Tax Dad Sez: Send Us Your Questions For Consumerist’s Designated Tax Preparer

Tax Dad Sez: Send Us Your Questions For Consumerist’s Designated Tax Preparer

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]

KVAL-TV

Oregon Man Claims IRS Agent Pressured Him Into Sex Or Face Tax Penalty

In a lawsuit filed against the federal government and an agent for the Internal Revenue Service, an Oregon man claims the agent used threats and harassment to pressure him into having sex against his will. [More]

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Here’s What To Do If You Can’t Afford To Pay Your Taxes

While many Americans look forward to tax season and the promise of a rewarding tax return, there are plenty of those who dread it, as they’ll have to fork over cash to settle up with the Internal Revenue Service. But for those who find they can’t afford to pay what they owe — whether in back taxes or due to other circumstances — the Federal Trade Commission is warning tax payers to avoid companies offering tax relief help. [More]

(frankieleon)

Hold Your Horses. Tax Season Will Kick Off Late This Year

We know you’re all just ready to put on your IRS face paint and get into the spirit of Tax Season, but there’s some sad news for tax fans everywhere today — this year’s filing season won’t kick off until Jan. 30, more than a week later than expected. [More]

(a3maniac)

Amazon Payments Locks Me Out Of Form For Not Filling Out Form

Rey had a really great idea for a Kickstarter project. We don’t know what it is: he didn’t tell us. The world may never have the chance to know what his amazing idea was, because he didn’t even get to the point of setting up his page and posting a slick video. Instead, Amazon stood in his way. Amazon? Why Amazon? Well, you have to accept Amazon Payments to use Kickstarter. Amazon needed information that Rey had already provided long ago and was still valid. In fact, they had just sent him some money. They asked him for it again anyway, and then things got ridiculous and confusing.  [More]

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Tax Collectors Using The Power Of Peer Pressure To Get People To Pay Delinquent Taxes

Peer pressure can work wonders when it comes to convincing us to buy certain products, dress a certain way or even decide to start cooking kale even though we don’t totally get it. But taxation experts are hoping it will also do the trick to encourage people to pay up on their delinquent taxes. And maybe start wearing friendship bracelets to show how cool they are. [More]

Use The Clock And Google Voice To Actually Reach The IRS

Use The Clock And Google Voice To Actually Reach The IRS

Sure, it’s not peak IRS season right now, but there is quite a variety of reasons that you might have to deal with the ever-present government agency anyway. Tax Cat is out of the office, vacationing at his offshore kitty condo in the Cayman Islands, so it’s up to reader Christopher, a tax preparer, to serve us up with handy tax advice. See, sometimes you have to call the IRS. You can’t avoid it. But so does everyone else in the country. What Christopher figured out is that the IRS call center doesn’t have fixed hours like most. Its open hours depend on what time zone you live in. His solution? Use a Google Voice number to fudge what time zone he’s in, and call late in the evening when the business day is done for most of the continental U.S. [More]

The IRS Just Can’t Keep Up With All These Potentially Fraudulent Tax Returns

The IRS Just Can’t Keep Up With All These Potentially Fraudulent Tax Returns

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]

Average Income Among America’s 400 Richest Dropped 25% In One Year

Average Income Among America’s 400 Richest Dropped 25% In One Year

Guess who’s making about $202.4 million? Not you, unless you happen to be among the 400 richest tax filers in the nation. While it might bum you out a bit not to be rolling around in piles of cash, those who live like Richie Rich are likely feeling a bit blue about the news because that 2009 average is down 25% from 2008 — and down from a peak of $344.8 million in 2007. [More]

What Would You Do With A $434,712 Tax Refund Check?

What Would You Do With A $434,712 Tax Refund Check?

Coming into accidental money can be a heady thing — but while some of you might get a little nutty and go out and spend that “free” cash, we know others would return it. A Cleveland waitress spent her mistaken money only in her daydreams, musing about what she’d do with $434,712 from the Internal Revenue Service. [More]

Why Can't The IRS Just Calculate & File Your Taxes For You?

Why Can't The IRS Just Calculate & File Your Taxes For You?

How come we all have to go through the terrible, awful, no good, very bad experience of mucking our way through filing personal income taxes every year, when the IRS already has all the numbers they need to calculate stuff for themselves? Well, because then tax preparation businesses would have nothing to do, and no money to make, of course. [More]

Trimmed-Down IRS Staff Means Fewer Audits This Year

Trimmed-Down IRS Staff Means Fewer Audits This Year

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]

Guard Against An IRS Underpayment Penalty

Guard Against An IRS Underpayment Penalty

If you pulled in more money than you’re used to making — especially if it came from untaxed work — you could be facing a higher-than-expected tax bill that will grow even higher due to a prepayment penalty of 3 or 4 percent if you owe more than $1,000. There’s not much you can do to avoid the penalty for your 2011 taxes, but you can take steps to avoid it next time. [More]

Tax Nightmare: What Did I Do To Deserve An Audit By The IRS?

Tax Nightmare: What Did I Do To Deserve An Audit By The IRS?

Moaning and groaning won’t make it go away when the IRS comes a’calling with an audit. Ask the auditor what you did to deserve such a terrifying experience and you’ll likely be met with a shrug, or perhaps a vague reason involving some kind of forms. So really, why did they pick you? [More]

You Can't Deduct Your Nudie Magazine Subscription From Your Taxes

You Can't Deduct Your Nudie Magazine Subscription From Your Taxes

Every year, taxpayers try to slip things into their taxes as deductions, things they might deem necessary business expenses that can be written off. Some of these things fly with tax preparers and subsequently, the Internal Revenue Service, while others, say, a subscription to Playboy, just don’t. [More]

You Might Have To Pay Taxes On That Canceled Credit Card Debt

You Might Have To Pay Taxes On That Canceled Credit Card Debt

That credit card debt you had was canceled or forgiven — yay! But you might have to pay the Internal Revenue Service taxes on it anyway, so — boo. You’ll find out you owe money when a 1099-C tax form comes in the mail from your lender, and probably not before then. [More]

No More Refund Anticipation Loans After This Tax Season

We’ve been warning people for years to steer clear of the “refund anticipation loans” that get you your tax refund ASAP but at the cost of usurious interest rates and fees. And between growing consumer awareness that RALs are a bad deal and the bigger banks dropping out of the business, only one bank has been backing the loans — and that’s all about to end. [More]

Anxious To Get Your Tax Refund? IRS Says 'Go Get Another Job'

Emily is a law student, and she spent last summer doing lawyer-type work and earning lawyer-type money. She mistakenly set up her withholding as if she were earning that much money year-round, though, so the government owes her a pretty sweet refund now that she’s returned to the poor, ascetic life of a student. She even filed her taxes super early so she can get that money back. Only the IRS has flagged her for extra-special review, delaying her refund, and no one she can get in touch with seems to care. “You should just get another job,” one helpful representative told her. [More]