At Walmart

Here at Consumerist, we try to stay at the forefront of advances in cookie technology. Earlier this week, we learned that fruit punch-flavored Oreos exist. This is only the latest in a string of intriguing and/or horrifying Oreo varieties that have hit shelves in recent years. We had to know more. [More]

Like To Multitask On Your Smartphone? Sprint’s Spark Service Isn’t For You

Like To Multitask On Your Smartphone? Sprint’s Spark Service Isn’t For You

Sprint calls its new Spark service, which they started implementing last year, a “super-high-speed capability” network. It’s faster than the 4G LTE network that they’re still expanding nationwide, but is a Spark-compatible phone something that you should look into? Well, that depends: how many things do you do on your phone at once? [More]