It has to feel completely awful to get a letter from the government saying it’s holding onto your refund check. But even worse, as one couple found out, is the feeling of that happening twice. And then there’s this doozy: Tax officials claim the refunds were put on hold because the state of Mississippi twice has said the husband owed back child support payments. Problem is, the couple has never lived in Mississippi and the man hasn’t father a child there either. Not once, and definitely not twice. [More]
One of the only entertaining things about tax season has to be the crazy deductions. Because honestly, what other joy can be reaped from this most dreaded of days? Well, besides a refund, if you get one. While you might not be able to write off a nose job or your excessive sweating as tax deductions, somewhere out there, someone can. We salute you, crazy deduction-takers. [More]
Usually, our staff Certified Tax Cat handles readers’ questions about taxes, but caught his tail in an antique adding machine and is out on medical leave. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and independent tax preparer. The April 15th filing deadline is coming up, and Tax Dad is here to dispense his wisdom in between e-mails gently urging his daughter to just send over her 1098-E already. [More]
Here’s something to keep in mind as you wait in line at 11:30 PM on April 15th: filing your taxes could be so, so much easier. Bills have been put before Congress that would let taxpayers choose to have the Internal Revenue Service calculate their taxes due for them, and send them a bill or cut a refund check accordingly. Only there are companies lobbying to keep things exactly as they are. The biggest spenders aren’t accounting firms, or even Big Tax Cat. It’s Intuit, the maker of popular tax-filing program TurboTax. The company has spent more than $11 million lobbying to keep tax returns around forever. [More]
Seriously old-school Consumerist fans might remember Ask Meghann’s Dad, where readers sent in questions about electrical wiring and home repair, and Mr. Marco was all competent and helpful. During a meeting to think of new story ideas, we remembered this and asked ourselves: what other experts do we have access to who are also related to us? Why, there’s our very own Tax Dad, independent tax preparer John Northrup. [More]
If you’re one of the two million people who filed a potentially fraudulent tax return last year, well, you’re causing the Internal Revenue Service to have a really rough time. That number is a sharp increase, up 72% from the previous year, and it’s giving the IRS a huge headache as it struggles to keep up. [More]
We certainly don’t want to give comfort to tax cheats — and we’re not trying to imply that any of our beloved readers are anything less than honest when filing their tax returns — but for those who dread a random audit, there’s some good news: Budget and staff cuts at the IRS will likely mean fewer audits. [More]
On the same day that President Obama is scheduled to speak about the topic at Florida Atlantic University, the White House has released a report on the so-called “Buffett Rule,” the proposition that households earning more than $1 million a year should not pay less than their fair share of federal income taxes. [More]
While the absolute wealthiest Americans are now paying less federal income tax than they were two decades ago, two new polls show that most people support raising taxes on those earning over $250,000 a year. [More]
Here’s a story about TurboTax that is at least a little bit heartwarming. Tyler filled out all of his tax information on the TurboTax website, and paid for an extra upgrade to save himself some data entry for his investments. But somehow, the TurboTax servers ate his 2010 return, and the information was nowhere to be found. He steeled himself for a long wait on the phone and a vicious fight with rude Intuit representatives, but that’s not what happened. [More]
Evan writes that he recently got married, and the newlyweds make more money than they did at this time last year. American Express suspects something, and has suspended their credit card, demanding a copy of his wife’s tax return from last year. What’s going on? [More]
Tax Cat here! Filing your income taxes can be even more unpleasant than going to the vet for shots. Especially if, like reader Fletcher, you dutifully filled out your tax return and discovered an ugly surprise: you owe more money than you expected. A lot more. [More]
It’s too late for this year’s tax season (unless you’re doing it wrong), but H&R has issued an apology of sorts by announcing it will give a $100 coupon or free TaxCut software to gay couples who were shut out of their online programs this year due to a programming oversight. Don’t expect to take advantage of the offer if you were turned away online and went elsewhere, though—the offer is only good for “civil union, domestic and same sex partner clients, who started with TaxCut online and then completed their returns in one of our retail offices.” If you fit that requirement, you can request the coupon or software here.
Last week we wrote about the IRS’ free tax filing program and pointed you to a blog that reviewed all 19 services. Only two offer free state filing, but the blog, Flife, pointed out that you could always use your chosen service to prepare your state return—using it as a sort of worksheet—and then switch to one of the totally free services to do the actual filing. But be careful: a reader just wrote in to say free-tax-return.com completely deleted his state filing when he declined to pay the $13.50 fee.
Commenter Witeowl points out in another thread that if your adjusted gross income was $54,000 or less last year, the IRS can direct you to 19 different companies that will allow you to e-file your 2007 taxes for free. When this writer took advantage of it in the past, “free” meant jumping through a series of GoDaddy-like pages, but in the end it was free to use. [IRS]
On the bottom of the electrical bill they’re there like uninvited guests finishing all the spirits: State taxes. Local taxes. Federal taxes. Incontinental Transfer taxes. Candle taxes. Watching too much Taxi reruns taxes. But a new report by the New York Times reveals that in many cases those taxes earmarked for corporate income tax are staying in the companies treasury, to the tune of billions and billions of dollars.