Oscar Special: Movies & Money
Liechtenstein tax inquiry spreading

Tax Carnival #31: Tax Oscars

I admit it. As an avowed film fanatic, I sat through the whole Academy Awards ceremony last night.

Sure, it was a bit flat, but it was all about movies! Stars showed up in their finest lent-out attire and jewels. And Regis and the interchangeable ET girls fawned a tad too much over red carpet walkers.

But there were a couple of particularly nice moments.

C'mon, 'fess up. Even though you didn't see La Vie en Rose, you loved it as much as I did when Marion Cotillard won Best Actress for her portrayal of legendary French singer Edith Piaf. Her surprise and joy were so refreshing.

And Jon Stewart proved he's a class act by bringing Best Song ("Slowly Falling" from Once) co-writer Marketa Irglova back on stage to give her acceptance speech. She was pre-empted moments earlier not by the program's timekeeping orchestra, but by her verbose partner who took up all the initial "thank you" time.

I've also got to congratulate the Coen brothers (loved Joel's acceptance speech succinctness) and "No Country for Old Men,' which was set in and partially filmed in Marfa. That area of West Texas has become a regular vacation spot for me since moving back home to the Lone State State.

You can read Irglova's speech here, and get a full list of last night's other Oscar winners here.

And it's in that feel-good spirit of Oscar winners that the 31st Carnival of Taxes is handing out its own awards. So that we don't go too far past our allotted blog time, let's get right to "and the Tax Oscar goes to … "

Oscar_1_5 Best achievement in Tax Special Effects
There's no surprise here. The hands-down winner is the stimulus rebate.

Super Saver at Wealth Builder says, "Nothing is ever simple when it comes to taxes, not even a rebate." And that assertion is backed up in Figuring Out My Tax Rebate.

Kristin says the Tax Stimulus is Steroids for the Economy in her post at The Financial Engineer.

Because of that, notes Dan Meyer at Tick Marks, it could be a busy time for Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block offices since Low-income Taxpayers Must File to Get Rebates.

On that same rebate requirement topic, Raymond presents Qualifying For An Economic Stimulus Tax Rebate Check, posted at Money Blue Book.

And as you wait for your tax-back check, Casey Markee of CAPC Debt Management Blog gives us the Top 5 Ways to Spend that Pending 2008 Tax Rebate.

But there are no losers in the Tax Special Effects category. In fact, our other nominees here receive special Tax Oscars.

Our Tax Dollars Being Wasted, posted by FMF at Free Money Finance, is our first non-stimulus award winner. It's a "short but meaningful commentary on waste of tax dollars," says FMF, with "lots of discussion in the comments."

We also recognize Money for Military's post at the blog of the same name on Capital Gains Tax For Middle Income People.

Best Actor in a Leading Tax-Evasion Role
He might not be the "best" in this category, but he's the latest: Nick Cage.

"Move over Wesley Snipes," says Leon Gettler. "The Internal Revenue Service is suing Oscar-winning actor Nicholas Cage for using a Los Angeles-based company he owns to wrongly write off 3.3 million dollars in personal expenses." Get the details in Taxing Nicholas Cage, posted at Sox First.

Others, famous or not, could be in this category if they're not careful. Tracy Coenen of The Fraud Files Blog presents Want to get out of paying taxes? Don't try these excuses!

Best Individual Tax-Filing Tips
A common and very beneficial tax break is the child tax credit. mom & dad of Raising4Boys tell us all about the 2007 Child Tax Credit.

Oscar_1_6 No kids? No problem. nickel has more tax-cutting options in Twelve Commonly Missed Tax Deductions, posted at fivecentnickel.com.

Once you get your credits and deductions planned out, you'll want to check out how Jim of IRS Mind answers Should I e-file my tax return?

Don't forget state obligations. FIRE Finance at the blog of the same name presents How to e-File Multiple State Returns.

Best Business Tax Strategies
We had two nominees in this category and both are definitely winners.

"I just started my home based business this year and expect to just break even this year. Do I still need to report my income, even if I don't actually make a profit?" That's a question Kristine McKinley received, and she answers it in Do I Have To Report My Online Income? It's posted at Ebiz Tax Tips.

And NCN of No Credit Needed tells us that, as the self-employed owner of a business, Trying To Decrease My Taxes, I Have Opened A SEP-IRA.

Best Discussions of Special Tax Situations
As we all know so well, each tax situation is unique. So this category recognizes several blog postings that look at special tax considerations.

When you have tax debt and must make monthly payments, your "allowable standard of living" comes into play. hcassara at Tax Debtor's Helper looks at what exactly this means in This is your allowable living standard.

Another sticky tax situation is examined by DianeDean of Need IRS Help? in her post Penalties, Interest & Your Taxes.

Taxes come into play in our everyday life. Take, for example, Wenchypoo's comparison of Working vs. Staying Home, posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo's Mental Wastebasket.

Did you hear about the Oakland, Calif., hardware store owner who refuses to collect or remit sales tax in protest against the government’s failure to protect his community against violent crime? David Gross from The Picket Line looks at that case and a couple of other tax issues in Resisting taxes for breach of social contract?

Best Foreign-Language Tax Brouhaha
In this international tax category we have the battle between an outraged Liechtenstein and German tax investigators looking into suspected tax evasion by its wealthy citizens. This item is from Don't Mess With Taxes, since I do love my foreign flicks and, by association, tax tales from around the world. 

Best Tax Comedy
Finally, we follow the long-standing entertainment (if not tax) world instruction to leave 'em laughing and close with Beckie, A Tax Consultant for All Seasons, who brings us More IRS Humor.

1040_icon_square Well, that's it for now. Thanks for reading and special thanks to all our contributors. Enjoy your Tax Oscars and raise a glass to yourselves at the post-awards parties!

We'll be back here on Monday, March 10, with Tax Carnival #32. You can be a part of it by sending your tax blog post to our Blog Carnival page. We'll see you next month!


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Ern Lewis, Captain U.S.Navy (retired)

As we signal in the NAVY, BRAVO ZULU ("WELL DONE") -- to Ms Bell for another delightful and insightful article.

The DON'T MESS WITH TAXES Website Banner sez:
" Taxes. Sure you hate 'em, but you're stuck with 'em. Either that, or you're stuck in a federal jail cell. "

There is another strategy we ALL need to embrace =
We the middle class must BECOME POLITICALLY ACTIVE to promote SIMPLIFYING the Tax Code and re=balancing the most egregous inequities in TAX POLICY.

A close friend and Tax Law expert (who worked with the IRS for more than a decade) admitted to me that he doubts ANYONE could explain all the complex nuances of our Tax Code.

As a retired senior NAVAL officer -- I'm ashamed to admit the mis-use of federal dollars I personally observed over te past 30 years is getting worse.
More law & "cops" isn't the answer.
We must re-learn three fundamental lessons of democracy =
(1) If we don't take an active role in controlling our government -- it will serve those who do. Will Rogers commented, "We've got the best government money can buy" -- and it CAN be bought.
(2) Excessive SECRECY in Government is the surest way to pass control to oligarchs. In such governments "Everybody is equal -- but a few become a WHOLE lot more equal than all the rest".
(3) Government Of the People, By the People & For the People ONLY works for those "people" that take a hand in the process.

... and a FUNDAMENTAL requirement to watch the government is sensible, equitable and UNSTANDABLE tax policy.


Brandon J

Great post! Thanks for including my link.

Brandon J

Money Blue Book

Well, they don't call the Oscars the "Superbowl for women" for nothing.

As a guy, I predictably missed it. I was probably out doing manly macho things like wrestling bears, breaking boards over my head etc :)

Great inclusion of tax posts btw.

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