Do Not Report Debit Card Holding Your Fraudulent $2 Million Tax Refund Stolen

Do Not Report Debit Card Holding Your Fraudulent $2 Million Tax Refund Stolen

Yes, it is tempting to lie about your income and taxes already paid on your tax return and collect a huge refund. It’s even more tempting to get that massive undeserved refund on a debit card. But that’s totally unusual, and would get the government’s attention, right? Not in Oregon, where a woman has been charged with filing fraudulent return using Turbotax, and spending the $2.1 million prepaid debit card holding her refund. [More]

Washington Residents Have More Booze-Buying Options, But Are Paying More For It

Washington Residents Have More Booze-Buying Options, But Are Paying More For It

Until now, buying liquor in Washington state had meant you needed to go to a state-operated store. But that monopoly has now ended after residents voted to open up liquor sales to a wide range of retailers. Unfortunately, this now means that some folks are now paying a lot more to get tipsy. [More]

Bioethicist: If We're Going To Tax Obese People More, We Should Tax Cat Owners Too

Bioethicist: If We're Going To Tax Obese People More, We Should Tax Cat Owners Too

A growing number of people believe that obese Americans should pay more in taxes than healthy folks since being overweight can put you at a higher risk for health problems. It’s similar to the logic used to justify additional taxes on cigarettes. But bioethicist Art Caplan asks: Why not tax cat owners more while we’re at it? [More]

Higher Cigarette Taxes Drove Smokers To Pipe Tobacco & Cigars

Higher Cigarette Taxes Drove Smokers To Pipe Tobacco & Cigars

Among the intended goals of higher taxes on cigarettes is that some smokers will quit rather than deal with the increased cost. While this may happen, newly released numbers show that taxing cigarettes also drove up the sales of forms of tobacco that are taxed at lower rates. [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]

Why Is TurboTax Asking Me For A Donation?

Why Is TurboTax Asking Me For A Donation?

Well, that headline is a little disingenuous. We know exactly why. K. filed his federal return using the free e-file service through Intuit’s TurboTax. It nagged him to upgrade to the paid service here and there during the process, which you expect when using any free service. What he didn’t expect was a pop-up with Lisa the Friendly Accountant acting like a public radio host during pledge drive week. “Intuit is a multi-billion dollar corporation,” he pointed out in his e-mail to Consumerist. “I just found this a bit greedy.” [More]

White House Begins Public Push For Support Of "Buffett Rule"

White House Begins Public Push For Support Of "Buffett Rule"

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]

Tax Nuances That Could Get You Audited

Tax Nuances That Could Get You Audited

By most accounts, Internal Revenue Service auditors aren’t much fun to meet with. Even if you’ve filed your taxes with impeccable precision, facing an audit can be nerve-wracking, so you’re best off making sure you aren’t tossing up any signs that draw attention to yourself. [More]

Do Not Confuse The Chase Bank ATM With Your Weird And Scary 'Checks'

Do Not Confuse The Chase Bank ATM With Your Weird And Scary 'Checks'

Tom and his wife got married last year (congratulations!) but still have separate checking accounts. Tom never had a problem depositing checks also made out to his wife in his Chase checking account, so he didn’t foresee any problems with depositing their joint $2,000 tax refund check in that same account. But this is The Consumerist, not Satisfied Chase Customers Weekly, so you can guess how that turned out. Now Tom and Mrs. Tom get to wait patiently and hope that the check doesn’t get lost in the mail on its way back to them. [More]

White House 'Tax Receipt' Shows Where Your Tax Dollars Are Being Spent

White House 'Tax Receipt' Shows Where Your Tax Dollars Are Being Spent

With only a few days to go before we’re all supposed to have filed out tax returns, the White House has launched an updated version of its interactive Tax Receipt to show people where their tax dollars are going. [More]

Help Donald Duck File His 1941 Federal Tax Return

Help Donald Duck File His 1941 Federal Tax Return

Filing a federal tax return is an ingrained habit now, but most middle-class Americans didn’t have to before World War II. The Revenue Act of 1942 made 15 million more people eligible to pay taxes. How could the government explain this to the masses? Cartoons! The U.S. Treasury department commissioned Disney to make a short animated film that explained how to fill out a simple tax return, and why paying income taxes was so important. (Spoiler alert: Defeating the Axis powers.) [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]

Federal Student Aid Service Doesn't Know When The Federal Tax Filing Deadline Is

Federal Student Aid Service Doesn't Know When The Federal Tax Filing Deadline Is

UPDATE: FAFSA has sent out an email correcting their earlier assertion that the deadline to file federal income taxes has already passed. They’ve admitted they were wrong and apologized for any confusion. [More]

Responsible Ways To Spend Your Tax Refund

Responsible Ways To Spend Your Tax Refund

Every year around this time, people tend to engage in bragging contests about how big their tax refunds are. These folks are oblivious to the fact that savvier planning would have let them keep their money rather than giving it to the government in a tax-free loan. [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]

If You've Got A Nanny, The IRS Has A Tax For You

If You've Got A Nanny, The IRS Has A Tax For You

You may not think of yourself as an employer just because you have someone drop by the house to watch your kids, but the Internal Revenue Service sees things differently. Many parents are taken by surprise by the “nanny tax,” which requires parents to pay FICA and FUTA taxes. [More]

What To Do If Your 1099 Is Wrong

What To Do If Your 1099 Is Wrong

It’s tough enough for freelancers to calculate and pay the taxes they owe on income from which no funds have been withheld, but even more difficult if their bosses screw up their tax info. If the company you work for incorrectly reports your income on a 1099 form, you’ll be on the hook for paying taxes on that amount unless you can set things straight. [More]