(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]

(taberandrew)

Compromise In California: Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags, Charge For Reusable Ones

Lawmakers in California have been arguing about the prospect of banning plastic bags for the last decade. This isn’t just a prime example of “your government at work,” but is also a key consumer issue. Now there’s a new bill before that state’s Assembly that aims to banish the plastic bag scourge from stores.  [More]

DirectBuy Closed Members’ Local Showroom: Now What?

DirectBuy Closed Members’ Local Showroom: Now What?

Longtime Consumerist readers might remember that we aren’t huge fans of the advertising or sales tactics that shopping club DirectBuy uses. But if someone does spend thousands of dollars to join, then they should be treated fairly by the company, right? Not when the nearest showroom closes down, and the company doesn’t understand why their new members can’t make an easy two-hour trip to the nearest one that remains open. [More]

Cody Foster & Co. Sends Cease And Desist Letter To Catalog Whistleblower

Cody Foster & Co. Sends Cease And Desist Letter To Catalog Whistleblower

Nebraska-based trinket maker Cody Foster wholesales adorable items to boutiques, gift shops, and even bigger retailers like Anthropologie. Their catalog is only visible to their customers. One of those customers noticed a curious resemblance between items in the Cody Foster catalog and items made and sold by prominent (but not too prominent) artists and Etsy sellers. [More]

When Giving Used Electronics As A Gift, Maybe Check For Porn First

When Giving Used Electronics As A Gift, Maybe Check For Porn First

Buying used or refurbished technology can be a great way to save money, but it can also be a great way to put a great big cache of porn in the hands of your kid. That’s what happened to one man who bought his daughter a Kindle Fire from a pawn shop for Christmas. Worse: it might be child porn. Now police are investigating. [More]

(spectreman)

Coming Soon: Vending Machine Calorie Counts

The Affordable Care Act doesn’t just mean highly entertaining conversations over dessert amongst your relatives this holiday season. There’s one new requirement that’s been sort of overshadowed by health insurance exchanges and electronic medical records: companies that own more than 20 vending machines will have to post calorie counts for the items they sell. [More]

(FBI photo)

Rich Dude Found Guilty Of Counterfeiting Millions’ Worth Of Rare Wines

About a decade ago, Rudy Kurniawan, a young immigrant from Indonesia, began hanging out with connoisseurs of rare wine. He bought and sold collectible bottles, selling $24.7 million worth of his finds at just one auction in 2006. Authorities and wine collectors now know that many of the wines he’s sold over the years have been fake. [More]

“Onesie” Is A Trademarked Term, Even Though No One Cares

“Onesie” Is A Trademarked Term, Even Though No One Cares

What do you call a garment for infants and toddlers that’s a body suit with snaps at the crotch for easy diaper-changing? A “onesie”? No, no, gentle consumer, that’s not the case. Gerber (the baby stuff company, not the knife company) holds the trademark for the word “onesie.”   [More]

Woman Doesn’t Join HOA, So It Seizes And Sells Her House

Woman Doesn’t Join HOA, So It Seizes And Sells Her House

If I’ve learned anything from this site over the years, it’s that homeowners’ associations are evil and to be avoided. Sometimes you don’t have a choice, though: the home of your dreams or basic neighborhood amenities require it. And sometimes, as one Kentucky woman discovered, not joining the HOA means you can lose your house. [More]

Louisiana Residents Who Milked SNAP Outage May Lose Food Benefits

Louisiana Residents Who Milked SNAP Outage May Lose Food Benefits

Xerox and Walmart pointed fingers of blame at each other in the immediate aftermath of a public benefits card failure last month. Some shoppers saw that their cards showed no balance or limit and took the opportunity to strip store shelves. The administration of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal knows where the blame really belongs, though: with the shoppers. [More]