Blog Carnival Feed

Well, this apparently is the week of change here at the ol' blog. Regular readers know that I've been posting a Tax Carnival here on a more or less regular basis since June 2006. The time has come, however, to put the Tax Carnival on hiatus. I've enjoyed the interaction with tax and personal finance bloggers. The carnival has personally provided me with a look at other folks' tax takes, which is always a good thing. But as the saying goes, life just insists on keeping on keeping on. I had already cut back from biweekly carnival postings to monthly.... Read more →


Another tax year has arrived. All together now: Happy New Tax Year! Sure, the celebrating has been a bit subdued because our actual tax filing has been pushed back a bit. But just because the Internal Revenue Service isn't quite ready to start processing our returns doesn't mean we can't get to work on them now. So let's have a hearty toast for Tax Carnival #124: Happy New Tax Year 2014, our first carnival of the year. It's a relatively small midway for this first Tax Carnival of the year, but then isn't smaller the goal of most of us... Read more →


Ho! Ho! Ho! It's almost time for the Big Guy. Nah, not Santa Claus. I'm talking about the tax collector. His big day is April 15, but to ensure that we get what we deserve -- the smallest possible tax bill -- it's time to think about taxes. Or, to borrow from Christmas carol composer Meredith Wilson's famous seasonal tune and with apologies to Perry Como: It's beginning to look a lot like Tax Time, Everywhere you go. Take a look in the tax pro's den, stuffed so full once again, With year-end tips all filers need to know. It's... Read more →


So what did you do with the hour you got when Daylight Savings Time ended early Sunday morning? If you've still got those 60 minutes in your time bank, here's a good use of it. Check out Tax Carnival #122: Return to Standard Tax Time. Let's get the tax clock started with a look at a topic that's consumed a lot of hours of late, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Michael Kitces says that while the new Premium Assistance Tax Credit for health insurance can make coverage a lot more affordable, rising income can quickly phase out... Read more →


Oktoberfest is a 16-to–18-day festival held in Munich each year, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It originally was a celebration of the Oct. 17, 1810, marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend festivities held on the field in front of the city gates. Today, more than 6 million people from around the world attend Munich's Oktoberfest every year. TaxtoberFest is a one day event celebrating tax news and blog posts. It has been celebrated here on the ol' blog on the first Monday of... Read more →


Taxpayers in the United States do most of their work in the first quarter of the year, but to get the best tax result, you need to pay attention to tax tasks year round. So on this Labor Day 2013, the 120th Tax Carnival celebrates working on taxes. But before we get to tax specifics, let's start with some fun Labor Day facts from the Department of Labor, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a variety of other websites and blogs. The first Labor Day observance was Sept. 5, 1882, when around 10,000 workers assembled in... Read more →


Welcome to the Dog Days of summer, that hot, muggy, icky part of the year when we just don't have the energy to do anything but complain about how hot, muggy and icky it is. The Dog Days have a lot in common with taxes. OK, maybe it's just the complaining part that's the same. But if you can muster any oomph, it's also a good time of the year to think about your taxes. To help out in that area, we have Tax Carnival #119: The Taxing Dog Days of Summer. Careful and long-time readers of the ol' blog... Read more →


It's that time of year again, time for the Tax Carnival that falls around the Fourth of July. So I decided to create a new tradition and move it to America's actual birthday. Since taxes were integral to the formal formation of our country, it's perfect that the annual midyear Tax Carnival share the United States' birthday. So I welcome you to the first officially on Independence Day collection of tax tips, tidbits and advice -- Tax Carnival #118: July 4th Tax Fireworks. My display isn't nearly as choreographed as the colorful flourishes we'll enjoy tonight, but each item should... Read more →


It's June, the month in which summer officially arrives. This year, that day is June 21. The arrival of the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, giving us a bit more time to focus on taxes. That is how you spend your summer, right? What? You say your summer days are filled with trips to the beach, sunny skies and lazy days enjoying the warm weather. OK, I'll give you those. But on this first Monday of June 2013, spend just a bit of this young summer enjoying Tax Carnival #117: Summer Tax Time. Since it is... Read more →


April showers of tax forms bring May tax flowers, right? OK, maybe that's a stretch. But since most of us made it through this crazy filing season -- I'll leave it to you to determine whether you were unscathed -- I thought this month's Tax Carnival should celebrate that accomplishment. And what's more rewarding than May's lovely flowers? Texas garden poppies photo by S. Kay Bell A tax refund, you say? OK, I'll grant you that. But since I have no cash to hand out here, I'm offering flowers ... and some tax tips from our carnivalistas that might blossom... Read more →


April 15 is two weeks away. On that day, a whole lot of folks will be frantically working on their 2012 tax returns. Another group will be working on Form 4868 to get six more months to finish up their tax filing details. And a few smug taxpayers will be sitting back, enjoying the refunds they received by filing early and making plans to cut their 2013 tax bills. To those who've already filed, I say I hate you and I'm jealous. And this post isn't for you. Rather, Tax Carnival #115: Final Filing Crunch, is a compilation of tax... Read more →


March is a month of change. Its typically chilly, blustery early days as winter winds down give way at the end of the month to gentler days as spring begins to settle in. That transition is what gave us the "in like lion, out like a lamb" description of March. It fits for taxes, too. We have the brutal tax lions, the laws that take so much of our income. And we have the tax lambs, the various tax breaks that allow us to get some of it back from the Internal Revenue Service. The traditional March moniker is especially... Read more →


Happy Presidents Day! This unofficial holiday -- the real federal commemoration is for George Washington's birthday -- has, sadly, become more of a sales event than a celebration of civics. But Tax Carnival #113: Presidents Day 2013 wants to do a small part to change that. In this edition, in addition to featuring tax tips and advice from contributing bloggers, we'll also highlight six people who also nearly, briefly, sort of served as acting president of the United States. This Tax Carnival theme is inspired by M. Asher Cantrell's Mental Floss article on 5 Other Americans Who Were Kinda, Sorta... Read more →


Have you recovered from Sunday night's Super Bowl XLVII? I'm still enjoying the Baltimore Ravens' win. As regular readers of the ol' blog know, the hubby and I spent many years in Greenbelt, Md., and we took lots of great trips up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Charm City. We also were among the Maryland voters who approved state funds for the Ravens' stadium. M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, via Wikimedia Yeah, yeah, I know. The public paying for a rich owner's toys is generally a poor investment. But it was football. For Baltimore. And we loved "Diner"... Read more →


We're inching closer to the start of the filing season. This 111th Tax Carnival: Countdown to Filing offers some tips for getting 2012 tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service, which will finally accept them at the end of the month. Since tax filing is all about deadlines, we start with Tax Carnivalista reminders of calendar notations we need to make this year. Bill Smith provides the details of the delayed start of this filing season in Processing of Tax Returns to Begin on January 30. It's posted at 2011 Tax. Jeff Rose reminds us that taxpayers have until Monday,... Read more →


The 111th Tax Carnival was supposed to go up today. It won't. I seem to be infected not with the flu that's going around, but a bad case of tax-related delay. I caught it at the end of 2012 when I was following Congress' inability to take action on the fiscal cliff. We all know that procrastination has meant that filing season won't start until Jan. 30, almost two weeks later than usual. I thought I was getting better, but I relapsed just about the time the House Republicans announced they want to push the debt ceiling debate back a... Read more →


How the heck did it get to be January 2013, and into the second week of the month at that? Oh yeah, we all were preoccupied by the Congressional fiscal cliff near debacle. OK. Some folks think the deal that was struck, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, is itself a fiasco. We shall see. That may well be the theme of a future Tax Carnival. But now we're ringing in, albeit a bit belatedly, Happy Tax New Year 2013 in the 110th Tax Carnival. And what better way to get it started than with some contributor examinations of... Read more →


How's December been treating you? I don't know about you, but for tax geeks and anyone who worries about what their next Internal Revenue Service bill might be, it's been a decidedly unjolly holiday season so far, thanks to all the fiscal cliff angst. Will our tax rates go up? How much? Will some folks lose deductions? Will the Republicans in the House and President Obama every find a compromise? Can we convince Santa to send Rudolph down to D.C. to lead them out of their fiscal and tax fog? Unfortunately, we can only wait. But in the meantime the... Read more →


Welcome to the ol' blog's annual election edition of the Tax Carnival. While many of you voted early (me too), this collection of tax tips and advice got bumped back to today, Nov. 6, actual election day. That's fitting, since the president and the members of Congress elected today will shape our federal tax bills. At the state level, there also are a lot of important state tax ballot initiatives. So while the polls are still open, let's kick off Tax Carnival #108: Election 2012 with the political posts. Manny Davis presents a visual comparison of Barack Obama's and Mitt... Read more →


Willkommen, y'all, to the annual meeting of taxes and one of the best beer drinking, German cuisine eating and oompah band playing traditions in the world. Yes, Oktoberfest meets tax tips to create everyone's favorite TaxtoberFest. Or as we also call it here at the ol' blog, Tax Carnival #107. I don't know about you, but I am definitely ready to get this party started, so let's get right to it, starting with a toast to a way that taxes can keep us sharp. Super Saver recently finished 2011 tax filing and realized there may be a health benefit in... Read more →