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August 2014
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October 2014

September 2014

Last week I signed onto the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, known in acronym-speak as EFTPS (eff-tips), and authorized our third quarter estimated tax payment to be made by our bank on Sept. 15. Click image to download full 1040-ES package. I've used EFTPS for eight years and although there were some early bumps, I'm pretty happy with the system. A lot of folks, though, are put off by EFTPS. One of the biggest complaints is that it takes some time for the account to be operational. The IRS has speeded up the process, but if you are thinking today... Read more →

Tax collectors on opposite sides of the United States are hoping that a bit of public shaming will help them get money they say is due. The Vermont Department of Taxes says it will begin issuing lists by end of the year of 100 individual taxpayers and 100 business taxpayers who have the biggest unpaid tax bill. The tax delinquency lists, which will show the taxpayers' names and addresses, will be published on the Tax Department's website. New law, new tax delinquency lists: The lists are allowed under a new law that took effect in June. Taxpayers named on the... Read more →

It's Monday. That mean millions of workers have spent way too much time slogging through email that piled up over the weekend or, in some cases, while we were on vacation. But it's missing, not received, emails that are once again getting special attention. Specifically, missing Internal Revenue Service emails. More specifically, some lost messages from Exempt Organizations unit colleagues of former IRS executive Lois Lerner. Late last week, the IRS reported to Congress that it is missing emails from five more employees connected to the agency's alleged targeting of conservative groups that applied for nonprofit tax status. The loss... Read more →

The thing I find most interesting about the much talked about map of NFL team fandom across the country is that the Dallas Cowboys apparently have lots of supporters in much of Nevada. This map (click it for a larger view) shows the favorite professional football team in every U.S. county based on the National Football League team that Facebook users in that county have "liked" the most per Facebook Data Science tallies. Read more about the map and fans of professional football in The Atlantic. Maybe there are lots of transplanted Texans -- former Lone Star State residents, not... Read more →

Tax fraud never stops, but Uncle Sam and other government officials are doing decent jobs of stopping, or at least catching, tax refund crooks. A Cobb County, Georgia, grand jury on Aug. 28 indicted four people in what officials describe as massive tax fraud scheme. The four face a total of 3,736 counts, including identity fraud, computer theft, computer forgery, burglary, evidence tampering, money laundering and racketeering, in connection with the alleged scheme that started in 2005. In 2013, the four allegedly stole more than $2 million in state tax refunds using information from more than 1,800 victims, according to... Read more →

It's a great weekend for Louisiana and Mississippi hunters and gun enthusiasts. Both states are holding Second Amendment sales tax holidays. The tax-free events began at 12:01 a.m. today, Sept. 5, and run through midnight on Sunday, Sept. 7. Louisiana's tax-free gun sales event has been around since 2009. This weekend, however, is the first sales tax holiday for weapon purchases in neighboring Mississippi. During these 72 hours, the sales taxes in both states -- 4 percent in Louisiana and 7 percent in Mississippi -- is not due on certain guns and related purchases. Similar sales tax holiday rules: The... Read more →

Are you ready for some football!? Nothing personal soccer fans, it was a great World Cup and all. But this, starting with tonight's 2014 NFL season kickoff game between the Green Bay Packers and defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, is what most of us U.S. sports fans live for. So do the rookie players who are looking to make their marks with their NFL teams. And so does the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to the hundreds of well-paid returning veterans, the federal tax collector also is jazzed about the professional football league's new blood. More guys are suddenly... Read more →

This post reviewed and some links updated August 16, 2019. Apparently the work gods think I need time off this week. Yesterday I lost a couple of hours taking care of family business. Today our house is intruding on office time. As I type, a plumber is working on my kitchen sink faucet. I'm lurking in the adjacent den, hoping that it's a minor repair. I'm also hoping that he'll be able to finish the job today. Thankfully, this isn't my faucet. But I called the plumber to keep it from getting to this point. (Photo by Julie Zamostny via... Read more →

This post updated 3/17/17 to reflect 2016-2017 tax data. It's the Tuesday after the long Labor Day holiday weekend, so you knew it had to happen. Tuesday apparently was so jazzed about getting to start the work week, it did its best Monday impression, piling on early in this already shortened week. Specifically, while trying to catch up after three days off, I had to spend a couple of hours dealing with family issues. Before my friends and sympathetic readers freak out, not to worry. It wasn't an emergency, medical or otherwise. My mom just needed some help taking care... Read more →

Happy Labor Day, my fellow workers. Labor Day's first observance is generally thought to be Sept. 5, 1882. On that day, around 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. Since everyone loves a parade, the Big Apple celebration inspired similar events across the country. By 1894, more than half the states were observing a "working men's holiday" on various days. Later that year, Congress passed legislation and President Grover Cleveland signed into law the country's official designation of Labor Day as the first Monday in September each year. So who's celebrating? American worker jobs: Every year, the... Read more →