Appeals Court Ruling Means Tax-Preparers Will Continue To Go Largely Unregulated

Appeals Court Ruling Means Tax-Preparers Will Continue To Go Largely Unregulated

The federal government’s attempt to rein in the virtually unregulated tax-preparation industry was dealt a serious blow this morning after a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that the IRS overstepped its authority by trying to require registration and testing for all tax preparers. [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]

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IRS: H&R Block Causing Refund Delays After Bungling 600,000 Tax Returns

Many of us find the Internal Revenue Service’s income tax return pretty darn difficult to figure out, which is why companies like H&R Block exist — ostensibly, to help customers maneuver the complicated forms and get them a nice tax refund if possible. But it seems H&R finds those forms confusing, too. [More]

Ask Tax Dad: A Recovering Slacker, An Incompetent Accountant, And The Tax Return Of The Dead

Ask Tax Dad: A Recovering Slacker, An Incompetent Accountant, And The Tax Return Of The Dead

Usually, our staff Certified Tax Cat handles readers’ questions about taxes, but he got his tax refund early this year and is on vacation, taking a salmon-watching cruise on the Pacific coast. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist this spring, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]

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]

8 Tips For Picking The Right Tax Preparer

8 Tips For Picking The Right Tax Preparer

You know that I love you all and would just love to prepare every last one of your 1040s this year. But between my existing clients and that centipede I can’t seem to catch, I’m booked solid through tax day. [More]

H&R Block Screwup Costs You $10,000

H&R Block Screwup Costs You $10,000

Last year H&R Block told the IRS that reader Tuyen made $33,000 in charitable donations. Tuyen, who earns $60,000 per year, collected a huge rebate, but when he returned to H&R Block this year, he learned that thanks to the screwup he now owes the IRS $10,000 in back taxes.

Five Things Worth Paying For In A Recession

Five Things Worth Paying For In A Recession

Just because the economy is imploding doesn’t mean you should entirely freeze your spending. The Wall Street Journal brings us a list of five things that are well worth their price, even in a recession.

Tax Cat's 8 Tips For Choosing A Tax Preparer

Tax Cat's 8 Tips For Choosing A Tax Preparer

Tax Cat here. It’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn from the lovely holiday season to the pile of receipts and other crap that we don’t want to deal with — taxes. If you’re thinking of hiring someone to prepare your taxes this year — the IRS has some tips that will help you choose a qualified professional.

I-Can! E-File Not Quite Ready For Primetime

I-Can! E-File Not Quite Ready For Primetime

Last week we wrote about I-Can! E-File, a free electronic filing service for your federal income taxes. It’s a great idea, and we’re thankful to the Legal Aid Society of Orange County for doing something like this—but you might want to find an alternative this year and give them some time to work out the kinks. Today a reader emailed us to point out that icanefile.org’s password system can be easily cracked, because instead of letting you choose an original password, it requires you to use your name and social security number to set up an account.

I-CAN! Files Your State And Federal Tax Returns For Free

I-CAN! Files Your State And Federal Tax Returns For Free

I-CAN! is a web-based tax preparation tool that will file your tax return completely free of charge. I-CAN has no eligibility criteria or income restrictions and will eFile your state return for free if you live in California, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania or Montana. It almost sounds too good to be true. So why isn’t I-CAN! a member of the IRS’ Free File Alliance?