(Bill Sodeman)

Shoes Are Not Magic: Vibram Agrees To $3.75 Million Class Action Settlement

Even runners, people who spend lots of time pushing themselves physically through all sorts of weather, are susceptible to the idea that one special product can provide near-magical advantages. Vibram USA has settled a class-action lawsuit alleging that they marketed their weird-looking Five Fingers shoes as providing physical benefits for which they have no evidence. [More]

Police Use Pinterest To Get Victims’ Stolen Stuff Back To Them

Police Use Pinterest To Get Victims’ Stolen Stuff Back To Them

If you’re a police department and want to reunite people with their stolen property, you need to get pictures of recovered items in front of the public. What’s the best way to do that? Social media, of course. By posting albums on Facebook and Pinterest, departments can get pictures of recovered items in front of a maximum number of eyeballs, increasing the odds that someone will recognize a piece. [More]

FCC Catches Vigilante Highway Cell Phone Jammer, Wants To Fine Him $48K

FCC Catches Vigilante Highway Cell Phone Jammer, Wants To Fine Him $48K

Admit it: there’s been at least one moment in your life when you secretly wished for a cell phone jammer in your pocket. Maybe you were in line at the grocery store, or watching a movie, or someone who wouldn’t stop texting almost merged into you on the highway. However, you should not actually do this. Why? Let the case of this Florida man serve as a cautionary tale. [More]

California Lawmakers Pull Plug On Smartphone “Kill Switch” Law

California Lawmakers Pull Plug On Smartphone “Kill Switch” Law

With nearly 3 million phones vanishing — often into the hands of sticky-finger thieves — each year, there has been a recent push to introduce legislation that would require wireless providers to include a “kill switch” functionality in all devices, allowing phone owners to remotely deactivate their devices until, and only if, they are located. But one such bill in California has been thwarted, and supporters are blaming the wireless industry. [More]

Tax Refund Fraudsters May Have Targeted Physicians

Tax Refund Fraudsters May Have Targeted Physicians

Plenty of Americans don’t file their tax returns until the very last week: it’s just human nature. We shared scary warnings many times before this year’s April 15 deadline that fraudsters are filing Americans’ returns before they do, harvesting their refunds. Some even scarier news (if you’re a health care provider) broke today: some state medical societies report outbreaks of tax return scams among their members. [More]

(Pete)

My Taxes Are Done. What Can I Throw Out Now?

Unless you filed for an extension, your tax return is now done and posted through the mail or beamed through the Interweb to the IRS and your state government, if required. That’s a relief. Now, what items in your files should you keep, and which can you throw out? [More]

(Krysten Newby)

I Give Up: How Do I File For An Extension On My Tax Return?

Humans are a procrastinating bunch. Sure, many punctual and responsible people have already filed their federal and state tax returns, especially people who are owed a refund. Not you. You’re missing an important document or are too confused about all of this stuff to stay up doing the e-filing equivalent of running inside the post office door at 11:57 PM. You give up. This post is for you. [More]

Ask Tax Dad: Doula Deductions, Pension Distributions, And The Sandwich Generation

Ask Tax Dad: Doula Deductions, Pension Distributions, And The Sandwich Generation

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]

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]

Driver-Licenses.org Is Not Where You Renew Your Driver License

Driver-Licenses.org Is Not Where You Renew Your Driver License

Here’s the thing with modern Web browsers: they cater to our innate laziness by making the address bar dual-use. You can type a URL in, or you can type a search term. If you do that while trying to renew your driver’s license online, you may run into trouble. [More]

Ask Tax Dad: Mobile Home Sale, Sisterly Support, And Son Leaves The Nest

Ask Tax Dad: Mobile Home Sale, Sisterly Support, And Son Leaves The Nest

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]

(NoNo Joe)

Woman Calls Cops On Herself To Defend Claim Of Raw Waffles

When you might be in trouble, it’s good to get ahead of the story. We’re not sure whether that’s what led a woman in Tampa, Florida to contact the authorities when a restaurant allegedly served her an uncooked waffle. Did she call the health department, or the Board of Breakfast Foods (which should be a thing)? Nope. She dialed 9-1-1. [More]

Ask Tax Dad: Disabled Veterans, Commuting Actors, And Depreciating Dishwashers

Ask Tax Dad: Disabled Veterans, Commuting Actors, And Depreciating Dishwashers

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]

Ask Tax Dad: Invasion Of The Dependent Relatives

Ask Tax Dad: Invasion Of The Dependent Relatives

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]

Ask Tax Dad: How Do I E-File? What’s A Deduction, Anyway?

Ask Tax Dad: How Do I E-File? What’s A Deduction, Anyway?

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]

Ask Tax Dad: Micro-Business, Rental Home, Deadbeat Ex, And Government Shutdown

Ask Tax Dad: Micro-Business, Rental Home, Deadbeat Ex, And Government Shutdown

Historically, our staff Certified Tax Cat has handled readers’ questions about taxes, but he’s taking a leave of absence to campaign for the legalization of medical catnip. 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]

Ask Tax Dad: Send Us Your Questions For Consumerist’s Tax Columnist

Ask Tax Dad: Send Us Your Questions For Consumerist’s Tax Columnist

It’s almost time for W-2s and other tax documents to start winging their way from employers to our homes, and for the anxiety-inducing yearly tax season to begin. But taxes don’t have to be scary if your dad is there to help. Or, if your own dad isn’t around or doesn’t know anything about taxes, how about my dad? [More]