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Tax Carnival #116: May Tax Flowers 2013

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 by S Kay Bell
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 into tax savings.

Like a bouquet of offerings gathered from your garden, the various posts are placed in this Tax Carnival "vase" in no particular order. Some will help those who are working on getting 2012 returns done by the Oct. 15 extension date. Others are great for 2013 tax planning.

Whichever type of tax tip fits your filing situation, enjoy the many variations.

So before they wilt, here's Tax Carnival #116: May Tax Flowers 2013.

Emily says her family "likes to use tax software to check our returns, but we don't fully trust it. We also do our returns manually so we can understand them." She details the process in Our Experiences Using Tax Software posted at Evolving Personal Finance.

Mrs. PoP also looks at filling out 1040s, noting, "Do you DIY your tax prep or hire a tax professional? The PoPs have done it all with varying success." Her experiences are recounted in How to do taxes-DIY or pay the man? It's posted at Planting Our Pennies.

Zhu notes that "for Cana­di­ans, April is “this time of the year”, also known as "damn, I have to fill my tax return again." To deal with that, Zhu presents [Interview] Tax Tips for Canadians, with Allan Fefergrad, CPA, CGA, posted at Correr Es Mi Destino.

James Powell has something for taxpayers in Great Britain, known for its magnificent gardens, in Tax Credits and Benefits Changes 2013 – How They Will Affect You, posted at Tax Credits.

Jason Hull takes a look at how the long arm of the Internal Revenue Service will continue to chase you, "even if you move to some far flung destination like St. Helena." Details are in Do FBAR and FATCA Affect You If You Plan On Becoming an Expatriate? It's posted at Hull Financial Planning.

David de Souza asks Should politicians have to publish their tax returns? Or should they benefit from the same confidentiality and privacy as any other taxpayer? David focuses on European lawmakers, but it's a global question. Check out his analysis at TaxFix.

Amanda asks whether you've ever wondered whether you can sign a tax return for someone else. She explores this in Can You Sign a Tax Return for Someone Else? It's posted at My Dollar Plan.

Robert D Flach presents More on the New "Safe Harbor" Home Office Deduction, posted at THE WANDERING TAX PRO.

Cow in flowering pasture by Eduardo Amorim via Flickr CC
Cow in flowering pasture photo by Eduardo Amorim via Flickr Creative Commons

Michael Kitces says the specific share identification method allows investors to choose which investment is sold, which can be very helpful to optimize capital gain/loss harvesting strategies. But a recent White House proposal would eliminate the planning opportunity, forcing everyone to use average cost! He elaborates on that possibility in Proposal Threatens To Ban Specific Share Identification Method For Lot Level Accounting Tax Strategies, posted at Nerd's Eye View.

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap says, "I have been lending the government money for years. I don’t mean through bonds either, I am talking about getting a tax refund every year. I've always liked the idea of knowing that I would be getting some extra cash every year from the government." Get the scoop in Are You Still Lending The Government Money? It's posted at Call Me What You Want Even Cheap.

Glenn Craig also looks at refunds, noting that many get a sizable income tax refund. If you're one of those folks, he recommends 25 Ideas For Your Income Tax Refund, posted at Free From Broke.

Scott says tax fraud is becoming a huge problem, but there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself. He elaborates in The Growing Problem of Tax Refund Fraud, posted at One Smart Dollar.

Michael says it's looking more and more like the Internet sales tax is going to happen when Congress gives states more power to collect sales taxes that people should already be paying. But what effect will that have on small businesses? He elaborates in Effect of the Internet Sales Tax, posted at Financial Ramblings.

Jacob looks at asset allocation through a tax lens in Creating Your Own Three Legged Stool for Retirement - How Much of Your Investments Should be in Tax-Deferred, Taxable, and Tax-Free Accounts? It's posted at My Personal Finance Journey.

Darwin notes that Bitcoin is getting a lot of attention of late. But he has five reasons why it's a horrible investment. Once concern: If you did make money, how would it be taxed? Find out more at 5 Reasons Why Bitcoins are the Dumbest Investment Ever, posted at Darwin's Money.

Don says people don't usually associate "fun" with taxes but he's changing that! Enjoy the results at Fun Tax Facts, posted at My Dollar Plan.

Sunflowers by pasma via Flickr CC
Sunflowers field photo by pasma via Flickr Creative Commons

And with that, we wrap up Tax Carnival #116: May Tax Flowers.

Tax carnival iconThanks to all the contributors and especially to all y'all for reading. The next carnival will be June 3. Be a part of that collection of tax posts (and tax-only items please; the guidelines page has details) by sending your item via the Carnival of Taxes submission page.

Social media fans can send Tax Carnival posts via Twitter (I'm @taxtweet; please use hashtag #TC117) or post them on Don't Mess With Taxes' Facebook wall.

Or if you prefer email, send your tax blog item to me at taxcarnival @ gmail.com.

Comments

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Zhu

Thank you for including my submission!

Glen Craig

Thanks for hosting!

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