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]

5 Things People Do On Tax Returns That Can Lead To IRS Audits

5 Things People Do On Tax Returns That Can Lead To IRS Audits

Can you smell it in the air? That’s the distinct scent of Tax Season approaching. So in these days leading up to everyone’s favorite time of year, here are some reminders about the red flags the IRS looks for when deciding whether to audit a taxpayer. [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]

How To Not Suck… At Charitable Giving

How To Not Suck… At Charitable Giving

They say it’s better to give than to receive, but if you can also get a little something back when you give, what’s not to like? While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with tossing some cash to those bell-ringing Santas, there’s a better way to give. [More]

When 47 States Have Stricter Regulations On Barbers Than On Tax Preparers, Mistakes Are Going To Be Made

When 47 States Have Stricter Regulations On Barbers Than On Tax Preparers, Mistakes Are Going To Be Made

If you visit a legitimate barber, hairdresser, or cosmetologist in any state in the U.S., that person will have gone through some sort of state-mandated education, testing, and licensing procedure. Yet only three states have any substantive requirements for someone employed as a tax preparer. Not surprisingly, a new report finds that this lack of quality control results in a large amount of errors, fraud, and abuse. [More]

How To Not Suck… At Getting Ready For Tax Season

How To Not Suck… At Getting Ready For Tax Season

It might seem a bit early to bring up tax returns, but this is actually the perfect time to get the ball rolling before the holiday season takes over our lives and unpleasant things like thinking about taxes get pushed off into the new year. [More]

(arsheffield)

Tax Season Will Start Late This Year Due To Government Shutdown

Those 16 days the government spent shut down will have far-reaching consequences into the future. Basically the Internal Revenue Service just can’t get those two weeks back, and as such it’ll be delaying the start of the 2014 tax filing season by one to two weeks. [More]

(afagen)

So The Government Is Shut Down… Do I Still Have To Pay My Taxes?

As the sun rises over Washington, D.C., this morning, huge numbers of federal employees are either not coming in to work or are only coming in to shut down their offices until lawmakers sort this mess out. But just because the wheels of government have come grinding to a halt doesn’t mean everything is put on hold indefinitely. [More]

Will Bank Of America Balk At Taking Washington State’s Marijuana Money?

Will Bank Of America Balk At Taking Washington State’s Marijuana Money?

We’ve already written about how owners of legitimate marijuana businesses are being forced to pay their taxes in cash because federally insured banks are unwilling to let them open bank accounts. These payments then pose a problem for the state, which has to worry about finding a place to deposit the tax revenue. [More]

(afagen)

Report: City Screw-Ups Put Thousands Of D.C. Homeowners At Risk For Foreclosure

We’ve written several articles over the years about how a small unpaid property tax or public utility bill can result in homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure, but a new investigative report from the Washington Post shows how systemic ineptitude in Washington, D.C., city offices has repeatedly left homeowners fighting against liens that shouldn’t exist in the first place. [More]

(AJENT.MSG)

Woman Who Let Detroit Keep Her Tax Refund Rewarded With $5,300 Bill From The City

We believe in unicorns and ghosts, but someone voluntarily letting a city keep her tax refund? Yes, such a person really exists, but somehow her act of goodwill toward the city of Detroit has been turned into an ordeal of vastly annoying proportions. The city now claims that she actually owes it $5,300. Good thing she’s kept up on her personal paperwork. [More]

(bclinesmith)

What Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Means For Gay Couples’ Wallets

Earlier today, the Supreme Court effectively struck down the federal Defense Of Marriage Act. For same-sex couples around the country, this could open up a whole new world of tax breaks and benefits that were previously not allowed, while also taking away some unintended perks that same-sex couples had enjoyed because the government did not recognize their unions. [More]

(frankieleon)

Mississippi Takes Man’s Tax Refund Twice To Pay Child Support For Kid He Doesn’t Have

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]

(DanCentury)

Marijuana Shop Owners Paying Taxes In Cash Because Banks Can’t Take Their Money

Marijuana may be legal and taxed in Colorado, but the federal government still considers anyone who sells it to be a drug dealer and won’t allow banks to offer accounts to these businesses. So how is a legal businessman supposed to pay those sales tax to the state? [More]

(cmorran123)

H&R Block Sending $25 To Customers Impacted By Filing Delay

Last month the Internal Revenue Service said H&R Block had bungled over 600,000 tax returns, potentially causing refund delays for those customers. The tax preparation firm says to make up for that glitch, it’ll be sending out $25 gift cards to any customers who filed their taxes at company-owned H&R Block locations and were impacted by the processing delay. [More]

Loan Co-Signers Should Not Be On The Hook With The IRS If The Debt Is Forgiven

We’ve written numerous stories over the years about parents who co-signed student loans for their children and then were stuck with the payments when their child passed away or could not find employment. Sometimes lenders will choose to forgive that debt, but even then some are making a mistake that could continue to hurt the co-signer at tax time. [More]

(JimmyBionic)

Legislation Would Prevent IRS From Providing Pre-Filled Tax Returns

In 2002, when the IRS and the tax-prep software industry created Free File, which gives consumers with simple tax returns the ability to file electronically without being charged, the IRS agreed to not provide its own “free, online tax return preparation and filing services to taxpayers.” That arrangement is expiring, so some lawmakers (with a bit of money from tax-prep companies in their pockets) are seeking to make it permanent. [More]